Tag Archives: motivation

Emergency Preparedness: #WinterReady how to be better informed (and get the right kit but that’s just an aside)

Pull up and get cosy 🙂 Let’s take a look at #WinterReady

Today the Met Office re-launched their ‘get ready for winter’ campaign which includes ‘thinking about a winter kit for your car’. Naturally, those of you who are familiar with this blog and website will already know our section on Winter Driving . If you are new, then a warm welcome and please do check out the links given as well as the navigation both on the right and top. Obviously (but then I’m biased) I strongly advise to go beyond just thinking but to act and get better prepared, especially when it concerns #roadsafety: driving and being #winterready is more than just a thought experiment 😉

What does it actually mean to be #WinterReady?

Well, that depends on who you ask of course. What the Met Office’s 12 point list nicely shows, however, is that being #WinterReady covers quite a bit of ground. According to them, this ranges from health, to securing your property, to staying safe on the road and expecting severe weather. Another way of looking at preparedness is via consequences, something I’ve touched upon in what you must plan and prepared for.

What you must keep in mind above all in this is that …

Being informed is key to being #WinterReady and better preparedness

Today, rather than going on about the particulars of emergency kits, I want to focus on what personal preparedness and #WinterReady looks like from the point of view of being informed.

“But we are all informed all the time” I hear you say and you are right, we are indeed connected like never before. However, the really astonishing fact is that while so many of us are plugged in and networked up we have rarely done so with regards to emergency preparedness. Only relatively few people actually know and use quality apps or follow crucial social media accounts.

There is a lot of awareness raising going on this time of the year by outreach programmes such as last Sunday during #HamptonshireDay by their inspiring and engaging Local Resilience Forum team …

 

… or like today by Local Councils and NGO’s such as The FloodAdvisory in Bolton during half term

Events such as these are brilliant yet only reach a limited number of people. Studies have shown that following leaflet distribution, approximately 10% of people changed their behaviour and engaged in one or more preparedness activities1. This is promising. Now imagine the reach and impact if this is done on social media where people can subscribe for free and receive relevant information and reminders.

How and where to sign up for crucial preparedness information was one of the key topics during #prep2017day23 of this years ‘September is Preparedness’ campaign @30days30waysUK. And so here are the

top social media accounts to be better #prepared  and #winterready

Twitter alerts shares critical information in times of crisis via key accounts, make sure you follow and sign up to alerts from:

In addition, it is recommended you follow twitter accounts such as your service providers (water, gas, electricity), local council and local resilience forum. Find out through them if your local area has an active #FloodAction group and then connect with them; for example

Facebook has a function called safety check which automatically activates during an emergency, for example, during the recent attacks in Manchester and London.

Flood warnings by email: you can also sign up to receive flood warnings via email

In addition there are many FREE APPS that are highly recommended for better preparedness. All of them are free and excellent quality which is why it is puzzling that not more people are using them:

 

Top picks for FREE UK emergency preparedness apps

30days30waysUK.org.uk is not an app but a brilliant hub and FREE campaign for all things preparedness. You can jump in anytime to do your own 30days30ways for better preparedness all year round and don’t miss ‘September is Preparedness Month 2018’. Follow them @30days30waysUK. They spring into action again next August..

For more tips check out #prep2017day23 and look through the posts and replies. You can also find a fun collection on pinterest by heading to preparedAPP.

So, what are you waiting for?

Take your pick and sign-up, download those free apps and get to test-driving them. It’s not only fun but actually hugely useful and gets you better #PREPARED and #WinterReady.

Have a nice rest of the week.

Monika

 

Reference

1  Marshall, R.J., Petrone, L., Takach, M.J., Sansonetti, S., Wah-Fitta, M., Bagnall-Degos, A. and Novais, A., 2007. Make a kit, make a plan, stay informed: Using social marketing to change the population’s emergency preparedness behavior. Social Marketing Quarterly13(4), pp.47-64.

More studies and resources available via 30days30waysUK.org.UK/partners page, see practitioners resources via google docs.

 

If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.

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For more EVAQ8 blog simply use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For FREE resources head over to our Preparedness Hub and find out why we use humour. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. Thank you!

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Preparedness: it’s all about capabilities and capacities

What? That sounds like a slogan and you’re right, it is. Actually, it’s a good one because it elegantly sums up what preparedness is all about. But what exactly does ‘capabilities and capacities’ actually mean, why should you care and what does it have to do with preparedness? These are excellent questions. Here is a quick explainer.

In a nutshell: capability is your ability or skill to do something and your capacity is about whether you actually have the means and tools to do so.

So, how does ‘capabilities and capacities’ apply to preparedness and why should I care?

It’s all about you and what exactly happens when you are affected by an emergency or disaster. Fact is: in a real emergency or disaster, the emergency services will respond but cannot get to everyone right away. It pays to be ready and better prepared so that you are not left entirely helpless and can respond.

Preparedness capabilities and capacities are about what YOU can do – YOUR skill set – and how well you can apply your skill set because of the tools and equipment you can access.

So, as you can see, the two concepts build on each another and come together. Thus the slogan ‘Preparedness is all about capabilities and capacities’ works pretty well. And there is more…

Preparedness is about being pro-active rather than just re-active. Another way of saying this is

Preparedness is  (the capacity and capability of) bouncing forward so that you can bounce back faster

after an emergency or disaster. It goes beyond being re-active, as for example in the RUN, TELL, HIDE advice. Sometimes you simply can’t or don’t want to do that and besides, there are many emergencies other than a weapons attack; for more along those lines see Security & Safety Update then also head to what are invacuation, lockdown and shelter-in-place and what exactly does safe self-evacuation look like? If you are involved with NGOs see Rethinking Resilience: Capacities of relief staff and volunteers in disaster zones.

But back to ‘capabilities and capacities’ and some more detail. Naturally you need real life skills such as first aid training and emergency planning for which we give you a lot of free resources at our preparedness hub.

That’s a good start but it’s actually not enough. Just imagine for a moment that you are the best trained doctor or nurse in the world but your first aid kit /emergency grab bag / crisis response kit is empty….Right, you immediately get where this is going: you need the right tools to be better prepared. Luckily you already are in the best place for just exactly that – it’s easy:

Take a look at How to build your own emergency kit and also  the Survival Kit List. If you own a business or know someone who does, explore and share Business Preparedness. Check out the many standard Emergency Kit Grab Bags listed or perhaps you are after a custom-made Emergency Kit tailored specifically to you.

Get better prepared – bounce back faster: upgrade your capabilities and capacities. Start today!

Monika

 

For more Resilience Blog simply use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For more on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness head over to our FREE resources at the Preparedness Hub and find out why we use humour. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.

thank you for sharing!

Find EVAQ8 on social media, like and follow us!

follow EVAQ8.co.uk on facebook follow EVAQ8.co.uk on twitter join EVAQ8.co.uk on google+ discover and share EVAQ8.co.uk on pininterest explore EVAQ8.co.ok on You Tube

 

For real-life insight into professional capabilities and capacities, take a look at the BBC’s ‘Hospital’ episode 1 season 2 | London Bridge attack victims being treated at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington.

