After a Disaster
Important Steps for Your Safe and Speedy Recovery
The Lebanese Red Cross encourages you take precautions in order to help keep you safe and speed your recovery after a disaster. You will also find ideas on what you can do to help make yourself and your home safer from future disasters.
Some basic steps you can take to meet physical and emotional needs
- In case of a sudden military emergency or attack listen for instructions on local radio or television stations about safe places to go.
- Have injuries treated by a medical professional. Wash small wounds with soap and water. To help prevent infection of small wounds, use bandages and replace them if they become soiled or damaged.
- Some natural hazards, like severe storms or earthquakes, may recur in the form of new storms or aftershocks over the next several days. Take all safety precautions if the hazard strikes again.
- Avoid using the telephone (cellular or landlines) if a large number of homes in your area have been affected by a disaster. Emergency responders need to have the telephone lines available to coordinate their response. During the immediate post- disaster time period, only use the telephone to report life-threatening conditions and call your out-of-town emergency contact.
- Remain calm. Pace yourself. You may find yourself in the position of taking charge of other people. Listen carefully to what people are telling you, and deal patiently with urgent situations first.
- If you had to leave your home, return only when local authorities advise that it is safe to do so. Also, be sure to have photo identification available.
- If the disaster was widespread, listen to your radio or television station for instructions from authorities. Information may change rapidly after a widespread disaster, so continue to listen regularly for updates. If the power is still out, listen to a battery- powered radio, television or car radio.
- Try to return to as many of your personal and family routines as possible.
- Get rest and drink plenty of water.
- Limit your exposure to the sights and sounds of disaster, especially on television, the radio and in the newspapers.
- Focus on the positive.
- Recognize your own feelings.
- Reach out and accept help from others.
- Do something you enjoy. Do something as a family that you have all enjoyed in the past.
- Stay connected with your family and/or other support systems.
- Realize that, sometimes, recovery can take time.