After the Storm Resource Guide
A resource guide to help you get back on your feet after you have braved the storm United Way of Greater Houston has created After the Storm for you to use as a resource toward rebuilding your life. Whether you are trying to provide basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing, or you are struggling with the stress that is a major part of crisis recovery, you will find important and helpful information in this booklet. The entire content of this booklet is also available on the web HERE —for your convenience. The 2-1-1 Texas/United Way Helpline is always available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Let 2-1-1 be your first call when you don’t know who to call. Trained HELPLINE specialists are always available to listen to your questions, understand your needs and help you identify resources that are tailored for your specific situation. There are no words that can ease the losses you have experienced. Please know that there are many resources that can help you take those difficult steps toward recovery. United Way heals the past, shapes the future and makes today better for us all. Please know that United Way is here to help.
Very truly yours,
Anna M. Babin President and CEO
After the Storm
Hurricanes…tornados…earthquakes…tropical storms…floods…when the forces of nature are unleashed, the results are often devastating. There is little anyone can do to prevent or reduce the power of these natural disasters. This booklet is intended to serve as a guide along the path to recovery.
When a Crisis Strikes
Living through a major crisis produces many different types of feelings. You may feel anxiety, depression, confusion and tension. These feelings may cause a breakdown in our usual coping mechanisms. You may find it hard to function, behave in unexpected ways or have trouble making decisions. Although a crisis can result in a sense of anxiety, pain or hopelessness that makes it hard to cope, these same feelings can serve as motivation to look for help and develop new coping mechanisms. That’s where this guide comes in…we hope you will use it to guide your steps as you begin the rebuilding process.
The United Way put together these checklists as a guide during recovery.
Things You Can Do for Yourself and Others
Get Into a Routine During this difficult period, it is especially important that you take care of yourself. As quickly as possible, resume your usual activity patterns. Establishing a regular routine will help you and other family members begin the recovery process.
Take Care of Yourself
Try to eat properly. Choose foods that include the basic food groups and offer a balance of fruits, vegetables, protein, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients. Limit junk foods, especially for children, and drink plenty of fluids. Healthy eating will help you rebuild your strength during the trying times ahead. Sleeping away from familiar surroundings can be very difficult. Make every effort to get as much sleep as possible so that you will be rested and able to face each day’s challenges. Return to regular sleeping times as soon as you are able to do so. This will help your body refresh and restore itself.
Although it may seem that fate has taken charge of your life, it is essential that you reassert control as quickly as possible. Begin to plan for your recovery, even though you may feel that there is little you can do. Assess the damage you have experienced and identify resources that are available to storm victims. Make a list of tasks each day so that you can celebrate small successes as you build up to larger accomplishments.
Share your feelings with others. Everyone affected by the disaster has a story to tell. Do not hesitate to share your experience and be a good listener for others who need to talk. Be open about your concerns, ask questions and express your emotions as they surface.
Tune In to Your Children
You know how overwhelming the disaster has been for you as an adult. Be sensitive to the fact that your children may be particularly in need of your love and attention. Encourage them to talk about their fears. Acknowledge their losses and allow them to take an active role in the recovery process. The structure of a regular routine is especially important for children. Be sure they eat properly and get enough sleep just as soon as conditions permit. At times like these, lots of extra hugs and kisses can be very therapeutic for you and your children.
A Roof Over Your Head
The experience of homelessness for those who have been forced out of their homes as a result of a natural disaster is particularly devastating. Suddenly, in spite of years of careful planning and saving, you may have lost your home and its valued contents. You may have lost treasured mementos and cherished possessions that are an important part of your history. If this is the case, you have reason to grieve. While no one can truly recapture all that you have lost, there is help available to help you begin again. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) If your area is declared a national disaster, you may qualify for financial aid. You are encouraged to apply for FEMA assistance or aid, regardless of the extent of the disaster you experienced. People who suffered damages from the storms are eligible for assistance through various programs offered by FEMA. If you are a renter, you may be eligible for a grant from FEMA to cover Short term rent assistance at a new location. The process involved in applying for FEMA may seem time-consuming. However, you may be missing an important source of financial assistance if you fail to take advantage of this opportunity. When you apply, please have the following information available: Social Security number Current and pre-disaster address Telephone numbers where you can be contacted Insurance Information Total household income A routing and account number from your bank (only necessary if you want to have disaster assistance funds transferred directly) Call the FEMA Helpline or check online if you need additional help or have questions. You can also learn the status of an application, additional services, or the location of specific services.
FEMA Application Line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)
TTY # . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-800-462-7585
You can also apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are two organizations that offer a variety of resources, particularly during the early stages following a disaster. Be sure to contact both to determine whether their services meet your current needs.
American Red Cross. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-877-500-8645 866-526-8300 (Local Houston Office)
Salvation Army . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 713-752-0677
TEXAS UNITED WAY HELPLINE … 2-1-1