Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 1st 2013 Contents It's a thrill but you come out of it OK...It's sort of a
model on life.
There's something about watching tragedy happen to somebody outside of
ourselves that seems to give us some emotional release.
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Better be ready
Are you ready for ahurricane?
HURRICANE SAFETY TIPS
Source: The T&T Red Cross Society
Before a hurricane:
The hurricane season lasts from June through
November, with August and September being
the peak months.
Know the location of the nearest emergency
shelter in your area.
Trim the trees in your yard, especially those
near your home, so limbs won't fly around
during a storm.
If you have hurricane shutters, inspect them
now and repair damaged ones. Know how to
install them, and if you will be boarding up
your windows, have the wood and tools ready.
Know the location of the main electrical
breaker and the gas and water valves in your
home. Have a clear path to easily access them
to shut them off when a hurricane approach-
Make a list of the items in and around your
yard to bring in or tie down when a tropical
storm or hurricane approaches. For example:
TV antenna, plants, garbage cans and yard fur-
Check your insurance policy for coverage on
wind and flood damage, especially if you''re in
a low-lying area.
Keep a portable radio, flashlight (both with
extra batteries), emergency supplies, first aid
kit, canned food and bottled water on hand
throughout the hurricane season.
Keep yourself updated as to the weather con-
ditions and the possibilities of severe weather.
Have your emergency numbers at hand and in
a convenient location.
Designate an interior room with no windows
or external doors as a "Safe Room." Work
with your local professionals in the design of
Discuss the types of potential hazards with
your family and know your community's and
Determine escape routes and places to meet if
Have an out-of-the-area-friend as a family
contact so all have a single point of contact
and someone knows where you are.
Make a plan for your pets if you need to evac-
Take First Aid and CPR classes. Your Red Cross
can help you.
Stay away from windows and stay inside if you
are not told to evacuate.
Beware that the centre of a hurricane, or the
eye, can be very calm and deceptive. When
the eye passes, the storm is not over. Stay
inside because the fury of the winds will
return, this time from the opposite direction.
Remain in your safe location until the storm
has passed completely and the all clear has
During a hurricane:
A HURRICANE WATCH is given when the hurri-
cane is possible within 36 hours.
When a hurricane watch is issued, you should
monitor news reports closely for more infor-
Continue your preparation activities and be
prepared to evacuate immediately when
instructed to do so.
When a hurricane is 24 hours away, a HURRI-
CANE WARNING is issued. Hurricane landfall is
When a hurricane warning is issued, you
should board up your windows and doors,
bring in loose items from outside, shut off
electrical, gas and water hook-ups and seek
Contact the Red Cross: Headquarters - 627-8215/8128, Northern branch - 627-8214, Southern branch - 652-2024, Tobago branch - 639-2781
As we brace for the unpredictability
of the hurricane season, it is impor-
tant to be prepared. Here are some
simple steps to help protect your
family from a storm or hurricane.
T&T Red Cross Society
We ve all been there: hands over our open mouths
in horror as we watch our favourite characters bite
the dust on a TV show. Then comes the shouting at
the television and the digging of our nails into the
couch cushions as we wait for the next plot twist.
And with the Breaking Bad which wrapped up a five
season run last night, fans had TV-induced freak-out.
But why do we watch shows that upset us? Shouldn t
we want to avoid the emotions that would be far less
pleasant to experience in real life?
Not necessarily, experts say.
"It is tantalising," said Robert Simmermon, a psy-
chologist in Atlanta who specialises in media. "We re
always drawn to that fantasy."
Psychologist Mary Gregerson, who runs Heartlandia
Psychology, located in Kansas, Missouri and Virginia,
said watching tragedy appeals to an ancient human
nature. It s called the catharsis hypothesis, but it s not
yet fully proven.
"Look at Greek tragedies," she said. "There s some-
thing about watching tragedy happen to somebody
outside of ourselves that seems to give us some emo-
The rapid heart rate and heightened senses that
come with fear and anxiety are almost identical to the
physiological responses generated by excitement, Sim-
mermon explained, which is why we enjoy fear from
the safety of the living room couch.
"We all have a nose for excitement, whether we re
conscious of it or not," he said.
Dr Fredrick Koenig, a professor of social psychology
at Tulane University, said people watch suspenseful
shows for the same reason they want to ride roller
"It s a thrill but you come out of it OK," he said.
"It s sort of a model on life."
Nancy Mramor, a media expert and psychologist
based outside Pittsburgh, said people often get hooked
on the characters because they feel as if those characters
are good friends or family members. When the plot
turns suspenseful or violent, viewers can t bear not
knowing what happens to those characters, but there s
also a hint of escapism involved in watching these
characters in exciting scenes, she said.
When the series finale ends and the credits start
rolling, however, viewers will miss Walt and Jesse.
"It s a little bit of a grief response," she said.
Gregerson said television has also been shown to
actually alter viewers behaviour, but they re not always
aware of it. Miguel Sabido took a scientific approach
to his telenovelas in Mexico starting in the 1970s, tying
character development to social issues such as sex,
abortion and AIDS. After years of his telenovelas,
Mexico, which is a mostly Catholic country, eventually
won an award from the United Nations for population
Sabido always had good characters and bad characters,
Gregerson said, but one character, the "transitional
character," was always faced with difficult choices.
Although the Breaking Bad writers haven t done the
same kind of research Sabido did, Gregerson said Break-
ing Bad s protagonist Walter White seems to be that
"He s someone just like us, neither all good nor all
bad," she said. "We can identify with that person as
he struggles making choices between good and bad.
Ask yourself, what would you do if you were given a
terminal diagnosis? A hero makes good choices. The
tragedy of anti-hero Walter White was that he broke
He becomes a meth cook, murderer and kingpin
over the show s five seasons.
But viewers should be aware that some violence can
be too much for them to watch, Mramor said. If they
have flashbacks, difficulty falling asleep after watching
the show or nightmares, they should probably cut
back on the violent TV shows. (ABC News)
News and advice
Why do we watch stressful shows?
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
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