ABC of Emergency Preparedness

One way of engaging with emergency preparedness is to create an ABC. It’s a fun activity for adults and kids alike to get thinking about the important topic of how to be better prepared for an emergency or disaster, what that entails and means. Here is one such ABC of emergency preparedness, focusing on household preparedness and family in a general setting. Examples are drawn internationally because the same fundamental preparedness principles apply irrespective of where in the world you are. I hope what follows will inspire you to come up with your own version of your ‘personal’ ABC of Emergency Preparedness.   [this post is also accessed by bit.ly/preparednessABC]

A  for ATTITUDE  | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

No matter what kind of emergency, staying calm and keeping a positive attitude is essential. Do not panic. Get your breathing under control to clear your mind so that you can assess the situation appropriately.

Connected to attitude are beliefs and here drawing on faith for strength is useful irrespective of exactly what kind of ideology you follow. In addition, check out the post on how to achieve realistic confidence in the face of crisis.

   

B  for BE BETTER PREPARED  | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

That means being PRO-ACTIVE rather than just re-active. Planning ahead, getting equipped and informed is your best bet. Preparedness means you are likely to better manage in an emergency or disaster. Up your chances by upping your capacities (kit, supplies, tools etc.) and capabilities (knowledge, training, skills etc).

 

C  for COMMUNICATE | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness is a ‘group sport’ so to be able to communicate effectively before, during and after a crisis is vital. The word ‘preparedness’ implies being better prepared BEFORE something happens. Planning your communication is as important as communicating during your planning stage: it sets everything up and keeps everything going. That also means when you make your household emergency plan, check your assumptions: don’t just think you know but find out, update and verify, talk to reliable people in your communities as well as emergency planning professionals such as via your Local Resilience Forum. In addition, keep in mind that communication is more than just giving and following advice or instructions and staying in touch. It’s also about signalling for help, coordinating emergency plans beyond immediate family to other groups of people, locating the missing or lost, organising support and new supply chains etc. Some questions to explore include where do you find the right information? How and what do you communicate to your loved ones when you’re setting up your plan? What does communication look like during a crisis and in the aftermath in how to receive help or in how to assist? How can you communicate effectively under potentially extreme situations? What will you need to be more self-reliant?

 

D   for DEVICES | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Tech is great – when it works. Problem is it often doesn’t during a real crisis or disaster situation. No power, limited battery life, network failures… in short, you need additional kit as well as independent low-tech solutions. Good examples here are solar chargers for your gadgets, hard copies of local maps as well as your ID’s and insurance documents, pocket guides for first aid and survival etc.

 

E    for EVACUATION  | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Do you stay or go? In some situations the best option is safe evacuation, getting out of harm’s way quickly, returning once the all clear has been given by authorities. Evacuation can happen for many reasons and can be temporary, lasting just a few minutes or hours or expand to more medium or even long term shelter-in-place situations away from your home. Most evacuations are self-evacuations when you get right down to it.  So what exactly does safe self-evacuation look like?

 

F  for  FIRST AID | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

First aid is an essential life skill and the more training and knowledge you have the better off you are in an emergency situation. It’s that simple. However, it’s no good knowing a lot and then not having the tools and resources when and where you need them so a well-stocked first aid kit or medical kit is an absolute must, kitted to your abilities and needs.

 

G  for GO-BAG | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

All essentials packed in one sturdy grab bag ready to go at any time, that’s a GoBag. Find out how to build your own emergency kit and check out our preparedness hub for even more free resources.

 

H for HYGIENE  | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Hygiene contributes to health. Absence or insufficient hygiene in the aftermath of a disaster can have very serious consequences. Water purification is an important element as is travel hygiene, i.e. during an evacuation and shelter-in-place situation.

 

I  for  IDENTIFICATION | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Your GoBag must contain paper copies of documents that can prove your identity and address as a minimum. Additional documents and USB backups of i.e. personal photos, contacts list, insurance, inventory accounts etc. are highly recommended.

 

J  for JUNK  | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Everything but the kitchen sink, it might come in useful. No! Leave unnecessary items behind. Make the right choices in what to take with you and how to secure the belongings you leave behind. Your GoBag must be comprehensive enough to last you 72 hours yet must be light enough that you can carry it comfortable for extended periods of time. Loading up your car with tons of stuff does not mean you are better prepared. Less is more. Get the right kit; don’t simply make do. Your life may depend on it. And whatever you do, NEVER leave your pets behind!

 

K  for KEEP FOCUSED | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Emergencies or disaster can be confusing and scary. Understanding fear is important as it can be your best ally. What do you need to help you keep focused and maintain a positive attitude? Short-term energy food and drinks help as well as frequent morale boost. What works for you and how will you build this into your emergency plan to be better prepared?

 

L  for LOCAL MAPS | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Having accurate information about your local environment is key: roads, bridges, rivers, lakes, woods, towns etc. Don’t rely on tech alone which may stop functioning in an emergency or disaster. Know several ways to get to safe shelter locations. Also, knowing about your flood and other risks based on local maps is crucial.

 

M  for MEALS-READY-TO-EAT aka MRE  | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

If your car runs out of fuel, it stops and if YOU run out of fuel so will you. Maintaining energy levels during a crisis means that you can continue doing what you need to be doing. The last thing you want to worry is about cooking your next decent meal. MRE’s have been used by the military for many years and there are many reasons why they work so well for emergency preparedness: delicious, nutritious, long-shelf life, space and cost effective. So, check it out and also see our survival food page. What’s your favourite menu?

 

N  for NOURISHMENT | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Quality emergency and survival food is one aspect but there is also mental and emotional nourishment. As mentioned earlier, maintaining attitude and the ability to keep focus is crucial to being better prepared for emergencies. Once the initial urgent phase has passed there needs to be time to process, coming to terms with events and finding silver linings, giving and finding support on all levels: physical, mental and emotional – perhaps sometimes using ‘unusual’ tools  😉   ….

 

O  for ORGANISE | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Without ‘organising’ you are toast in an emergency or disaster situation, it’s that simple. Get cracking, it’s easy and even fun to do so. Make emergency preparedness plans for work and private life:  a personal emergency plan, a family emergency plan, a community emergency plan, a fire safety plan, an evacuation plan, a shelter-in-place plan, a travel emergency plan ….any and all that make sense and are needed in your particular sets of circumstances. To start, head over to our emergency preparedness hub with lots of free resources and downloads.

 

P  for PETS | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Leave no one behind in an emergency or disaster and this also goes for your pets or animals. We have a special page for Emergency Preparedness with Pets so head right over.

 

Q  for QUESTIONS   | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Never stop asking questions about emergency planning and emergency preparedness. Update and upgrade your knowledge, organise and be better prepared. Be selective in the resources you trust – there is a lot of information out there and not everything is good and valid. Local is massively important so a dig through the history of your area for clues of past major incidents is a good idea as is finding out information from your Local Resilience Forum and other trustworthy specialists.

 

R for RELOCATION POINT | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Where will you go if you have to evacuate? Not just an assembly point but an alternative safe location in a more medium-term or perhaps longer term where you can find shelter and support. What do you know about evacuation shelters near where you live or work? Are there any and how well equipped are they?What are your self-reliance options? Check out the post on mass evacuation.

