Behavior in a State of Emergency
By Moshe Katz

Being in a state of war can be very traumatizing, especially for children. It is best to have some sort of psychological preparation.

It is important to understand the nature of the threat and how it can affect us.

Preparing in advance can give us a sense of knowing we can cope with it. In the event of a real attack, the drills will lessen the shock.

Families should assign tasks so that in an emergency situation everyone knows what they need to do, and everything gets done.

If all this is done, in a real emergency decisions and actions will take place faster and the whole procedure will feel calmer.

Everyone has different ways of coping with stress. In the case of missile attack, many have found that talking about the situation, including stories from previous wars and attacks, helps relieve tension. It is important not to neglect eating, drinking and regular sleeping patterns.

With children, try to maintain as much of the usual routine as possible; story time, bed time, etc. If a TV is available, it is best for children not to see images of destroyed homes or causalities.

Be especially sensitive to changes in their behavior. Talk with them and let them express their feelings and fears. Answer their questions in a way that they can understand and in a way that builds confidence and security. Let them know they can cope, that they are strong and brave.

Also remember that they are watching you; if you are calm, so will they.

Respect the Threat