Natural disasters can destroy infrastructures and put economies into tailspins, but new guidelines from the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that one of the greatest long term threats these storm pose is to the mental health of those affected.
In an interview with Reuters Health, Dr. Sven Rodenbeck, the CDC’s acting incident manager, explained that the emotional trauma following a natural disaster, like Hurricane Harvey, Irma or Maria can be just as serious, if not worse, than the physical damage.
“Short-term we are concerned about injuries, carbon monoxide poisoning, gastrointestinal problems because of contaminated water or food, mold is a concern and just general infection control-type things,” Rodenbeck said. “Longer term, probably the biggest thing is mental health.”
Even if you don’t live in an area recovering from the trauma of a major storm, this guidance from the CDC serves as a reminder that just as we head to the doctor in the wake of an injury or physical trauma, we need to recover mentally after trying events, too.
Read more about the CDC guidance here.