 

S  for SAFETY | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Always think safety first. Don’t take unnecessary risks. This is especially important in a family or small group settings that have to rely on all members. Stay alert during emergencies and always be aware of your surroundings, watching out for potential dangers. Know the difference between risk and hazards. What are likely sources of risks and hazards and how do you plan to deal with them? It’s all part of your emergency plan.

 

T  for TRAVEL  | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Travel may become necessary before or in the aftermath of a disaster. Know your relocation point and how you will get there. Have your GoBag and other supplies ready. Be organised and be better prepared, have a positive attitude and keep focused. As part of your emergency preparedness plans, create checklists of items, streamline necessities and avoid junk. If you travel by car, always carry a Car Emergency Kit in addition to your other supplies.

 

U  for UNSURE | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Unsure about something? Doubt is excellent for it represents an open door, an opportunity to find out the right information from the right sources. Investigate, never stop asking questions when it comes to emergency preparedness.  Continue to upgrade and update your knowledge every day. Preparedness becomes simply part of who you are.

 

V  for VARIOUS NEEDS | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Children at different ages have different needs from young adults, the middle aged or seniors so you will have to think carefully what capacities and capabilities your emergency preparedness has to cover under which circumstances. It’s not as daunting as it sounds, however. There is already a lot you know and much you have and can do. Visit our preparedness hub for resources and downloads and get started.

 

W  for WEATHER | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Being weather aware means you will see it coming and can plan and act accordingly. Early warning systems are pretty good these days for major weather events depending on where in the world you are. Simply keeping an eye on the news or your favourite weather app will keep you in the loop. In addition, include diverse weather (not just severe storms) in your safe evacuation scenarios for it’s an entirely different matter in midsummer heat, deep winter snow freeze or during heavy rains or storms.

 

X   for Xerox copy | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Vital information such as IDs, insurance, inventories, accounts etc. should always have one or several hard copies in safe places as well as digital backups.

 

Y  for YOU CAN DO THIS!  | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

If you feel you are becoming overwhelmed remind yourself that you are capable of doing extraordinary things.  Focus on the next minute, the next five, the next hour and just keep going.  Most importantly BE PREPARED! Join the race where everyone wins:

    … and finally …..    

Z  for ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE | ABC of Emergency Preparedness

Yes, you heard right! The joke goes that if you are better prepared for a ‘zombie apocalypse’ then you are pretty much prepared for anything.

source: https://www.cdc.gov/images/campaigns/emergency/zombies2_300x250.jpg

If it takes that kind of Hollywood fantasy to create interest in emergency preparedness then why not? Let’s go for it. After all, this particular notion even exercises serious scientists who study how disease spreads. Take a look yourself and have a go at ‘Zombietown’ a disease dynamics simulation by physicists Alexander Alemi, Matthew Bierbaum, Christopher Myers and James Sethna of Cornell University and  take a look at Leicester University or get stuck in with the CDC:


I hope you enjoyed this ABC of Emergency Preparedness. Happy Easter and good luck with your personal plans for being better prepared. 

Monika   

For more Resilience Blog simply use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For more on Emergency+Disaster Preparedness head over to our FREE resources at the Preparedness Hub and find out why we use humour. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. Thank you!

 thank you for sharing!

 

For more EVAQ8 blog simply use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For FREE resources head over to our Preparedness Hub and find out why we use humour. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. Thank you!

Find EVAQ8 on social media, like and follow us!

join EVAQ8.co.uk on facebook  follow EVAQ8.co.uk on twitter  join EVAQ8.co.uk on google+  discover and share EVAQ8 on pininterest  explore EVAQ8.co.ok on You Tube

Emergency Preparedness and Resilience QUOTES | inspirational series 2

Inspirational and motivational quotes can bring about positive behaviour change.

Concerning the need for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, this can be a life saver!

That is why I and my team choose inspirational and motivational quotes as one amongst a number of strategies (i.e. Emergency Preparedness Cartoons, 30days30waysUK) to raise awareness for emergency and disaster preparedness in the UK; i.e. via this blog and on social media such as twitter @EVAQ8_news and facebook @EVAQ8.co.uk

Relevant social media hashtags are i.e. #ResilienceQuotes #PreparednessQuotes #PreparedPics #MondayMotivation, #InspirationTuesday, #ThurdayThoughts …

We thought it handy to put our quotescollection so far in on place so here it is below. Series 1 has 16 emergency preparedness and resilience quotes; this series 2 has another 15 resilience quotes. Enjoy browsing and feel free to leave us a comment. Any personal favourites?

Monika

If you’re new to Emergency Preparedness, start at the Preparedness Hub. For more Resilience Blog use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation; and remember follow us on social media for much more.

join EVAQ8.co.uk on facebook  follow EVAQ8.co.uk on twitter  join EVAQ8.co.uk on google+  discover and share EVAQ8 on pininterest  explore EVAQ8.co.ok on You Tube

17 Prepare for the unknown by studying how others have coped with the unforeseen and unpredicted in the past (attributed to General G.S. Patton)
Prepare for the unknown by studying how others have coped with the unforeseen and unpredicted in the past (attributed to General G.S. Patton) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
18 Today is an opportunity to get better prepared and resilient. Don’t waste it. (anon)
oday is an opportunity to get better prepared and resilient. Don't waste it. (anon) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
19 No one is born prepared but every day you can make a little progress. Focus, learn a new skill, get the right tools – make a difference. (anon)
No one is born prepared but every day you can make a little progress. Focus, learn a new skill, get the right tools - make a difference. (anon) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
20 Preparedness is like breathing. If you don’t, you perish. (anon)
Preparedness is like breathing. If you don't, you perish. (anon) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
21 Ready are you? What know you of ready? (Yoda, Star Wars character)
Ready are you? What know you of ready? (Yoda, Star Wars character) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
22 Better to have and not need than to need and not have. (Franz Kafka, writer)
Better to have and not need than to need and not have. (Franz Kafka, writer) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
23 Worrying about the past or the future isn’t productive. Getting better prepared is. (anon)
Worrying about the past or the future isn't productive. Getting better prepared is. (anon) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
24 Make preparations in advance – you never have trouble if you are prepared for it (Theodore Roosevelt, American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer)
Make preparations in advance - you never have trouble if you are prepared for it (Theodore Roosevelt, American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
25 Prepare today – thrive tomorrow. (anon)
Prepare today - thrive tomorrow. (anon) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
26 A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions. (Proverbs 27:12)
A prudent person forsees the danger ahead and takes precautions. (Proverbs 27:12) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
27 Bad things do happen in the world, like war, natural disasters, disease. But out of those situations always arise stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. (Daryn Kagan, American broadcast journalist)
Bad things do happen in the world, like war, natural disasters, disease. But out of those situations always arise stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. (Daryn Kagan, American broadcast journalist) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
28 Because you never know when the day before is the day before. Prepare for tomorrow. (Bobby Akart, author)
Because you never know when the day before is the day before. Prepare for tomorrow. (Bobby Akart, author) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
29 Preparedness is a race we can all win (anon)
Preparedness is a race we can all win (anon) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
30 In fair weather prepare for foul. (Thomas Fuller, English churchman and historian)
In fair weather prepare for foul. (Thomas Fuller, English churchman and historian) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
31 Let us not go over the old ground – let us rather prepare for what is to come. (Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer)
Let us not go over the old ground - let us rather prepare for what is to come. (Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk

That’s it so far 🙂 Thirty-one Preparedness and Resilience quotes, one for every day. We hope you enjoyed the collection.

