While hurricanes are known for causing rapid and often devastating physical destruction, they can also cause equally severe emotional damage, said Dr. Janette Nesheiwat on Saturday, October 1.
“It’s a traumatic experience,” Nesheiwat, a board-certified emergency and family medicine professional and Fox News medical contributor, said during a “Fox & Friends Weekend” segment.
“You almost lost your life, or you lost all your belongings. It’s a shock to the body.”
HURRICANE IAN: LATEST UPDATES
This shock, he explained, can cause victims to make unclear decisions.
After a storm, he said, “You’re in trouble, you’re stressed, you don’t know what to do, you don’t know where to go, and that’s where you make bad decisions.”
Nesheiwat added: “That’s when the PTSD starts. That’s when the infections started.”
Dirty flood water can be another source of problems, Dr Nesheiwat said.
These flood waters are often full of bacteria, which can infect cuts or scrapes on the skin. Infections, if left untreated, could become serious.
SHELTER FROM THE STORM: AMID HURRICANE IAN, FLORIDA SCHOOLS OPEN THEIR DOORS TO HELP NEIGHBORS IN NEED
“It’s full of sewage, and chemicals, and debris, and glass, and rusted metal and that kind of thing,” he said.
Nesheiwat noted that after Hurricane Katrina, he encountered many patients who had ulcers, respiratory problems and other infections that arose after the storm.
HURRICANE IAN WEATHER TIPS: HOW TO KEEP YOUR PET SAFE DURING A STORM
In addition, Nesheiwat expressed concern about the inappropriate use of generators in the event of a power cut.
If people are not careful, they can put themselves at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal.
Nesheiwat returned to the topic of mental health issues during extreme weather events.
“The mental aspect of it, the emotional trauma, is really, really devastating,” she said, and should be treated with the same concern and attention as physical health issues, she suggested.
VICTIMS OF HURRICANE IAN AND THOSE IN ITS PATH RECEIVE BLESSINGS, PRAYERS AND HELP
“Fox & Friends Weekend” co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy said parents who “suppress some of their stress to keep [their] “quiet kids” are also under pressure.
Nesheiwat said health problems are exacerbated for the medically vulnerable, especially the elderly.
She advised that those people, before any storm, take extra precautions, such as making a “ready kit” and making sure medications are packed to stay dry and out of harm’s way.
Those bags should contain identification, money, chargers, a pair of dry clothes, snacks and some water, he said.
TOWN CAT FROM SARASOTA, FLORIDA IS HURRICANE IAN SURVIVOR, WITH SHELTER, WORST OF STORM
“The best thing you can do is always, first of all, heed the warnings of local officials,” he said.
Those with elderly or vulnerable neighbors should check on them, she said, and use specially created helplines to get help if needed.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
As for all those who have been reaching out to others in this time of need, Dr Nesheiwat said “it’s beautiful to see the community coming together, working together, supporting each other”.