Imagine being told that a hurricane is headed toward your house or business. What would you do? How would you react? Every year there are millions of Americans who experience this nightmare of decision-making. There is no way to stop hurricanes from barreling down their paths of destruction. The best an individual and his or her family can do is listen to the news media, run for cover, and protect loved ones and property to the best of their ability.
It’s not just the average citizen who suffers at the hands of Mother Nature during hurricane season. Businesses get flattened, infrastructure gets blown away, and regional economies are dealt disastrous blows that take many years to recover from. People who have insurance still have to wait for the companies’ claims adjustors to inspect, assess, and pay claims. In the meantime, residents and municipal leaders try to put their lives and infrastructure back together, while suffering emotionally and financially.
Hurricanes take a big toll of adults and children after a storm has blown through. Individuals suffer an array of emotional challenges, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, also referred to as PTSD. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that results in nightmares, insomnia, flashbacks, and serious emotional disturbances. Victims in all age groups end up with PTSD, depression, and anxiety, but children especially suffer because they are in their formative stages of life.
Financial ramifications can shake individuals, families, and businesses as severely as the gale-force winds and rains. In addition to ruined houses, closed businesses, and the destruction of property, there are lost jobs, additional doctor bills, and relocation costs to contend with. Although corporations donate billions of dollars in aid to help hurricane victims, it is not enough. Not only does the money dry up within a couple of months, but also donations of supplies and equipment end up lost in landfills due to mismanagement. For more information on what nonprofits are doing to improve disaster recovery management, take a look at this infographic.