For more Resilience Blog use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For more on Emergency+Disaster Preparedness head over to our FREE resources at the Preparedness Hub.

If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. Thank you!

join EVAQ8.co.uk on facebook  follow EVAQ8.co.uk on twitter  join EVAQ8.co.uk on google+  discover and share EVAQ8 on pininterest  explore EVAQ8.co.ok on You Tube

Emergency Preparedness and Resilience QUOTES | inspirational series 1

Inspirational and motivational quotes can bring about positive behaviour change. Concerning the need for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, this can be a life saver!

That is why I and my team choose inspirational and motivational quotes as one amongst a number of strategies (i.e. Emergency Preparedness Cartoons, contribution to 30days30waysUK) to raise awareness for emergency and disaster preparedness in the UK; i.e. via this blog and on social media such as twitter @EVAQ8_news and facebook @EVAQ8.co.uk

Relevant social media hashtags are i.e. #ResilienceQuotes #PreparednessQuotes #PreparedPics #MondayMotivation, #InspirationTuesday, #ThurdayThoughts …

We thought it handy to put the collection so far in on place so here it is below. Series 1 has 16 emergency preparedness and resilience quotes; series 2 has another 15 resilience quotes so far. Enjoy browsing and feel free to leave us a comment. Any personal favourites?

Monika

If you’re new to Emergency Preparedness, start at the Preparedness Hub. For more Resilience Blog use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation; and remember follow us on social media for much more.

join EVAQ8.co.uk on facebook  follow EVAQ8.co.uk on twitter  join EVAQ8.co.uk on google+  discover and share EVAQ8 on pininterest  explore EVAQ8.co.ok on You Tube

01 Preparedness is the calm before, during and after the storm. (anon)
Preparedness is the calm before, during and after the storm. (anon) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
02 Every person who prepares is one less person who panics in a crisis. (attributed to Mike Adamson, British Red Cross)
Every person who prepares is one less person who panics in a crisis. (attributed to Mike Adamson, British Red Cross) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk

03 Preparedness is the ultimate confidence builder. (Vince Lombardi, American football legend)Preparedness is the ultimate confidence builder. (Vince Lombardi, American football legend) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk

 

04 By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail. (Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States)By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail. (Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk

 

05 Private sector preparedness is not a luxury, it is a cost of doing business in the post 9/11 world. It is ignored at a tremendous potential cost in lives, money and national security.” (The 9/11 Commission Report | Business Preparedness, Security)

Private sector preparedness is not a luxury, it is a cost of doing business in the post 9/11 world. It is ignored at a tremendous potential cost in lives, money and national security.

 

06 The future belongs to those who prepare for it. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, lecturer, and poet)The future belongs to those who prepare for it. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, lecturer, and poet) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk

 

07 There is no harm in hoping for the best as long as you are prepared for the worst. (Stephen King, author)There is no harm in hoping for the best as long as you are prepared for the worst. (Stephen King, author) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk

 

08 Prepare and prevent, don’t repair and repent (anon)Prepare and prevent, don't repair and repent (anon) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk

 

09 Winter is coming… (Ned Stark, Game of Thrones Character) Winter is coming... (Ned Stark, Game of Thrones Character) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk

 

10 Resilience is a culture of preparedness (attributed to the Center for Strategic & International Studies)Resilience is a culture of preparedness (attributed to the Center for Strategic & International Studies) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk

 

11 Preparation through education is less costly than learning through tragedy (Max Mayfield, meteorologist and director of the National Hurricane Center)Preparation through education is less costly than learning through tragedy (Max Mayfield, meteorologist and director of the National Hurricane Center)

 

12 Always be prepared, expect the unexpected (anon)Always be prepared, expect the unexpected (anon) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk

 

13 Optimism bias is a well known psychological phenomenon that causes a person to believe that they are less at risk of experiencing a negative event compared to others. Don’t be fooled – be prepared.Optimism bias is a well known psychological phenomenon that causes a person to believe that they are less at risk of experiencing a negative event compared to others. Don't be fooled - be prepared. (psychology) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk

 

14 Preparedness substitutes negative feelings, fear and depression with positive actions for a more secure future (anon)Preparedness substitutes negative feelings, fear and depression with positive actions for a more secure future (anon) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk

 

15 Tough times don’t last. Tough and prepared people do. (Robert H. Schuller, Amercian pastor)Tough times don't last. Tough and prepared people do. (Robert H. Schuller, Amercian pastor) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk

16 Wishing won’t keep you safe, preparedness will (anon)

Wishing won't keep you safe, preparedness will (anon) | Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Quotes - EVAQ8.co.uk
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Welcome to 2017 – be prepared, not scared

Be prepared, not scared. No kidding!

image: huffingtonpost (http://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/scalefit_630_noupscale/5865938f1500002c0091668c.png)And I’m being entirely practical, not sarcastic (and truthful) like the BBC’s Charlie Brooker’s 2016 wipe  nor pragmatic (and accurate) like the Guardian’s  Climate change in 2016: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

If I were to answer Sarah Marsh’s appeal What is giving you hope for 2017 then I would say that:

finally, emergency preparedness is going mainstream in the UK

No, I’m not talking ‘prepper’, they’ve been at it for many years and are mentioned in this blog elsewhere (use the search function if you’re interested). I’m talking main stream embracing emergency preparedness: regular households, small and medium sized businesses, schools and other communities, even places of worship.  That is, truly, encouraging and very timely.

Today, the BBC highlighted that Terrorism ‘first-aid training [is] needed’ , mentioning the

launch of a new app called CitizenAid

Citizenaid APP | Image source http://citizenaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/phonestuff-540x308.jpgIt aims to be a guide for ‘Public Immediate Actions for multiple casualties from shooting, stabbing or a bombing’. In other words, a practical extension for everyone and following on from last year’s ‘run, tell, hide’ campaign by the government. For more on that see “what are invacuation, lock-down and shelter in place” (not just for business). Other highly useful UK preparedness apps include the Met Office weather app and the British Red Cross Emergency app. FloodAlerts is not an app just yet but you can bookmark it in your phone’s browser. But back to Citizen Aid and their app which works even offline

Their brand new website asks an excellent question at this time of the year:

Why not start 2017 with a resolution to be prepared?

Needless to say, I think that’s a very good idea so do download their and the other apps but don’t stop there. If you’re reading this then you certainly are in the perfect place to start properly with emergency preparedness. It’s easy: simply begin at our preparedness hub and browse from there. You will find lots of very useful free resources as well as reliable, cost-effective products that help you get equipped and be better prepared. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, well, we specialise in custom kits so check that out. Follow us on social media and keep updated (facebook, twitter). That’s your preparedness sorted. As for me, I’m particularly excited this year to contribute designing a much bigger and better ‘September is Preparedness Month’ campaign ‘30days30waysUK’ which is beginning to take shape as I write this as well as piloting a brand new ISO/British Standard on Business Preparedness; more on all this later. For now, I leave you with my best wishes for safe and happy New Year and an

easy solution to your New Year’s resolution to be better prepared:

get a kit – make a plan – be prepared; start today!  

