After a hurricane, there is a rush to help those affected. Volunteers show up in droves. Donation initiatives are started by those who can’t help in person. The government charges in to do whatever they can to help. Communities come together to help each other. It feels natural in the days during and after a tragedy. We feel a sense of connectedness to those affected.
One story that touched many people was that of the 8 seniors who passed away in a nursing home after their air conditioning failed due to Hurricane Irma. Action must be taken, and processes must be put in place to make sure that something like that does not happen again.
Unfortunately, due to the 24-hour news cycle and a general shortening of attention spans, we tend to forget these stories and the people who continue to be affected by tragedy long after an event. We move on to the next event after a brief time and forget about the people who may still be displaced from their homes or grieving over the loss of a loved one.
Hurricane season is finally ending. So, what should you do after a hurricane? For those of you who may still be recovering or want to be more prepared if it happens again, the American Red Cross has some great advice on what to do after a hurricane.
- What to Do Immediately After Hurricanes
- What to Do as You Rebuild
- What You Should Ask a Professional to Do
- How to Alert Your Family That You’re Safe
Unfortunately, rebuilding doesn’t happen quickly. And, for many, it doesn’t happen at all.
Puerto Rico was hit terribly by Hurricane Maria, and bringing displaced Puerto Ricans to the mainland is now being discussed. The conditions are so bad for the displaced that it isn’t safe to even stay on the island.
Florida was hit by Hurricane Irma, which did the least damage of the 3 hurricanes in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico. FLKeysNews published a story on November 1st saying, “‘As of this week,’ FEMA says, ‘people from more than 600 Monroe County households who have uninhabitable primary homes and have had difficulty finding an appropriate place to rent are staying in hotels in FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance program.’” That’s 600 Florida households, just in Monroe County, of people who still don’t have a place to call home.
In Houston, the situation is much worse. Texas Monthly reports that “According to FEMA, as of October 6, 852,744 households have applied for assistance. Only 308,862 applications have been approved…” The reality is that FEMA simply doesn’t have the resources to help that many people. The only way those people will be helped is with assistance from the community.
We are Americans, and Americans take care of each other. Immediately after the hurricane is always a great time to help, but we can’t lose sight of the struggles of our fellow citizens. There is always more to do.
What do you do after a hurricane? I am including a list of organizations that are continuing to help the people who are still suffering due to these tragedies. Many of them accept volunteers as well as donations. Don’t just be involved in your community in times of strife—be actively involved, always.
Ways You Can Help:
- Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund (Texas)
- United Way Storm Recovery (Texas)
- Hurricane Irma Relief Fund (Florida)
Author Bio: Michael Knott works at Griswold Home Care’s Home Office as a copywriter and copy editor. He is passionate about helping people and is glad to work at a place where everyone else is as well. You can follow him on Twitter @GHCWordNerd.