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Beach erosion in front of home after hurricane

Returning Home: How to Recover Following a Natural Disaster

It’ll Take Time, but Life Will Return to Normal

Natural disasters fall into the category of hurricanes, fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis. All it takes is watching the news or reading a newspaper to realize they seem to be happening all over at the same time. They can affect lives long after the disaster has passed.

Natural disasters shatter lives, and there can be a definite economic impact. However, there can be a lingering psychological impact as well. People can learn to prepare for a natural disaster, but there is very little that people can do to stop them.

Getting Prepared for the Unknown

Rebuilding after a natural disaster is one thing. However, preparing for a natural disaster can also include learning and practicing before things get bad. It is a good idea to get first aid training if possible. This can involve learning to cook without power and utilities, learning how to disinfect water, and finding ways to heat one’s dwelling area.

Your natural disaster recovery plan should also allow for preparation.

Recovering from a Natural Disaster

The stress of a natural disaster can lead to mental, physical and emotional exhaustion. Some people find a way to manage. Others find it extremely difficult to cope with things. The impact can include feelings of shock, stress, sadness and isolation. The emotional aftershocks of a natural disaster can also lead to blaming others, and even a desire to hurt one’s self or someone else.

Returning Home After a Natural Disaster

Returning home can be a shock after having made it to safety. Building and properties can be completely destroyed. As such, there are a number of natural disaster resources and grants available in American communities for building and housing repairs. An important first step is to fill out a FEMA application to start the process for finding out more about grants available in the US.

Part of FEMA’s mission is to appropriate funds for those affected by natural disasters. FEMA can also provide a list of natural disaster resources to help individuals recover. Make sure your home insurance includes natural disaster insurance. This can provide for house repairs and provide protection against loss of property.

Oftentimes, the best defense is a robust offense. You should conduct a yearly home insurance review to make sure your home is covered. Check to make sure that your carrier offers natural disaster insurance if you do not already have it. It is a good idea to conduct a yearly review.

Here is what you or a loved one can do to mitigate the damages of a natural disaster and get on the road to recovery:

  • Recognize when things are getting beyond your control. Do not fail to ask for help and support if things become overwhelming.
  • Find a way to communicate with others to share damaged emotions and feelings. People can usually come up with practical ways to deal with their situation. Never be afraid to lean on family or friends or others that care.
  • Develop a natural disaster recovery plan. Decide what should be done, and when. A plan in place can lead to progress. Rebuilding after a natural disaster takes a lot of planning and execution.
  • Take good care of yourself. Get the right amount of sleep and exercise. If there was a normal routine before, try to get back to it.
  • Tend to the needs of your children. They experience trauma as well.

Finding Additional Help

People often turn to natural disaster resources like the Salvation Army and the Department of Human Services. If a natural disaster approaches, it is best to heed the advice of professionals who give evacuation instructions. Of course, there is always the possibility of being trapped in the natural disaster zone. Then, it may become a complicated case of survival.