Monika  

 thank you for sharing, raising awareness for Emergency Preparedness!

 

Emergency Preparedness Cartoon EVAQ8 Jan 2017For more EVAQ8 blog simply use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For FREE resources head over to our Preparedness Hub and find out why we use humour. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. Thank you!

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Resilience and Preparedness Roadblocks: what stops us?

updated 14Sep2016

Next month, September is National Preparedness Month (NPM or NatlPrep) in the US with many campaigns to raise public awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. Here in the UK, year on year, regular local events (ie the #30days30waysUK2016 September campaign) are also becoming more numerous and around November the EA (and related bodies) raise awareness for National Flood Preparedness. For me this is encouraging to witness for I believe that awareness and engagement for preparedness has still some way to go. More individual and community action is needed to build a robust culture of preparedness and resilience.

What are the stumbling blocks? Why aren’t we all much better prepared?

Despite the best intentions most of us fail to do enough, unless you’ve been personally affected in the past, for example during the recent floods.

Why is that? Where does this apathy and narrow shortsightedness come from?

source: http://d.ibtimes.co.uk/en/full/1362238/aerial-flooding-01.jpg

Well, I recently read Robert Clifford’s interesting article in The New Scientist “The road to climate hell” and was struck just how easily his analysis also applies to preparedness.

Richard identified 33 ‘dragons’, a metaphor for obstacles or ‘drag-on’ processes that stop us engaging and taking action. Robert’s approach is such a brilliant way to illustrate complex topics that I hope he won’t mind me borrowing and adapting for preparedness.  

1st Dragon family : limited cognition

    • antiquated brains, old hardware and energy conserving software that  have not changed much in 30’000 years. Rather than engage in effort-full anticipation and planning we tend to operate in the comfortable and easy ‘here now’ mode – and that simply makes us slow to act
    • ignorance is bliss they say but not for long and we all should heed Benjamin Franklin who poignantly stated “by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail” . Not only do we tend ignore the necessity for preparedness, we often simply do not know what to do and how to go about it. To make matters worse, preparedness is not simply one thing but means different things to different people at different times and also depending on context. Just exactly what the right kind of preparedness is only you can determine (i.e. by starting at our preparedness info hub and begin making your Emergency Preparedness Plan)
    • uncertainty is tricky to navigate, especially in today’s world of ambiguous messages and unpredictable events. Confusion or underestimation may lead to inaction.
    • numbness from complexity overload in today’s environments that we can no longer wholly grasp. Action is unlikely if a dangerous phenomenon or scenario is seen as not immediately causing personal difficulties
    • discounting, a well-known bias or tendency to undervalue future and distant risk
    • optimism bias: I’ll be fine. No, it won’t affect me. I will manage…  
    • fatalism: it’s out of my hands. There is nothing I can do …. confirmation bias: people tend to read and watch media that reinforces their beliefs rather than challenges and educates
    • time is money: when viewing their available time in monetary terms, people tend to skip careful preparedness planning and investments in resources/skills as there is no immediate and clear ‘return-on-investment’
    • perceived inability: preparedness may require extra resources including knowledge, skill or abilities not everyone possesses. Unless there is a physical or mental disability however, most people are capable to reach at least a minimum level of preparedness and connect to wider networks of community resilience

In the article, Richard goes on to discuss six more Dragon Families; i.e. ideologies, various belief systems that inhibit behaviour social comparison, three aspects of a deeply ingrained human tendency dis-credence, four ways of how people stop engaging when thinking ill of others limited behaviours, and …   

Dragon family ‘perceived risk’ – particularly relevant to preparedness

Perceptions linked to risks that may become particularly persistent ‘drag-ons of inaction’

    • Functional risk: will it work? For example: “The kit I just bought, can I rely on it?” You can if you bought it from us for our promise is “ If we stock it – You can depend on it in an emergency”. Functional risk at a personal level is trickier. The best answer is continuous training and active exercising of your preparedness plans
    • Physical risk: will I get hurt? Preparedness may involve special skills training so there may be certain risks.
    • Financial risk: rather than asking is it worth getting prepared and equipped ask “can I afford not to?”  
    • Social risk: other people may notice your commitment to preparedness and may tease although this is becoming less common. Nowadays understanding is growing and prepared people are becoming role models for community resilience.
    • Psychological risk: you may be teased or criticised for preparing – that is short term. You will, however, build confidence in your capacities and further your personal resilience – that is long term.
    • Temporal risk: the time you invest in planning and preparing may be seen as ‘failing to produce results’. That of course depends on what ‘results’ means to you but in preparedness this is most certainly never the case. Any and all preparedness efforts are never wasted and hopefully you will never have to test them all to the full.

 The good part in all this? All these inner/perceptual dragons of inaction can be slain. You’ve already started by simply reading and thinking about them. And so I leave you with an image of the quintessential Dragon Slayer St. George who is the patron saint not only of England but also of Aragon, Catalonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Germany and Greece; and of Moscow, Istanbul, Genoa and Venice (second to SaintMark) and who has in recent years been adopted as patron saint of Scouts. source: https://web.archive.org/web/20160701211712/https://jbailey2013.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/wikimedia-st-_george_and_the_dragon.jpg Have a great week and good start to September – make it a Preparedness month for yourself, your loved ones and your wider communities. And if you want to delve a little deeper, watch this brilliant VIDEO by The Royal Society, an animation and briefing on unconscious bias adapted by Professor Uta Frith

Monika   thank you for sharing, raising awareness for Emergency Preparedness!

For more EVAQ8 blog simply use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For FREE resources head over to our Preparedness Hub and find out why we use humour. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. Thank you!

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UK Community Resilience – a brilliant example of what really works

source: http://www.toimg.net/managed/images/10188817/w660/h370/image.jpg

A couple of posts ago when talking about heatwaves I casually mentioned some exciting developments in how EVAQ8 is getting involved in Community Resilience in England’s largest county. If you thought Yorkshire you were right. Actually, I was referring to North Yorkshire, with 3212 square miles of glorious landscape and many diverse communities one of the most fascinating places in the UK – or so I think, impatient to explore and take my camera up north at the next opportunity.

But let me start at the beginning and introduce you to the simply brilliant North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum or NYLRF team. They are doing something new and amazing:  they’ve come up with a robust plan to engage their local people pro-actively with Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.

The best bit is: their strategy is really working and I am thrilled and honored to share these developments with you as we go along. For this is where all this gets really exiting: it is an active work in progress right now which means we are at the very forefront of some pretty ground-breaking stuff:

the NYLRF Community Emergency Plan Scheme

Preparedness & Planning – first some background: why, who, where and what

The ‘why’ is easy: it’s the law. Since 2004 under the Civil Contingency’s Act, Category 1 responders have a duty to prepare and plan for emergencies. There are 38 Local Resilience Forums in England and 5 in Wales which are at the core of the national network that also includes ReadyScotland and Northern Ireland Civil Contingencies Branch.

