Disaster Recovery

Recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process.  Safety is a primary issue, as are mental and physical well-being.  If assistance is available, knowing how to access it makes the process faster and less stressful.  This section offers some general advice on steps to take after disaster strikes in order to begin getting your home, your community, and your life back to normal.

Your first concern after a disaster is your family’s health and safety.  You need to consider possible safety issues and monitor family health and well-being.

Aiding the Injured

  • 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.

Your Health

  • 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 soap and clean water often when working in debris.

Safety Issues

  • 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.