AUBURN, Ala.—Hurricane Michael left many families without their homes and belongings. Recovery after a storm can be stressful and difficult. It is important to maintain mental well-being in addition to physical safety. For those beginning clean up and recovery efforts, Alabama Extension professionals have some tips to share.
Dealing with Stress After a Storm
Restoring homes and property after storm can be emotionally taxing and stressful. Be patient. This applies to family members and to workers helping with storm cleanup. Recovery takes time. Insurance adjusters and work crews, such as those removing trees or restoring power, will get to you as soon as they can. Stay alert while searching through debris. Many injuries happen during the cleanup process.
It is natural to express disbelief, anger, sadness, anxiety and depression. Emotions and moods can change unexpectedly. Be aware of your own stress levels.
Give children extra attention, love and support. Get them involved in cleanup, assigning them small jobs that will keep them busy and help them feel needed. Reassuring words of safety and normalcy will go a long way in helping children cope.
Safety After a Disaster
When disasters strike, taking care of yourself and your family is a priority. There are serious issues to deal with before recovery begins.
- Follow public announcements and obey official orders.
- Wear protective clothing.
- Avoid unstable buildings.
- Stay alert of electrical and fire hazards.
- Beware of gas leaks.
- Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Store and transport gasoline safely.
- Use chainsaws safely.
- Pace yourself and get support.
The Emergency Handbook brings together recommendations from national emergency response agencies and major universities into one easy-to-understand, interactive reference. It addresses nearly 50 disaster preparation and recovery topics in four broad categories, including: People and Pets, Home and Business, Landscape and Garden, and Farms and Livestock.
For more information on emergency preparedness, visit www.aces.edu. The Emergency Handbook iBook is also available in pdf form and on iTunes. Contact your county Extension office for more information.
Featured image by shutterstock.com/michelmond.