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Published On: Thu, Aug 30th, 2018

Understanding the Aftermath of a Flood and its Psychological Impact

It was in late-August of 2017 when the US was hit by Hurricane Harvey. Unprecedented amounts of rainfall took a toll on Houston, one of America’s largest cities. The rainfall, which totaled up to 60 inches, caused historic flooding across Houston and its surrounding areas. Damage costs, mainly due to flood water, amounted to a whopping $125 billion. Hurricane Harvey was the second most devastating modern disaster, after Hurricane Katrina that took place in 2005.

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Experts at Disaster Restore 365, a renowned company providing water damage restoration in Houston, said that although the flood waters eventually recede, the danger isn’t over. After the flood, the survivors have to continuously monitor local media and emergency reports to ensure that the roads are navigable and which routes are safe. The experts added that for survivors, one of the most stressful experiences can be coping with the aftermath of the flood.

Effect of Floods on Survivors’ Mental Health

A flood is not a single event, but a series of traumatic events that can affect people not only physically but also emotionally. This can even be the cause of never-ending stress for them. Long after the flood, people might continue to experience intense stomach aches, headaches and allergic reactions, which can lead to health issues like cold and flu. This makes flood restoration a must as soon as possible.

After a flood, most people spend a lot of time thinking about it. As a result, most face difficulty in sleeping or they sleep too much. Irregular sleep patterns impact appetite and one’s daily routine. Many lose interest in things that they earlier enjoyed. Some resort to alcohol or drugs to cope up with the feeling of hopelessness and frustration.

There is also evidence that many people experience anxiety and depression after a flood. There are some who also have thoughts of harming themselves or suicide.

Unfortunately, there are no specific signs of stress that can be used to identified those at risk of mental health issues. The symptoms can sometime show up immediately or may take weeks or even months to appear. As a preventive measure, people are advised to seek medical help soon after they have witnessed a traumatic event, like a flood.

What Needs to be Done?

After one’s life has been impacted by a flood, which has devastated their existence, ruining their home or even taken away a loved one from them, the first and foremost thing is to take care of oneself. You can start doing something constructive, such as visiting a counselor and seeking advice of water damage services, such as those in Houston. Next, you need to follow a healthy lifestyle. Drink lots of water, eat healthy food, engage yourself in a lot of physical activities and ensure a good 8-9 hours of sleep at night. However, to get your life back on track, you need to first get your house inspected for flood damage, water extraction or water removal and flood cleanup.

Flood restoration will help you prevent any further damage or mold growth that could pose serious health risks to your family.

Author: Dharmendra Kumhar

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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