Recovering After A Hurricane

Recovering from a disaster is a challenging, stressful, and long-term process. Safety is the primary issue, as are mental and physical health. Knowing in advance of the storm how to access available assistance from local and state agencies can make the recovery process faster and less stressful. This section offers some general advice on steps to take after disaster strikes to begin getting your home, community, and life back to normal.


Your first concern after a disaster is your family’s health and safety. Consider the below safety issues and map out a plan in case of possible injury.  


Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of death or further injury. If you must move an unconscious person, first stabilize the neck and back, then call for help immediately. If the victim is not breathing, carefully position the victim for artificial respiration, clear the airway, and commence mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Maintain body temperature with blankets. Be sure the victim does not become overheated. Never try to feed liquids to an unconscious person.


Be aware of exhaustion. Don’t try to do too much at once. Set priorities and pace yourself. Get enough rest. Drink plenty of clean water. Eat well. Wear sturdy work boots and gloves. Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap and clean water often when working in debris. Buy our Hygiene Kit, which helps you keep clean when fresh water may not be available.


Be aware of new safety issues created by the disaster. Watch for washed out roads, contaminated buildings, contaminated water, gas leaks, broken glass, damaged electrical wiring, and slippery floors. Inform local authorities about health and safety issues, including chemical spills, downed power lines, washed out roads, smoldering insulation, and dead animals.