With more than 200,000 people already evacuating the coast of North Carolina, ahead of Hurricane Irene, we want to prepare our readers for what to do after a storm has made landfall.
Recovering from a disaster can be a trying and gradual process. Being prepared for a potential disaster will help your home, family and community get back to normal easier and faster.
First, be aware of health issues. Check for injuries and seek medical assistance if need be. Watch out for exhaustion and be sure to drink plenty of clean water and wash your hands thoroughly.
Second, know that your community may have been physically damaged by the storm. Watch for washed-out and flooded roads and hazardous and unsafe buildings, contaminated water, gas leaks, broken glass and damaged wiring, among other hazards. Contact your local officials to report any of these issues.
Do not enter your home or other building if the facility is flooded, if there is a smell of gas or if it has been damaged by fire.
Do not approach any animals. Call your local animal shelter to report the animal. Seek medical assistance if an animal bites you.
Also, be aware of any mental anguish you or a family member might be experiencing. Some signs of disaster-related stress are difficulty sleeping, depression or sadness, feelings of hopelessness, mood swings, poor work performance and disorientation or confusion.
If you or anyone you know experience any of these symptoms, talk to a trusted individual about your feelings, seek professional help from a counselor, spend time with family or friends, strive to maintain your normal routines or join a support group.
Thank you, CharlesFred, for the rainbow photo.