Recovering From Devastation
After the devastation of a hurricane, tornado, severe thunderstorm, or flood many wonder: Where do I go from here? Remember, injuries can happen to anyone during the aftermath of a storm, so it's wise to be very cautious.
- If anyone is injured, administer first aid and contact emergency personnel immediately
- If you had to evacuate your home, return only after authorities advise it is safe to do so
- If returning to the area of your home after evacuating, be cautious of debris-filled streets. Walk and drive with caution
- Prior to entering a building, enter with caution. Check for structural damage and make sure it is not in danger of collapsing
- Contact your local Alfa® agent and report damage immediately. Make temporary repairs to your property to prevent additional damage
- After a major storm, remember you're not the only one that might be driven from your home — snakes, insects and other animals (even alligators in some areas) are driven out by high waters as well.
Here are some other things to be on the lookout for:
- Puddles can contain dangerous debris, including sewage or chemicals
- Watch your step! Areas may be covered with sharp debris, broken glass and downed power lines
- Porches and stairs may be weakened as well as bridges and trees. Be careful and cautious
- Of course, not all the damage is visible. Emotional distress and stress is common after a disaster and can appear weeks or months after a devastating event. Disaster victims are likely to experience at least one of several emotional responses: anger, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, nightmares, depression, inability to concentrate, hyperactivity, or increased alcohol or drug use. Talk about your feelings with family, friends and neighbors. Friends and family are good medicine, and sharing common experiences helps people overcome anxiety and feelings of helplessness. Get back into daily routines as soon as you can and try to maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep. Get some physical exercise every day
- Children are particularly vulnerable to emotional stress after a disaster, including excessive fear of the dark, crying, fear of being alone and constant worry. Reassure children that they are safe. Encourage them to talk about their fears; emphasize that they are not responsible for what happened; hold and hug them frequently