Hurricanes and tornados have devastating winds, capable of pummeling a home and businesses. Direct hits pose many problems for residents who may have lost their valuables and place of safety. During these overwhelming times, local governments should work with state and national response teams to support locals. Agencies should have a plan in place, ensuring not only a smooth process but also quick reactions. Local commissioners and boards should have the following three things in their emergency response plans.
- Cleaning Facilities
Authorities should have contracts with places that can provide mobile restrooms. Water lines can get contaminated after storms, leaving people left without a place to sanitize. Mobile units can be brought into the city to assist in handwashing and bathing. It’s important to consider everyone’s specific needs, including those with physical disabilities. Several ADA showers should be available for anyone with wheelchair access.
Psychiatrists and counselors should be on hand to work with those suffering from emotional distress. The weather system itself can be terrifying for many. The aftermath may further the trauma, especially if a loved one was hurt or a home was ravaged. Speaking with others provides a healthy outlet that could alleviate stress and sadness.
- Food Service
Grocery store supply chains could be interrupted temporarily, and the food that was in pantries may have been tossed or lost. Leaders should have a source for locating and distributing meals or water. Distribution should occur in a central location, and have specific times set up and advertised. Hot meals are unlikely. Concentrate on simple things at first such as sandwiches. Bags could also be handed out, permitting families to take a bit home. Stock up on crackers, bread, water and peanut butter.
Once the skies clear, focus efforts on healing, both emotionally and physically. Look over the local response plan, understanding how area representatives have focused on prepared to handle the aftermath.