Health Priorities

You must stay healthy as you recover from a disaster:

  • Don't try to do too much too fast. It is easy to become exhausted.
  • Drink plenty of bottled water - staying hydrated when exerting is very important.
  • Storms bring out dust, germs, bacteria, etc. - Keep your hands washed and wear a dust mask when cleaning up.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water or use hand sanitizers.
  • Be careful regarding the food you eat. Make sure it is not from contaminated areas.
  • When handling debris it is easy to get a cut or step on a nail(ask my wife).  Have you had your tetanus shots?
  • If you become ill or injured - take a break.  This road is long and you are needed by your family and friends to be healthy and strong.

Tornado Recovery

Hint: Any kind of disaster can cause foreign bodies, dust, debris, bacteria, etc. to become airborne. Some of these can be very small and cause all sorts of respiratory problems and infections.  In disaster areas wear long sleeves, gloves, heavy boots and use dust masks or respirators when you can.

Safety Issues

After a disaster the tendency is to move so fast that safety is often compromised. Keep the following in mind:

  • Wear appropriate clothing - hard toed boots (no tennis shoes!), long sleeve shirts, work gloves, dust masks, head protection if in an area where debris may fall, eye protection if using chainsaws
  • Have extremely high SA (situational awareness). Be cognizant of all that is around you.
  • Disasters create new safety issues - Be aware for washed out roads, contaminated food and water, gas leaks, slippery floors, downed wiring, broken glass, and weak or damaged structures.
  • Make your neighbors and authorities aware of any health or safety issues that you find such as downed power lines, gas leaks, smoldering fires and roving animals.

Helping the Injured

After a disaster there may be numerous injuries of varying degrees of seriousness. Detailed first aid is beyond the scope of, but keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Make sure that you don't injure yourself while trying to administer first aid.
  • Provide aid to victims you find and then seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
  • Do not attempt to move seriously injured persons unless they are in harms way.
  • If you must move an unconscious person or one who has a neck injury make best efforts to stablizie their neck and back.
  • If a victim is not breathing provide CPR.
  • It is easy for a victim to go into shock while waiting for aid. If this happens make sure to maintain body temperature with blankets or coverings.