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Hurricane Recovery: Steps to Start Putting Your Life Back in Order

It seems unreal, another major storm hitting Florida after experiencing four last year. The beginning of hurricane season, Floridians were just starting to get past the destructive events that caused many of people stress and even, depression. As Hurricane Dennis comes onshore, the upcoming hours, days, and months afterwards may be ones of disbelief and shock. There are ways to help get one?s life back in order after these type of predicaments.

Express your emotions when you feel them. If you feel urge to cry, give into it. It's probably the healthiest things you can do for your body as it looks for a way to release any build-up of tension. Don?t be surprised, too, if you seem to have your act together and then at the least expected moment, tears erupt again. Be kind and understanding with yourself whether others are or not.

Talk about your feelings, concerns, and fears. Be honest. Say them out loud to your family, friends, boss, and co-workers. If you can?t get the words out verbally, write them in a letter. You might be surprised that others feel exactly the way you do but were hesitant to express them.

Ask for help immediately. Let your ego step forward. Don?t keep your needs to yourself. Reduce as much stress as you can today. From a bottle of water to an extension on paying a bill, register with FEMA, call your insurance company, and contact your creditors as soon as possible. Getting these things out of the way gives you more energy to deal with other things

Accept help immediately. Now is not the time for pride to stand in the way. Those that offer help are usually in a place to do so are, or they probably wouldn't have extended their invitation in the first place. Take them up on their offer without excuses. Food, a place to stay, clothing, or transportation can again leave you with less to worry about right now. Worry about how to provide payback on any of this later when your life is back in order. You'll be in a better place to consider your thank- yous and they might end up being more what is needed by your benefactors anyway.

Life after a traumatic event such as a hurricane may be life-altering so expect some time to pass before you feel like yourself again. Remember that free professional help is available from government, church, and other charitable organizations at times like this. They were designed for moments like these.

Copyright 2005 Kathy Iwanowski. All Rights Reserved.

Kathy Iwanowski, a former cancer nurse and manager, creates art, speaks, and writes about creative living and work. She resides in Florida. Her articles, editorials, and reviews on art, business, creativity, and nursing subjects have been published in newsletters, ezines, and books in the United States.

To arrange for Kathy as a speaker for your next event or to find out more about her work, visit her website at

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