Handling Emotional and Physical Stress After a Disaster
Natural disasters cause emotional and physical stress — and a host of reactions including anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, sadness, anger, fatigue, hopelessness, irrational fears, and nightmares.
While they are all common responses to a traumatic event, you don't have to struggle through them alone. Here are some tips for handling them.
Sources for Referrals and/or Trauma Counseling
Local family services agencies
Don't overdo it — Make a list and do jobs one at a time.
Take care of your body — Keep a manageable schedule, and make time for food and rest.
Prevent infection — Wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected.
WHN Tip: Wash up before preparing or eating food, after toilet use, after participating in cleanup activities or handling articles contaminated with flood water or sewage.
WHN Tip: Just because it's clear doesn't mean it's clean!
Flood waters may contain fecal material from overflowing sewage systems, and agricultural and industrial byproducts.
Treat your injuries — Keep wounds and cuts clean and covered to prevent infection.
WHN Tip: If a wound develops redness, swelling, or drainage, seek immediate medical attention.
Supervise the kids — Don't allow children to play in flood water areas, wash their hands frequently and disinfect flood-water contaminated toys before giving them to the kids.
WHN Tip: Use a solution of one cup of bleach in 5 gallons of water to disinfectant toys.
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