Hurricane Aftermath Health Concerns: How You Can Help

The stresses and strains of an approaching hurricane or major storm can take a toll on family, friends, and neighbors. There are also worries about the psychological stress on the thousands who have fled storm-damaged homes to stay with friends and family, sleep in crowded shelters, or stay in cramped motel rooms. The stresses and strains created by displacement can promote domestic violence, substance abuse, depression, and even suicide.

FEMA has listed the following agencies as needing cash to assist the Katrina hurricane victims:

  • The American Red Cross, www.redcross.org (the site may be slow due to high traffic volumes). You can call the Red Cross directly at 1-800-HELP-NOW (435-7669) English, 800-257-7575 Spanish, to donate as well.
  • The Salvation Army, 800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769)
  • Network for Good
  • Operation Blessing, 800-436-6348.
  • America's Second Harvest, 800-344-8070.
  • Adventist Community Services, 800-381-7171.
  • Catholic Charities, USA, 703-549-1390.
  • Christian Disaster Response, 941-956-5183 or 941-551-9554.
  • Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, 800-848-5818.
  • Church World Service, 800-297-1516.
  • Convoy of Hope, 417-823-8998.
  • Lutheran Disaster Response, 800-638-3522.
  • Mennonite Disaster Service, 717-859-2210.
  • Nazarene Disaster Response, 888-256-5886.
  • Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, 800-872-3283. 
  • Southern Baptist Convention - Disaster Relief, 800-462-8657, ext. 6440.
  • United Methodist Committee on Relief. 800-554-8583.

For information on helping pets displaced during the disaster, go to the following websites:

Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors, MedicineNet.com


How to Store Food Safely

Your refrigerator will keep foods cool for about 4 hours without power if it is unopened. Add block or dry ice to your refrigerator if the electricity will be off longer than four hours.