What To Do When There is a Natural Disaster and Your Spouse is Deployed
I have been through my share of earthquakes growing up in California. Fortunately, I was never in any danger from any of them.
After moving to the south, I have been through my fair share of tornado warnings, and fortunately, none of them have come too close to our house.
The biggest issue we have dealt with when it came to weather when my husband was deployed was losing power during a storm, for about 37 hours. While we didn’t have any real damage, and USAA replaced all our food, it was a struggle not knowing when the power would come back on, and being on my own with three little kids during the power outage.
Hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanoes, earthquakes, and even massive snowstorms can cause us to panic a little bit, or even more than a bit. We want to feel safe in our homes, but mother nature doesn’t allow us to always feel that way. Mother nature also doesn’t care if our spouse is deployed or not.
Dealing with a natural disaster with a deployed spouse is a bit terrifying, even for the most independent military spouse. You want them right by your side during this time, but they can’t be.
So what can you do when there is a natural disaster and your spouse is deployed?
What you want to try not to do, is overly panic. I know it can be difficult, natural disasters are scary, especially if you have never been through that type of disaster before. You want to try to stay calm so you can figure out how to prepare yourself and your family. You want to be able to think with a clear head.
Take warnings seriously
Blowing off a weather warning can sometimes be easy to do. There can be a lot of worry over a storm, and nothing comes of it. However, this isn’t always the case. It is better to be overly prepared than not prepared enough. Take any warnings about your area seriously.
Decide what you are going to do
If you live in an area that can get hurricanes, make sure you talk over with your spouse what you will do if one comes while they are away. What is your game plan? Do you have family or friends you can stay with?
In the case of tornados, make sure you know where your family is supposed to go once the alarms sound. Talk this over with your children, so they are aware of what to do. Practice earthquake drills, and be prepared for whatever type of natural disaster might hit your area.
Put together your emergency kit, just in case. You might not need it, but it is a good idea to have. Check out Disaster Prep: 8 Things to Have on Hand for an idea of what you need in your kit. Do your research so you have the supplies you need.
Band together with your neighbors and military spouse friends. If you have a close friend, you might want to hang out together until the storm has passed. See how you can help one another out. You can do things like trade childcare as you each take turns going to the store to prepare your home for the upcoming storm or just be there for one another.
Follow the news
This is the time to watch the news during a deployment. Follow what is going on, you don’t want to be caught unaware. In our area, under a tornado warning, the news will show when the threat is supposed to hit your area by the minute. Make sure your weather radio always has working batteries and that you always have a way of being notified of a warning even if you are sleeping.
Here are some website and resources about natural disasters to help you:
How military families should prepare for natural disasters