Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc along Florida’s Gulf shore. The destruction that the category four hurricane left in its path has left many Floridians feeling high stress for months now. Naturally, their loved ones are also bereft. They want to do all they can to physically, mentally, and emotionally help their family and friends.
If you are the loved one of a Hurricane Ian survivor, my heart is with you all during this trying time. Being the victim of a natural disaster is not easy for anyone. As a loved one, you may find yourself facing a special type of anxiety. If this resonates with you, keep reading.
Gather all the information
Naturally, a disaster like Hurricane Ian will leave many people with burning questions. Wondering about safety protocols, disaster tolls, and relief funds has everyone left wondering. Before bombarding your loved ones with questions, consider doing your own research into these topics.
By learning what you can, you can begin to offer support more quickly than if you need to gather information directly from your loved one. This will also give the added benefit of removing some of the “unknown” surrounding the hurricane and its effect on the community.
Remember your own needs
Be sure to embrace your own emotions while providing emotional support for others. As the known adage goes, you must put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others with theirs.
Your emotions might be fluctuating and you won’t be as valuable if you don’t consider your own needs. You can only be a pillar of strength for those in need if you have your own strong base to support you.
Embrace your emotions
Along with the above, you must fully accept your own emotions. Ignoring your stress, fear, and anxiety may be your initial reaction. You may be denying your feelings because you were not technically the one affected by Hurricane Ian. However, by ignoring the negative emotions you have, you are simply delaying the inevitable.
Your feelings at this time are completely normal, and frankly, to be expected. Your loved one may be suffering great loss and, as a supportive person, you are simply empathizing with their pain. In order to begin to help them, you must first embrace how you feel.
Give what you can to the community
Giving back to the community will allow you to feel more in control of the situation and allow you to make a real, meaningful difference. Things you can do to support your loved ones who were affected by Hurricane Ian range from simple things such as providing a listening ear to more complex acts of service like organizing a food drive to provide resources to the community.
Another way to physically support others is by sending care packages to fulfill basic needs or pamper someone in a special way. Providing physical resources in the form of food, shelter, or financial support is a way you can help hurricane victims get through this very difficult time. Of course, it is important to only do what you are financially able to and to not stretch your own resources too thinly.
Offer emotional support
The most important suggestion I can offer is to find the emotional support that you and the hurricane victims need. For many, this is a tough time of year to begin with. Hurricane Ian adds an extra layer of emotional difficulty to the holiday season. Consider seeking out support groups for victims and their loved ones in your community.