In a recent series of weather events, Barbados found itself struggling with the dual challenges of tropical storms and sweeping power outages. The island nation, renowned for its beautiful beaches and vibrant culture, was struck by a bout of severe weather that disrupted daily life for its residents and visitors.
These tropical storms, which were accentuated by multiple lightning strikes in succession for long periods of time, pounded the island, leading to power outages across most regions. The Barbados Light & Power Company (BLPC) worked tirelessly to restore electricity, but the severity of the strikes and storms hampered their efforts.
The Director of Meteorological Services, Sabu Best, warned residents to “stay indoors due to the thunderstorm hazards”. The island was placed under flash flood and thunderstorm warnings for most of the day, receiving up to two inches of rainfall, primarily in the southwest, west, and northern areas by noon.
“We had significant thunderstorm activity approaching from the southwest and west of the island,” the BLPC reported around noon. “Our lightning detector has detected just off the west coast, 130 to 140 lightning strikes every 15 minutes [and] over the island, around 11 to 12 lightning strikes, and that is on the increase.”
The relentless Barbados tropical storms and power outages have taken a toll on the community's mental health. The constant fear, sleepless nights, and distress caused by the storms have left residents anxious and overwhelmed. Such disasters can lead to increased stress levels, emphasizing the importance of emotional support and disaster resilience.
‘It’s normal for tropical storms and hurricanes to cause people to experience emotional distress. Feelings such as overwhelming anxiety, constant worrying, trouble sleeping, and other depression-like symptoms are common responses before, during, and after these types of storms. Other signs of emotional distress related to tropical storms and hurricanes include:
- Fearing that forecasted storms may develop into a hurricane even when the chances they will are low.
- Constant yelling or fighting with family and friends.
- Having thoughts, memories, or nightmares related to the storm that you can’t seem to get out of your head.
These are just a few warning signs of disaster-related distress. Learn more about warning signs and risk factors for emotional distress related to hurricanes and other disasters.’ (2 The Advanced Abuse and Mental Services Administration).
Sometimes our lives spin out of control. The reasons may be our own fault, or come through interactions with others, or may be incidents beyond our control.
In response to the recent storms and challenges in Barbados, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers guidance and solace through their Emergency Preparedness Program, Self-Reliance Program and through important addresses by prophets and apostles during their recent semi-annual General Conference.
President Russell M. Nelson, revered as their prophet, emphasized the need to increase our spiritual capacity and seek guidance from the Holy Ghost to navigate difficult times. He underscores the importance of this spiritual connection in facing life's trials.
Back in a conference address by President Russell M. Nelson in 2018, he warned about difficult upcoming events in our lives:
“But in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost. My beloved brothers and sisters, I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation.”