In any event your most important tool will always be your mind. You’ve heard it said that where there is a will there is a way. A large part of having that will is being able to cope with the scenario mentally and acting in a calm and rash manner. Denial is a huge obstacle to overcome mentally. You must decide that the phrase, “I can’t believe this is happening to me,” has no place in your vocabulary. Learn to accept change and react to it in a calm and decisive manner. Panic and anger are not an acceptable way to react to difficult situations. Being indecisive will cost you precious time to respond. In some situations, that lost time may ultimately cost you or someone else their life. Only by training your mind will you overcome the deer in headlights “DIH” reaction.
Training your mind ultimately involves deciding ahead of time how you will react to certain situations. With natural disasters, there is often a commonality involved in them. We all need security, water, shelter, a way to cook food, food to cook, and so on. Whether the disaster at hand is an earthquake or tornado matters little. Ultimately a disaster equates to a threat to your life in the short-term, and/or a disruption of systems of support in the intermediate to long-term. For more information I recommend this episode of The Survival Podcast. As with self-defense training, planning for an event ahead of time and communicating those plans with your family is vitally important to eliminating that deer in the headlights moment.
Prepare yourself mentally so you know how to respond in a timely manner. All the physical preparations in the world will not overcome that moment when you fail to act out of shock or disbelief. Study the topics of emergency preparedness, develop and become intimately familiar with your emergency plans, and then train for perfection.