Most people in Australia live in areas of threat from natural disaster, whether it be from bushfires, floods, severe storms, droughts, cyclones or earthquakes.
Pamphlets and brochures available from local council offices, emergency services and community groups provide helpful information on how to be prepared and what to do in an emergency situation to protect lives, home and property.
As well as information on physical and practical preparation, it is very helpful for people to know how to prepare psychologically before a natural disaster and how to cope emotionally during or after a disaster. Knowing ahead of time how a disaster situation might be experienced can help to decrease people’s anxiety levels and overall psychological responses.
Being psychologically prepared when a disaster is threatening can help people feel more confident, more in control and better able to make effective emergency plans. It can also help to reduce the psychological distress and longer-term mental health problems that can result from the trauma of being involved in disasters.