Basic hygiene measures, like frequent hand washing are especially important when working on recovering after a disaster. Not only does it help you avoid getting sick, but it will help prevent the further spread of illness or disease.
Sickness in a disaster recovery zone can occur from contact with contaminated flood water and overcrowding/unsanitary conditions from temporary shelters. The CDC has a prepared fact sheet about preventing illness after a disaster. Click on the picture to be directed to their fact sheet.
In the event of a disaster, things can happen quickly. Medications are an easy thing to overlook when you are in a hurry, but they are extremely important. Pharmacies may be closed during and after a disaster which makes planning ahead important. View safety tips from the FDA.
Potable Water Safety
After an emergency, water may not be available or safe for drinking, cooking, cleaning, or bathing. Water can become contaminated with bacteria, sewage, industrial or agricultural waste, chemicals, and other substances that can cause illness or death. As a result, you will need to find sources of safe drinking water or know how to treat contaminated water so it can be safely used.
Food may not be safe to eat during and after an emergency. Perishable foods that may have come in contact with flood or storm water and those with an unusual odor, color or texture should be thrown out. If foods that can spoil (such as meat, eggs and milk) have been in an environment above 40 degrees for more than 2 hours, throw them away also. By planning ahead, you can save your perishables and help ensure your family’s health. To learn more about what you can do to protect your food when a disaster strikes, Visit the Red Cross’s Food Safety section and the USDAs website!
It is normal to feel stressed, anxious, helpless, mad, etc. after a traumatic event. Those who lose loved ones, homes, or jobs may experience these emotions and have trouble sleeping, eating, or concentrating. Fortunately, research shows that most people are resilient and over time they are able to bounce back from tragedy. It is important to remember that resilience and recovery are normal, not prolonged distress. Click on the picture to access the American Psychological Association’s website to learn about recovering emotionally from a disaster. For more help coping, go to our mental health resource section to find out where you can go locally.