Not only must the LRFs warn and inform the public, they also must promote preparedness and resilience to businesses (Business Continuity) and to the public in general. Naturally it’s a bit more complex than that but for my purposes here that about covers the who, where and what. However, I’ve not touched on the concept of Community Resilience everyone is talking about these days just yet. So….

What is ‘Community Resilience’ and how does it tie in with Preparedness and Planning?

Definitions are important as they help make a concept practical which in turn triggers policy changes and the flow of resources (see earlier post What Disaster, Why Preparedness).  So let’s start with ‘Community’: that is simply a group of people either living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common1. The theory2 goes (and it’s quite intuitive really) that well prepared – meaning informed and equipped – individuals, families, neighborhoods, workplaces, faith organisations etc. that closely interact are better capable of mobilizing resources for response and recovery. Or in other words:

Resilience is based on a culture of preparedness                                             (Ready Scotland, 2013)

So far it is quite straight forward but now it gets trickier because ‘Community Resilience’ as a concept means many things to many people and there is a considerable ongoing debate. Rather than bore you to tears let me simply state that I found the CARRI Report definition (2013, p10) one of the most useful:

Community resilience is the capability to anticipate risk, limit impact and bounce back rapidly through survival, adaptability, evolution and growth in the face of turbulent change.

source: http://www.laresilience.org/images/community-resilience-ovals.pngWhat I particularly like is the focus on capability. It implies inherent and latent capacities. It also ties neatly to preparedness which is not just about needs and liabilities but also about assets. In my view this creates an empowering shift and starting point to mobilize engagement which, given the right momentum, may overcome even learnt helplessness and apathy. Thus

Community Resilience is

  • an inherent and dynamic community property
  • a community adaptation to adversity that leads to positive outcomes with respect to community functionality
  • a way to compare communities in terms of their ability to adapt

(Pfefferbaum et al, 2015)

Community Resilience: right input – right output/engagement

Community Resilience efforts are time and relationship intensive (Houston, 2015). However, it does not need to be complicated. Committed leadership is crucial and with this we are back to our story and the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum Team.  So, what happened?

Earlier this year NYLRF put an upgraded strategy in place.

The right ingredients for Community Resilience – a Success Story and Model approach

Having identified parishes as one of their key target communities, NYLRF adapted their existing scheme with an ambitious set of incentives which made the following assets available to their parishes:

  • free practical resources: Emergency Kit (comprehensive resources including winter preparedness that were specifically designed by NYLRF and EVAQ8) and a reduced cost defibrillator (Yorkshire Ambulance)
  • free information: comprehensive resources and templates to aid in preparing plans as well as warning and informing the local community
  • free training: British Red Cross first aid training and Yorkshire Ambulance Service defibrillator training for the community

This NYLRF Community Emergency Plan scheme not only provides the perfect mix of practical support (information, practical templates and kit, valuable training), it also ticks all the right boxes from the point of view of the latest research and good practice; it represents

  • focus on community engagement
  • bio-ethical principles, ie. autonomy, beneficence
  • emphasizing assets and needs in a multi-hazard approach relevant to the local context
  • encouraging skills and development

(Pfefferbaum et al, 2015)

So, it’s no surprise that  NYLRF is highly successful in promoting and building community resilience!

Just how successful I will share with you next time when I write more about their current impact, what other types communities may also benefit and about other strategies such as NYLRF’s pro-active participation in key promotional events .

In the meantime, please feel free to check out the North Yorkshire website,  (twitter @NYorksPrepared ), the additional resources/references listed below and resources through our info gateway Emergency Plan.

How resilient is your community?

Have a great week.

Monika

[edited to add: part 2 of the story has now been published; or simply look under the category ‘Yorkshire Model’].


thank you for sharing and helping raise awareness for Community Resilience and Preparedness!

References / Resources

  • 1 Oxford Dictionary | might seem trivial but it is important. There are many different kinds of communities with specific and unique preparedness requirements;  something I will explore later
  • 2 Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological theory of development and resilience (Boon et al, 2012 in Prior and Hagmann, 2014;)
  • – Houston, Brian (2015) Bouncing Forward: Assessing Advances in Community Resilience Assessment, Intervention and Theory to Guide Future Work; American Behavioral Scientist, 2015, Vol.59(2), pp.175-180
  • – Pfefferbaum, Betty; Pfefferbaum, Rose and Van Horn, Richard (2015) Community Resilience Interventions: Participatory, Assessment-Based, Action-Oriented Processes.  American Behavioral Scientist February 2015 59: 238253, first published online on September 22, 2014 doi:10.1177/0002764214550298
  • – Prior, Timothy and Hagmann, Jonas (2014)  Measuring resilience: methodological and political challenges of a trend security concept, Journal of Risk Research, 2014, Vol.17(3), p.281-298

For more EVAQ8 blog simply use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For FREE resources head over to our Preparedness Hub and find out why we use humour. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. Thank you!

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Fitness & Resilience – just how physically fit are you and why does it matter?

source: https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Handlers/ArticleImageHandler.ashx?id=6534&index=0&w=605&h=434What a glorious weekend after the violent thunderstorms on Friday. I wish I could be out there with friends and family rock climbing near Portland. Instead, in support of our daughter sitting A-level exams next week, I am home bound, exercising …. well, this is precisely where I want to begin today’s resilience blog post.
Exerting my imagination, dissolving this grey-white WordPress screen into majestic sea cliffs, my fingers racking up miles typing at speed while trying to come up with a way to bridge the massive gap in my initial post on what is resilience – none of this, of course, counts as fitness. And that is, obviously, not only essential for health but also a core capacity in resilience, one glaringly omitted in my earlier post. Psychology focussed approaches to resilience by their very nature tend to ‘get stuck’ in aspects of mental fitness/health and thus only perpetuate the already pervasive mind-body dualisms. Resilience on the other hand addresses and integrates much wider and diverse topics and, naturally, must include physical fitness. But why exactly and what is the evidence?

Mastering Physical Challenges builds Strength and Resilience

Physical training – exercise –  is good for your health. Yes, that’s nothing new and you’ve heard it all before but there is a crucial qualifier: if done right – but that’s not all. source: http://examinedexistence.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/good-vs-bad-stress.jpgIt’s rather tricky actually and quite a bit of a paradox for you have to challenge and tax yourself yet not overly so, remaining sensitive to personal limits. It’s no easy task to continually hit your personal Goldilocks’ sweet spot of ‘just right’ especailly as it changes over time and with context.

The evidence in favor of exercise is of course pretty strong:  numerous studies have repeatedly shown that physical fitness enhances general health, may prevent or reduce the debilitating effects of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and a plethora of other chronic disorders. In addition, mastering physical challenges can improve mood, cognition and emotional resilience.

To illustrate, let’s go a bit extreme and take a closer look at Philpott’s (2002) study of the Vietnam War veteran Jim Thompson, America’s longest-held prisoner of war.

