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Storms are stressful: How to take care of your emotional health

Storms are stressful: How to take care of your emotional health

There's no way around it: Storms are stressful. Not to mention, dealing with a hurricane during a pandemic can be complicated. 

Here are some resources and ways to take care of your emotional health. 

Counseling is available 24/7

The Disaster Distress Helpline (1-800-985-5990) provides 24/7 counseling to people coping with crises due to Hurricane Ida.

Recalling Katrina and dealing with PTSD

For some people, frightening memories of a terrible event can come back months or even years after the event. In reliving the event, some people become fearful and can have problems coping with daily life. Mental health experts call this posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The most helpful treatment for PTSD is professional counseling and medicine. People with this condition tend to cut themselves off from others. Family members can play a vital role in helping victims to get help. With treatment, people can feel better very quickly. Talking with a family healthcare provider or mental health provider is a good place to start.

For more information, visit the National Center for PTSD website. 

Take care of your heart, especially in the heat

Along with other dangers, the aftermath of Hurricane Ida could pose significant heart health risks.

Stress and trauma from the storm that slammed into Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and other states could increase heart risk, and the impact may be more significant for heart disease and stroke patients, the American Heart Association (AHA) warns.

For example, it may be more difficult in the storm's aftermath for patients to see a health care provider or get medications.

AHA offered these tips:

  • Write down any medical conditions, allergies, medications, doses and the time you take medications, as well as the name, address and phone number of your pharmacy.

  • Place your medications and health information in a resealable plastic bag to help keep them dry.

  • If your medication is lost, damaged by water or was left behind when you evacuated, look for open pharmacies and get a refill as quickly as possible.

  • If you use a larger drug store or pharmacy chain, you may be able to arrange to have prescriptions filled in a different location for pickup.

  • Some states allow pharmacists to make medically necessary exceptions on certain types of refills during an emergency.

  • If you have diabetes and use insulin, the AHA offers a Patient Preparedness Plan, with a checklist of supplies and guidelines for handling your condition during a weather emergency.

Oxygen exchange locations in New Orleans are also open 8am-6pm: 

  • New Orleans Fire Station 1, 2920 Magazine St.
  • New Orleans Fire Station 36, 5403 Read Blvd.
  • New Orleans Fire Station 6, 4500 Old Gentilly Rd.
  • New Orleans Fire Station 40, 2500 General de Gaulle Dr.

Suicide risk is real

Researchers found that the severe emotional distress and anxiety for those who have lived through major disasters can also lead to suicide, even years after a disaster.

Those with existing social vulnerabilities are also at a greater risk. 

Find help at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Staying cool without air conditioning

Cooling Centers in Orleans Parish will be open starting Wednesday, Sept. 1, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. People will be able to charge their devices and temporarily cool down at the following locations:

  • Treme Recreation Center (900 N. Villere St.)
  • Cut Off Recreation Center (6600 Belgrade St.)
  • Gernon Brown Recreation Center (1001 Harrison Ave.)
  • Milne Recreation Center (5420 Franklin Ave.)
  • Stallings St. Claude Recreation Center (4300 St. Claude)
  • John P. Lyons Recreation Center (624 Louisiana Ave.)
  • Joe W. Brown Recreation Center (5601 Read Blvd.)
  • Rosenwald Recreation Center ( 1120 S. Broad Ave.)

Additional recovery resources

FEMA
Federal assistance is available to eligible individuals and families affected by this disaster. More info >>

United Way
The United Way 211 phone number is available to access United Way’s services. You can also click here to access Disaster Assistance. The United Way works with American Red Cross, FEMA, crisis counselling, etc. for immediate needs.

DSNAP
While DSNAP has not yet been approved for Hurricane Ida, you can pre-register now to get a head start on your application if DSNAP is approved for your parish. Pre-register here >>

Text message updates
NOLAReady - Text NOLAREADY to 77295 for recovery resources and updates
Nola.com - Text 'ida' to 504.294.3882 for updates on all things recovery in New Orleans

What's open? Gas, groceries & more
List of businesses in the greater New Orleans area who are open. Two great lists - Nola.com & WWL