How To Prepare For A Possible Flood Emotionally

The American Red Cross and Red River Resilience suggest that residents can prepare mentally and emotionally for the 2013 flood by following the “3 Cs” of resilience. People are urged to stay Calm, Connected, and in Control.

According to Kit O’Neill, a clinical psychologist who volunteers for the American Red Cross, resilience is the ability to bounce back and adapt to adverse events.

“You can use your resilience skills to successfully cope with and adapt to the possibility of another major spring flood,” O’Neil said. “You can use this time to prepare mentally and emotionally, so that you are ready to respond effectively if flooding occurs.”


  • It is normal to feel anxious or agitated by information which triggers memories of past flood fights.  Direct this energy toward taking action now that can help you and your community prepare.
  • Remember that we have made it through difficult times before, and people will come together again to face this year’s flood threat.
  • News outlets provide important information for preparing for a flood.  However, you may want to limit your exposure to upsetting information, especially at bedtime, in order to get the rest you need. 


  • Staying in touch with those who care about you is a buffer against stress. Prepare for communication challenges during a disaster by making a list of important contacts and designating an out-of-state person who can serve as the main point of contact for family members.
  • Seek out flood preparedness and coping information from reliable sources, such as the American Red Cross ( and Red River Resilience (
  • Sign up for Code Red notifications.


  • You may not be able to control when and where the floodwaters go, but you can control how you respond.  Have confidence in your ability to cope well with flood stress.
  • Create a 3-day portable emergency supply kit for your family, including pets. If you need to evacuate or shelter in place, you will be ready.
  • Be proactive.  Ask yourself, “What is one thing I can do today to be better prepared for the flood?”