Resilience + Physical Fitness Case Study: Extreme Survival in Captivity with the ‘Daily Dozen’

The story starts with Lew Meyer, a civilian firefighter working for the military in South Vietnam. He was captured in 1968 along with twelve others and, after a five month long arduous march, imprisoned in solitary confinement in a dark 8-by-4 foot cell. Meyer exercised whenever possible even when feeling tired or weak, jogging in tiny circles around his cell or doing isometric exercises (see Often Forgotten Isometric Excerices). He continued his routines even when shackled in leg locks, substituting sit-ups for squat jumps and jumping jacks. When he was transferred to a larger cell with roommates, Meyer increased his routines and included his cellmates. At the height of his training Meyer could do 64 one-arm push-ups! One year into captivity they received another cellmate: Jim Thompson, a Green Beret, starved and tortured for five years, weighed less than 100 pounds.

“This guy is dead, I thought… I didn’t know how he stood up, how he breathed, how he did anything…. It took him half an hour to stand… talk about a gutsy guy” (Meyer in Philpott, 2002).

On their first morning together, Thompson tried to join Meyer but was too weak. He could not do a single push-up. Meyer adapted his routine and gradually coached Thompson back to health. Initially, Thompson could only tolerate deep breathing exercises. Then some bending and stretching. Within six month, Thompson completed the daily dozen and that was just the beginning. In time, the two men devised an escape plan. They planned and trained for over a year, making their exercise routine more and more challenging. Stacking their beds on top of each another, they ran laps around their tiny cell. As a group, they held ‘Iron Man’ type contests, one cellmate winning with a count of 501 push-ups, another with 1615 sit-ups. Strenuous exercise was not just a hobby or a way to pass time for these POW’s. It was a necessity. They felt better and slept better; it provided structure and purpose to their days which enhanced confidence. It saved their lives. Meyer describes how other prisoners who did not make any physical effort “all ended up dying within a few years after release.”
This story is undoubtedly extraordinary and quite outside normal life.  However….

Physical Exercise builds Resilience in Civilians too

You do not need to be faced with severely stressful circumstances to benefit from exercise. The Mayo Clinic lists 7 benefits of regular physical excercicse  which shows that exercising be fun but it boosts your energy, improves mood, helps manage weight, combats chronic disease, promotes better sleep and it even may improve your sex life.
As if that was not incentive enough, there is even more to consider about…

Exercise, Resilience and Neurogenesis in the Brain

Aerobic exercises can have stress-protective, anti-depressive and anxiety-reducing effects in two ways through neurobiological and hormonal pathways. First, exercise increasource: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/files/2013/05/BrainFitnessLifecycle_CP.jpgses the concentrations of neurotransmitters in the brain such as endorphins that improve mood and serotonin and dopamine that lessen depression. It can also enhance neurogenesis, the making of new brain cells by turning on relevant genes. Second, regular exercise can protect against hormonal effects of chronic stress by dampening the HPA axis and lowering cortisol production which means that the brain is less exposed to this this neuron damaging stress hormone. However, not all studies agree and some have reported negative effects which may point towards the complexities of individual differences, flagging up my earlier point about the importance of tailored ‘sensible’ exercise, finding what is ‘just right’ for you and staying sensitive to that this may change over time. So you will be asking at this stage…

How can I use Exercise to increase my Resilience?

I have some tough but also plenty of encouraging news and, importantly, plenty of practical resources for you as is the norm of this blog. Building resilience typically means that you have to go beyond simply ‘routine maintenance’ exercises to fully tap the ‘good stressor’ effect of physical exercise. You have to challenge yourself – but sensibly so. First, I suggest you check out MindTools Stress Management including the Holmes & Rahe Stress Scale as tools to gain a better insight into good/bad and hidden stress you may never have even thought about. Next, have a look at the NHS’s How Fit Are You self-test or another good resource is the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Fitness Calculator.  Of course these are no substitutes for getting professional advice from health care and fitness professionals, but it’s a start. One strategy to tap your optimal physical stress level is known simply as “stress inoculation” – first studied by Lyons&Parker (2007). It involves continually pushing the healthy limits of physical strength and endurance. Don’t confuse this with Stress Innoculation Training (SIT) which is a highly successful psychological method of cognitive restructuring (a form of CBT) to deal with mental stress which I will address in a later post. For the moment I want to stay at the physical level and one way of measuring fitness/stress is via your heart rate.

Your heart rate as indicator and how to calculate ceiling and floor for effective exercise

One commonly used way is to first calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. According to the Center for Disease Control, at 50-70% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) lies what is called the moderate intensity heart zone so you calculate

MHR x 0.50  and MHR x 0.70 = floor/ceiling  moderate intensity heart zone

The resulting number represents your optimal heart rate range for moderate intensity exercise such as a brisk walk, water aerobics, doubles tennis, dancing or gardening.
To reach the vigorous intensity heart zone you will have to exercise at 70-85% MHR; so take

MHR x 0.70  and MHR x 0.85 = floor/ceiling vigorous intensity heart zone

Exceeding 85% MHR will not provide any additional benefits and may place an unhealthy amount of strain on your body.

Also, please note that these calculations are only estimates and may vary considerably from person to person also with ethnicity and especially if you are on certain medication or suffer from heart related conditions. Always seek medical advice before embarking on a rigorous physical training programme.
In addition, keep in mind that the above is rather simplistic. Other methods (i.e. see TopEndSports) not only consider your MHR or HRmax, but also monitor your resting heart rate HRrest which gets lower as a result of your heart becoming a more efficient pump through regular exercise. Also, sport organizations such as British Cycling have more sophisticated measures that do not simply start from a ‘generic’ maximum heart rate calculation but more accurately use an individual’s performance as a baseline to calculate several distinct training zones. Do some research and talk to sports professionals that can advise and find out what makes sense for you.

Pysical Exercise and Resilience – other considerations and useful tips

Naturally, this topic is a losource: http://www.inspirewomensfitness.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/fitness-quote-inspiration.jpgt more complex than can be crammed into a single blog post. You must consider other important questions related to physical fitness such as:  is it best for you to exercise alone or with others (or a bit of both), should you hire a trainer so that you can learn proper exercise technique and what about cross-training, combining exercises of multiple disciplines?

There are many excellent books on these topics and information is also available online from reputable sources. However, don’t get stuck and buried in literature. Much more important is to go and just do –  explore fitness actively. Although building physical fitness and personal resilience takes planning, consistency, perseverance and the willingness to live with discomfort it also based on simple drive and desire.
And so, before I go for a long and brisk walk myself now, enjoying familiar views of Fulham and Putney along the Thames rather than the more spectacular cliffs of Portland which will have to wait for another time, I leave you with some final tips on how to start your new exercise regimen, on how to build and expand your personal resilience:

  • learn as much about your body and physical fitness as you can to improve your understanding and find new ways of well being
  • check and discuss with your health professional before starting an exercise program
  • try as many different exercises as you can and consider the benefits of cross-training
  • set realistic goals and stick to them flexibly. Log your workouts to track your progress and celebrate success
  • if a 150 minute/week workout is too challenging, start small and break it down; i.e. British Heart Foundation “Time to get moving” or see videos like Dr Dave’s Daily Dozen Exercises Isometric Arms you can do while sitting at your desk
  • consider working with an experienced trainer as you build and expand your fitness
  • gradually increase the intensity of your cardiovascular and strength training but sensibly so
  • allow for proper recovery between sessions
  • practise healthy eating and sleeping habits
  • find friends and family to support and join
  • notice and focus on the positive feelings and greater sense of capacity and self-esteem you are building through exercise and try to reach a point where physical fitness simply becomes part of who you are

Have a great weekend.
Monika

 


thank you for sharing, raising awareness for Emergency Preparedness!

