High-stress experiences with the Jones Fire anyone? Oh my, yes. So frightening for folks to evacuate their beloved homes and even for the people around the edges. And absolutely tragic for those that experienced losses.
Many people have said it was a good trial run for those of us who hadn’t quite gotten our go-gear together. Suddenly, there was no time like the present to get ‘er done. We will surely have more occasions to practice quick exits for safety. No telling what will be happening by the time this article goes to print.
Not only did the Jones Fire prompt our community to get our bags packed, it also gave us a practice session to see how spouses and partners functioned together to guide their families to safety.
Don’t feel bad if you and your partner didn’t quite get on the same team during the Jones crisis. You can use it as a chance to put your heads together now and review what went well and what left each of you feeling frustrated. Perfect opportunity to strengthen your team — just don’t wait too long since we all may need to execute our go-plans, pronto.
One of my favorite leaders in the field of couples therapy, Dr. Peter Pearson, has a great acronym about being a strong team. It goes like this. TEAM: Together Each Accomplishes More. This speaks to the benefits of functioning as a team. With an interdependent, synchronized plan, people are more efficient in getting it all done. Rather than encountering redundancies such as, I already packed the batteries, or more problematic, “I thought YOU were in charge of Squeaky, the pet rat.” Or worse yet, tragically getting separated in the midst of an event because you couldn’t agree on your course of action or never collaborated in the first place. Creating a strong team and hammering out your preparedness plan will bolster an effective means to safety.
Another beneficial feature of a strong couple team is the felt sense of security it provides. This extra bit of reassurance can help you pull-through during a crisis and avoid panic. It can feel like, “OK, we got this,” because you’ve put in the time and feel stronger together.
Let’s sum up to say a strong couple-team is effective, plus it makes you feel better.
So how do you create this invincible team? Here are some ideas to get on the same team and be ready to roll:
Research emergency preparedness. Here is just one of many available resources: https://www.readyforwildfire.org
Have designated discussions with your partner on your preparedness plan
Identify potential points of disagreement in plan execution
Listen to your partner’s point of view rather than habitually push your own agenda.
Consider adopting your partner’s suggestions when a plan feature feels vitally important to them and ask your partner to do the same when something feels crucially important to you.
After you have your discussions, document your plan, and share it with the children as a united front; this will extend the felt sense of security their way too.
With anxiety and tension looming in our lives, I can’t think of a better time than right now to strengthen your team. Rather than doomscrolling about the latest fires and feeling alone, helpless, and unprepared, you can join forces and become a stronger couple. Become a team and together, each, use this opportunity to accomplish more and be prepared to take your family to safety.
Meg Luce, M.S., is a Marriage and Family Therapist in Grass Valley specializing in helping couples create satisfying relationships. You can find her contact info at https://NevadaCountyTherapist.com
More: Meg Luce: Grab your go-bag and get on the same team
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