Hurricane Prep Tips & Links

LPB Professional Photo

Living in Florida my entire life, I’m used to watching the weather and I’m also used to keeping emergency supplies on hand year -round. Since we’re in nearing the height of Hurricane season, I’d like to share some hurricane preparation tips with you.

First, please know Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC and The Bravo Counseling Goup, LLC, will NEVER charge a late cancellation fee for someone who cannot get to the office for a scheduled appointment safely due to weather or weather-related concerns, i.e. flooding, downed power lines and so on. (Please see The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC’s “Severe Weather Policy” https://laurapeddiebravolmhc.com/2015/08/27/the-bravo-counseling-group-llc-severe-weather-policy/https://laurapeddiebravolmhc.com/2015/08/27/the-bravo-counseling-group-llc-severe-weather-policy/ for more details.) Your safety is my priority!

Here are some basic hurricane tips I’ve learned over the years:

  1. We usually have advanced warning of potentially severe weather. Decide now if you choose to stay or go somewhere else to ride out the storm. Note: if you live in an already flood-prone area, you may want to seriously consider leaving ahead of the storm.
  2. Arrange for someone (i.e. friend or family member) outside of the storm impact area to be your communication liaison to the rest of your loved ones. That person can keep everyone informed as to how you are doing.
  3. Make sure you have enough prescription or non-prescription medication, and enough water and food to last for — at the minimum — three days (for each person in your household).  Note: After Hurricane Charley, it took seven days to restore power to my family’s home.
  4. Have extra cash on hand. I rarely carry cash anymore, but think about all of the electronic ways we pay for things. If there’s no power, we will need cash to purchase gasoline, groceries, water, etc.
  5. Pets – please remember your pets and stock on on their food, medications, and water.
  6. If you have a yard, please pick up items that strong winds can turn them into projectiles. If you have a pool, you can sink your lawn furniture, etc., in the pool (so it doesn’t go flying through your or your neighbor’s windows).
  7. Have a battery powered radio so you can listen to weather alerts, i,e. tornado warnings. Many of us rely on our smart phones for everything but it’s a good idea to have an old fashioned AM/FM radio on hand (with extra batteries!)

Here are links to Hurricane planning resources:

Ready.Gov:  www.ready.gov/Hurricanes

FEMA: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/98105

The Weather Channel Hurricane Central, Storm Safety Tips: https://weather.com/storms/hurricane-central 

Local news resources for Central Florida:

Local Channel 2/WESH: http://www.wesh.com/

Local Channel 6/WKMG: https://www.clickorlando.com/

Local Channel 9 news/WFTV: http://www.wftv.com/

Local Channel 35 news/Fox Orlando: http://www.fox35orlando.com/

Local Radio Station Z88.3 FM 88.3: http://zradio.org/about/eas/

If you have any questions regarding whether or not it is safe to travel to a scheduled appointment, please never hesitate to contact your counselor or The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC at 407-222-6239. Your safety is the top priority!

About the author: Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor and the owner of The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC. The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC provides outpatient counseling to individuals, couples, and families in the Central Florida area. For any questions or to set up a complimentary phone call about counseling services, please call 407-222-6239. Your call will be returned as quickly as possible. Please note: commenting or messaging on any social media platform, i.e. a blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and so on, is not confidential. To ensure your confidentiality, please call 407-222-6939. Thank you!

No Need to Drink & Drive: AAA & Budweiser Continue To Offer The Tow-To-Go Program

Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC

For upcoming holidays, (most major holidays), AAA and Budweiser continue to partner with each other to offer the Tow-To-Go program. If you or a loved one are unable to drive, you can call for the Tow-To-Go program and obtain a FREE tow to your destination. There’s no need to drink and drive!

Upcoming Holidays for 2019:

St. Patrick’s Day March 17, Cinco De Mayo May 5, Memorial Day May 27, Independence Day, July 4th, Labor Day, September 2nd, Halloween, October 31, Thanksgiving, November 28th, and Christmas through New Year’s Eve, December 20th through January 2, 2020.

To access the program in Florida, please call: call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246 To learn more, you can click on the following link to go to AAA’s website:

AAA Safety Link

May you and yours enjoy a year of safe holidays!

LPB Portrait (best) 11-2017
Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC

Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC is the owner of The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC in Winter Park, FL.

5 Tips For How To Handle Being Alone During The Holidays

IMG_4891Whether through choice, death, or simply logistics, some find themselves alone during the holidays. While quite a few feel depressed due to this circumstance, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some suggestions to not just survive the holiday season, but to thrive!

