What happens to hurricane survivors once news reporters leave? We have seen how the recent hurricanes in North and South America have damaged homes and taken lives, but we must continue to support those affected, even after the news has died down.
Hurricane Harvey killed 77 people in August and September. The hurricane was the wettest tropical cyclone recorded in US history and caused damages across Texas.
Over a period of 4 days 100cm of rain fell over the state resulting in in billions of dollars in property damage.
300,000 homes were left without electricity and around 1000 were destroyed completely.
After the initial media frenzy that follows any natural disaster, how does a community begin to heal? An estimated 30,000 people needed temporary shelter following the hurricane and that number continued to rise as further damages were discovered.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused damage of the same proportion last month to the Caribbean Islands.
Dominica was the first island hit by Maria and suffered 15 deaths.
Prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said that the island will “need all the help the world has to offer”.
Maria caused a large number of the population to become homeless and many towns cut off from electricity. Almost a month has passed since the hurricane arrived but in the town of Portsmouth, 3,000 people are still living in schools and community centres.
Material damage is the most obvious in situations like this. It is easy to see the impact losing homes and cars and money has. However these storms also leave psychological scars that need attention too. Doctors looking over survivors in the town say some of the children show signs of post traumatic stress disorder.
As time passes most media outlets report less and less on the chaos these hurricanes have caused, but the locals will deal with it for years to come.
Puerto Rico has also been severely affected by hurricane Maria. Since the weather hit, 43 people have died. Weeks have passed and most of the country is still without electricity. Even in a time where information is spread instantly and resources are better than ever, places affected are still left struggling.
However, there are ways we can help. Many different charities are sending aid to those in need. You can donate through Red Cross
and World Vision