 

Cited resources and additional references:

  • British Army Fitness App / MOD: Get fit for the army (PDF)
  • British Heart Foundation: How your heart works
  • Lyons, D.M. & Parker, K.J. (2007) Stress inoculation-induced indications of resilience in monkeys. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 20, 423-433
  • Philpott, T. (2002) Glory denied: The saga of Vietnman veteran Jim Thompson, America’s longest held prisoner of war. New York, NY: Plume Books
  • Stress Management Toolkit for Employers PDF (+ more from HSE Gov UK)
  • The official British Army fitness programme (Guardian article and links)
    US Army Physical Fitness Manual FM21-20; PDF accessed 5/6/15
  • Whitfield, B.e. (2013) A Historical Review and Analysis of Army Physical Readiness Training and Assessment. Combat Studies Institute Press, US Army Combined Arms Center Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (PDF accessed 5/6/15)

 

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Resilience and the importance of Role Models in providing road maps

My last post briefly looked at how older people – I like the term ‘elders’ rather than the usual descriptor ‘the elderly – are not simply a passive risk group but should be viewed and treated as active agents and potential assets in Emergency Preparedness. I mentioned how their decades-long experiences can contribute to being able to find and build on optimism and today I’d like to expand on this by looking at the importance of role models in resilience. Traditionally, role models tend to be seen as older people one looks up (often relatives) to but of course this is only a limited view. Nowadays it is easier than ever to find positive role models of all ages and backgrounds across a many diverse areas.

Everybody needs resilient, positive role models – not just children

Last January when this blog started, I introduced you to Emmy Werner and Ruth Smith who ran one of the first longitudinal resilience studies (see the Resilience – Nature or Nurture post ). They reported what has been confirmed many times since:

resilient individuals have role models whose beliefs, attitudes and behaviours inspire them

Research in teens repeatedly shows that those with role models have a better attitude towards school, better grades and attendance, greater maturity and better mental health with less depression and anxiety (Southwick et al, 2006) . Surely it’s no stretch to claim the same is true for adults of all ages. From where I stand, I see it as only natural that we can all benefit from encouragement from mentors and role models whose behaviour – words and action – motivate and inspire us to continue to learn, adapt and grow. Where children initially learn right and wrong as a foundations of morality, as teens and adults we continue to hone our skills to control impulses, delay gratification and find as well as create healing for ourselves and others.

Your Role Models – who inspires you and why?

some role modelsHow about you? Where do you draw your role models from?

You’ll laugh when I tell you that, personally, I can think back to a long string of personal heroes beginning with – unsurprisingly for my era – Wonder Woman. Yes – ‘oh dear’ indeed! I am no closer to being like her now than back then nor would I ever want to be – and not simply because of  body image and wardrobe issues.

However, Wonder Woman along with many of my real world heroes (i.e. in no particular order Henry Dunant, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, Shunmyo Masuno, May Sarton, Malala Yousafzai) continue to inspire me to connect, never lose interest, courage and the ability to question but also accept.

Role Models do not have to be older, wiser or perfect

Role models do not have to be perfect – actually quite the opposite holds, I believe. Everyone has their own unique strengths and weaknesses which, unlike flawless fiction super heroes, make them authentic and human and therefore much more valuable in that they are real and accessible. Have you heard of the Well Child Awards and the Pride of Britain Awards? Well, you probably have but for me, as a Swiss, this was certainly new. What a brilliant way to honour and highlight how everyday people do astonishing deeds to inspire us all, irrespective of age or background.

How role modelling works – more than just imitation

Imagination and imitation are powerful forms of learning and shape human behaviour. Throughout our lives we learn by imitating the patterns of thought and behaviour of those around us. Often we are completely unaware that we are doing such observational learning. It is not taught. Rather we simply pick it up merely by being exposed to others and the need to belong and fit in.

Matters are more complex, however, for example Bandura’s social learning theory (1977, 1986) holds that modelling involves more than simply mimicry, imitation or observational learning. He suggested that each person is able to integrate thoughts, values, behaviours and emotional reactions that resemble those of a role model but that it could be adapted to fit the particular personality and circumstances of the learner. Suppose, for example, that you know someone who always seems to handle complex and stressful situations with relative ease. You admire this resilient person and wonder how she or he does it. You intentionally begin to observe their behaviour over time and may notice patterns:

  • actively reaching out to others for help, support and assistance
  • adjusting personal pace to build in additional rest and recharge periods
  • upping diet with extra nutrition and taking additional exercise

This observed pattern you can now turn into a rule or model that you can modify for yourself for use during a variety of stressful situations. Doing so and keeping sensitive to what works best for you, you will develop and enhance your own personal resilience.

 What are the most effective ways of learning from Role Models?

Most people benefit from role models without being fully aware of the processes involved. You don’t need to make it into a science yourself but I believe that by taking a more active and conscious role will have benefits in that you learn quicker, can adapt and modify faster to what works best for you.

Like any new skill you start, begin by breaking it into smaller, more manageable chunks until you become better and more fluid at it:

  • observe the role model behaviour in a variety of settings over time
  • practise yourself in between observations for example by first imagining you possess a desired behaviour, attitude and personality style and then by role play (real life enactment is eventually required for successful imitation)
  • get feedback from someone you trust and that has a good eye. Such a person can point out similarities and differences between your behaviour and the behaviour you are attempting to model and may provide suggestion
  • patience! Don’t give up. Changing your behaviour to fall in line with what you consciously desire rather being driven on automatic takes perseverance

That it’s worth the effort is clear for you will gain immensely in realistic self-assurance and suffer considerably less from the inevitable anxieties that life throws us all.

Curiosity is key – acts of observing, listening, questioning, wondering and modelling. When you stay curious with an open mind and heart about your and other people’s worlds and our responses to shared experiences, then we can truly become role models for each another, building understanding and resilience for all of us.

Wishing you resilience building week full of illuminating observations.

Monika


thank you for sharing and helping raise awareness for Emergency Preparedness and Resilience!

 

References/Resources

  • -Southwick, S.M., Morgan, C.A., Vythilingam, M. & Charney, D. S. (2006). Mentors enhance resilience in at-risk children and adolescents. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 26 (4), 577-584.
  • Bandura, A. (1977) Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall
  • Bandura, A. (1986) Social foundations of thought and action: a social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall

For more EVAQ8 blog simply use the right hand navigation. For emergency kits and practical resources use the top navigation. For FREE resources head over to our Preparedness Hub and find out why we use humour. If you like this post, please share it to help raise awareness for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. Thank you!

Find EVAQ8 on social media, like and follow us!

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