1.) Volunteer. There are so many wonderful organizations that are in desperate need of volunteers. Volunteers can volunteer with babies, children, teens, adults or older adults or animals. If someone doesn’t want to volunteer face to face with strangers, there are plenty of behind the scenes ways to volunteer, i.e. administrative tasks. Here is just a short list of organizations to chose from: Hospitals, Assisted Living Facilities, Animal Shelters, Homeless Shelters, Political causes, and so much more. In Orlando, there are literally hundreds of charities that could use more volunteers. Volunteering and giving of ourselves is the best way to feel better. Additionally, new relationships will be created, and suddenly, one might find a social calendar teeming with new friends and activities.

2.) Ask. Most of us (not all, but most) have extended family that we could chose to be with during holidays. If your extended family doesn’t invite you to join them, (because they likely assume you already have plans), why not ask if you can join them? They will most likely say “yes” and perhaps apologize for not thinking to ask themselves.

3.) Remain active. Exercise/movement is especially important during the holiday season. We need sunlight, and getting outside to take a walk, go for a run, or a bike ride can help us feel better.

4.) Faith. Faith is huge. As a Christian, I could fill my entire calendar with my  church’s activities alone.  Some people don’t have a church, and there are various reasons for that. Churches are made up of fallible human beings (to borrow from Dr. Albert Ellis.) If you didn’t have a positive experience at one, you can try a different one. There are seeker friendly churches, churches that go more into depth, and “high” churches. Is your family from another country? There are Greek churches, Romanian churches, etc. What a great way to connect to your heritage and create some new relationships. If you live in a metropolitan area like Orlando, FL, every denomination represented. There are even churches which meet on our beaches! It can be fun to visit every single denomination, learn their differences, and discover where you feel comfortable. Faith – believing in something greater than ourselves – can be incredibly powerful, healing, and fill us with Joy because we believe we are never alone.

5.) Grief. If you find yourself alone due to loss of a loved one, and find yourself grieving, it’s important to talk about it. Holding it in, ignoring it, and hoping it will subside may make those feelings worse. Call your local Hospice and find out what groups they offer for grieving family members. Hospice typically runs many groups for children and adults who are grieving. They also tend to be free of charge.

Of course each of these can be expounded upon and take hours to discuss. These tips are meant to stimulate thought and give some quick ideas as to how to potentially fill up your holiday season, brighten it, and thrive this year.

This article may be reproduced as long as the author’s name and contact information are kept in tact.

LPB Professional PhotoAbout the author: Laura Peddie-Bravo is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (2001) and Nationally Certified Counselor (1999.) Mrs. Peddie-Bravo is the founder and owner of The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC. For more information or to arrange a brief complimentary appointment, please call 407-222-6239. http://www.TheBravoCounselingGroup.com

 

5 Communication Tips For You & Your Teen

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5 Communication Tips For You & Your Teen

Communication – something we do every day but sometimes we don’t do it very well. Here are my top five tips to help parents communicate with their teens:

1.) Is it a good time to talk? You don’t want to bring up a sensitive subject in front of their friends, or perhaps even in front of another sibling. It’s usually better to wait – no matter how badly you want to bring it up – until later when you can talk privately.

2.) Respect. I’m a fan of giving kids & teens respect. I give my children respect because I want to model respect to and for them. Recently, when one child was treating me disrespectfully, I was able to say “Have I ever treated you the way you are treating me right now?” My teen answered “no.” I said “Then please don’t treat me this way.” My teen’s response “Ok. I’m sorry.” And we were done. The attitude was resolved in less than one minute and we got to the real issue.

3.) Listen. Yes, we parents have been there and done that. We have great life experiences and great advice to give our teens. The thing they want most is for us to listen. Listening allows them to get things off their chest, lets them know we care, and you might open the door to things you didn’t know your teen was grappling with. You’re more likely to open that door by listening versus lecturing.

4.) Limit lectures. I can lecture as well as a college professor to my kids in my own home. But, my teens really need to begin to learn and sort things out more and more on their own. Of course, when important, there will be the occasional lecture. We are training soon-to-be adults and they need to take increased control over their thoughts and actions as they learn to become adults and learn from their own successes and failures.

5.) Trust. Allowing our teens increased control over their own lives means trusting them. We’ve been teaching them since they were babies. They have learned more than our words and actions convey. Teen years means parents learning to trust that what they have taught their children is good, enough, and let go. I used to give a talk to parents whose son or daughter were about to begin their Freshman year called “Letting Go.” Letting go actually begins much sooner than the first semester of college. I’m starting to let go now.

Please feel free to share and reproduce this blog post as long as the author’s name and information remains intact.

~LPB Professional PhotoLaura Peddie-Bravo is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida, a Nationally Certified Counselor, and has worked with teens and college age population since 1997. She has been happily married since 1996 and is the parent of three teenagers. She owns a private practice in Winter Park, Florida called The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC. To schedule an appointment or to arrange a complimentary 15 minute phone call, please call the office at 407-222-6239.