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All Clear: Coping Emotionally

All Clear: Coping Emotionally

Before & During an Emergency

Fear and anxiety in an emergency are natural but controllable emotions.

You need to remain calm so you can think and act rationally. Remember that someone may need your help. If you are feeling particularly anxious or frightened, follow this advice.




  • Stop what you are doing and take a few slow, deep breaths.
  • Focus on your feelings and thoughts. Talk calmly about them with family or friends.
  • Focus on what practical tasks you and your family can do.
  • Explain to children what is happening and what they may be feeling. Reassure them and let them help.
  • Listen if those around you tell you are acting strangely or seem over-stressed and follow the above advice.


After an emergency

  • When the danger has passed, check if children or neighbours are still distressed. Talk to them about their experience.
  • Take some satisfaction in having come through a very stressful and threatening situation.
  • Keep as many elements of your normal routine incorporated into the disaster plans as possible and practical, including activities to allay children’s fears.
  • Be aware that you may have fewer resources to attend to your day-to-day activities after the emergency, so it is best to do what you can ahead of time.
  • Adjust your expectations and keep positive. You will not be able to do everything you did before and may not have all the resources you had before. Focus on what you can do and look for the new opportunities the situation brings.
  • Turn to family, friends, and important social or religious contacts to set-up support networks to help deal with the potential stressors.
  • Let your children know that it is okay to feel upset when something bad or scary happens.
  • Encourage your children to express feelings and thoughts, without making judgments.
  • Be aware that a range of physical and emotional reactions may occur. These are a normal response to the experience. However, should they continue for an extended period, contact the Cayman Islands Health Services.
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