Hurricane Harvey: How To Begin Recovery After Tragedy

Hurricane Harvey

Paul Morris checks on neighbors homes in a flooded district of Orange as Texas slowly moves toward recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey on September 7, 2017 in Orange, Texas. Almost a week after Hurricane Harvey ravaged parts of the state, some neighborhoods still remained flooded and without electricity. While downtown Houston is returning to business, thousands continue to live in shelters, hotels and other accommodations as they contemplate their future. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Since making landfall near Rockport Texas late August, Hurricane Harvey, a category 4 storm system – with winds up to 130 mph and pounding waves – has claimed the lives of 70 people. While the death toll continues to rise — leaving many others from Houston and Beaumont, Texas, Bishop County and nearby communities to Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee without home, transportation, or food — many are just trying to pick up the pieces.

Stars like Kevin Hart, Beyoncé and her mama Tina Knowles, Chris Paul, and many more have extended a helping hand to those impacted by the devastating event. However, some may argue that Harvey’s catastrophic impacts could be felt both economically and emotionally for weeks and months to come.

“We were seeing numbers outpacing anything we were prepared to take care of,” Dr. Carrie de Moor, an ER physician who is CEO of Code 3 ER and Urgent Care, told NBC News.

“”I think mental health is going to be huge,” added Jody Hopkins, CEO of the Texas Association of Charitable Clinics. “A patient came and said, ‘I worked at Dollar General and the store is wiped out. I am out of a job.’ That has a huge impact.” She continued, “typically, a mental health provider will see eight to nine patients a day. We saw 32 mental health patients in one day this week.”

While dealing with the aftermath of tragedy such as that of a natural disaster may vary from person to person, experts advise to first and foremost, take care of yourself. Here’s why:

“A natural disaster can take a toll on you mentally and physically, Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, M.S., LPC, GCDF, of Pro Talk, tells BlackDoctor.org. “During a tragedy, it is easy to neglect your well-being. Make sure you are eating healthily and getting the rest and sleep your body needs to function. Taking care good care of yourself is the first step in recovery,” she added.