Natural disasters are bound to happen in any place. They come with physical, emotional, and financial damage to people. The normal daily routine will also be destroyed. Fortunately, there are disaster response teams set up by governments to deal with any natural crisis. They will help families get through the trying times.
Here is a list of the common disaster response teams both from the government and NGOs;
- American Red Cross
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Salvation Army
The teams are always ready and also face risks like carbon monoxide poisoning to save people. Other hazards include hazardous materials, electrical hazards, confined spaces, and extreme temperatures. The following are the services the teams provide on a short-term basis;
- Providing medicine and healthcare access
- Providing water and food
- Getting a safe shelter for families
- Other important resources required for survival
Types of Disaster Response Services
Most disaster response organizations focus on a specific type of natural disaster. The focus will ensure victims of a certain disaster get the most from the organizations. The organizations can also help communities and businesses stabilize. Here are the categories for disaster response services;
- Flood and Storm Disaster Relief
Floods and storms can cause damages that require heavy disaster relief efforts from organizations. Tornadoes and hurricanes can sweep anything and anyone in their path.
The relief organizations focus on providing the basics of like that is healthcare, water, food, and shelter.
Apart from the storms, there are other dangers that come with storms. Examples include downed power lines which pose a risk of electrocution. People may also freeze with a power outage in the area.
Floodwaters and powerful winds can destroy buildings; leading to large losses.
Here are some of the organizations dedicated to providing help to those affected by storms and floods;
- Red Cross
- Direct Relief
The help goes for days, weeks, and months until the affected community is stable and ready to stand alone again.
- Fire Response and Recovery
Wildfires have caused traumas where they have occurred. They can burn anything in their path, leading to the loss of lives and properties. However, with the proper response, the losses can be minimized.
The first step involves getting people to safety. On the other hand, the firefighters work to keep the fire from reaching the residential areas.
Families are given the warning to evacuate and told to carry a few belongings. This will help ease the impact of the fire. The shelter is then provided in nearby areas. The organizations work in hand with schools, hotels, and recreation facilities to provide shelter.
Hazards arising from fire disasters have to be dealt with properly. They include;
- Unsafe structures
- Electrical Hazards
- Respiratory Concerns
- Asbestos Contamination
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Dangers to wildlife and pets
Some may be lucky to go back to their homes after such hazards. Others work in restoration companies to explore options and maybe follow a new path in life.
- Contents Cleanup
There is quite some mess when natural disasters occur, both outside and inside homes. Homeowners tend to clean up the homes themselves to create a safe environment. Restoration companies can help remove this burden from homeowners’ shoulders. The tasks they perform include;
- Clearing standing water
- Salvaging personal belongings
- Clearing debris
- Clearing of safety hazards
These organizations need to be booked early as they are in high demand after a storm disaster. You may be tempted to go for a DIY approach, but it is not always safe. Also, some of the insurance companies provide requirements that homeowners should work with restoration companies.
Measures to Take After a Natural Disaster
Safety should be a priority after any natural disaster. Some of the hazards can be hard to detect like carbon monoxide and unstable structures. You should therefore be careful when assessing the property. If you are not sure of the presence of a hazard, wait for the professionals to arrive.
Personal Protective Equipment is useful when undertaking the cleanup process. Here are some of the PPEs you should have;
- Hard hats
- N95 masks
- Work Gloves
- Hearing protection
- Steel toe boots
Take extra care to deal with other health concerns like COVID-19 and water hygiene. Bacterial infections can be gotten from the floodwaters.
You can then begin the cleanup process after establishing your safety. Debris from roads should be cleared to make way for the incoming emergency vehicles. The next step should be clearing the standing water to prevent bacterial and mold growth.
To prevent mold growth;
- Sanitize your belongings with bleach and soap solution
- Standing water removed using shop vacuums or buckets
- Open windows and doors for proper air circulation
Lastly, you can discard the unsalvageable items. These may include carpets, books, papers, and furniture. Do not rush the process as you may be tempted to. Taking breaks is important for your health.
The disaster response services help unite people when suffering the effects of a natural disaster. Everyone works towards 1 goal; helping each other stabilize. The response time may vary, but the emergency services will be available as soon as you contact them. Natural disaster experts are sometimes available before a storm due to advanced warning technologies. This helps minimize property and lives lost. The relief activities may be funded through government agencies or donations.