Prepare your mind

Have you thought about how you can prepare yourself and your staff for the mental and emotional challenges of a crisis event? Your capacity to manage your stress can have a big impact on how employees and customers respond to the threat of an emergency.

The good news is that taking the time to prepare for a crisis event will improve your mental readiness if a crisis occurs. The best way to do this is to prepare an Emergency management plan

Having an emergency management plan on hand also reassures you that you have resources to manage the event. Regaining some sense of control during an emergency, like knowing how to communicate, will help reduce uncertainty and anxiety.

How to help staff cope with stress

Tips to help prepare you and your staff mentally and emotionally include:

  • Involve as many staff members as possible in the creation of your emergency management plan. This will build ownership and understanding
  • Build your employees personal needs into your plan
  • Work out how you are going to monitor information on high risk days
  • Ensure your plan assesses the ability of employees to deal with the stress
  • Practise the plan to help you and your employees respond automatically and appropriately

Personal Preparedness

Practice good self-care and healthy habits

Stress and fear send hormones to your body that need to be flushed from your system in order to relax after the crisis passes. 

Healthy eating, lots of water (and less caffeine), good sleep and exercise enhance your body’s ability to reset those hormone levels and ease feelings of anxiety.

Work on noticing your emotions

Don’t suppress emotions. They are survival messages from your body. If you’re feeling anxious, there is a reason.

Instead, work on tolerating difficult emotions without automatically reacting. This will help you manage stressful emotions caused by disasters.

Things to remember:

  • Crisis events or times of high risk may bring back feelings of anxiety
  • Professional help is available if you are unable to cope
  • Stay informed – access to information will help you cope better
  • Preparing an emergency management plan will also help you cope better

If at any time you are worried about your mental health or the mental health of your employees, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Where to get help:

Last Updated 24th July 2017