Hurricane Harvey is known as one of the tropical cyclones with the costliest damages to America. In fact, it is tied with the infamous Hurricane Katrina in terms of the cost of damages. Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4 major hurricane which was formed on August 17, 2017, and was officially announced as dissipated on September 2, 2017. It brought with it winds of up to 130 mph. As of this writing, the reported effects of Hurricane Harvey were 107 casualties and damages were estimated to be at $125 billion. Typhoon Harvey devastated different parts of America and surrounding areas. Texas was one of the hardest hit by this calamity. There was nonstop rain for almost two weeks. Some people thought it was the end of the world. And you would think that it really was the end – with the death and destruction that it left behind. But after the worst storm comes stories of survival and hope. And all it takes is to offer a helping hand to a community that has lost so much. WHAT IS A DISASTER? A hurricane in itself is not a disaster. It is just a natural phenomenon. It is the impact that makes a disaster. Life changing effects turn a hurricane into a disaster. A disaster can be natural or caused by nature such as typhoon, flooding, earthquake,orvolcanic eruption.What happened in Texas during Hurricane Harvey is a natural disaster. Disasters can also be man-made or caused by man such as a huge fire affecting a big part of a community. Whether caused by nature or man, a disaster change lives such that people find it hard to go back to their normal daily activities. A CALL FOR ACTION A disaster is always a call for action. First, it is a call for everyday heroes to step up and help thosewho are in need. During a disaster, do not wait for authorities to rescue thoseasking for help. If you can do something about it, then take action. Volunteerism during times of disaster is a big help. It takes a lot of helping hands to rebuild a community that has suffered so much devastation. A disaster is a call for donors to share whatever they can. Each clothing, each food thatyou give will cloth a person who is feeling cold and feed a hungry stomach. They can bring relief to an already tired body and soul. A disaster is a call for reform in our disaster risk reduction and management. Government officials and community members must realize the importance of being prepared for a disaster and to mitigate risks that could result in a possible disaster. It is a tall order indeed amidst the devastation that the people of Texas suffered but with the help of other people, Texas can rise can again and as they rise, they will rise stronger and wiser and this time with much grateful hearts and a resilient spirit. We encourage you to go out of your garage doors in Dallas and help those who were severely affected by Hurrican Harvey.
Survivors of Hurricane Harvey were left with no homes. Harvey is indeed the costliest disaster to hit America in almost a century. The whole world knows the devastation and damages brought about by Hurricane Harvey. Its effects in the affected areas were severe. More than a hundred lives were lost, more were injured, and still, others are missing up to this time. Infrastructure, houses,and properties were destroyed. It took away homes and properties in an instant. Needless to say, grief and pain weighed down the people and communities. The state of Texas was one of the most badly hit areas of Hurricane Harvey. Residents recalled how in just a flick of a finger, their cities and towns were ravaged by the hurricane. They would forever remember that fateful early morning on August 23, 2017,when their community was devastated and torn apart. Houses, school buildings, businesses, and churcheswere flat on the ground. The plants and fields were washed away, trees were uprooted, some houses were lifted off, power lines were misaligned and broken. As a way of reaching out to the survivors, Habitat for Humanity has set up a campaign for a re-roofing and complete housing projectto respond to the immediate needs of the people. Based on the needs assessment, there were houses that were totally destroyed and partially destroyed. For those houses that were partially destroyed, the families were given assistance to repair their homes while the Habitat for HumanityTeam met with those families whose houses were totally destroyed to consult with them and plan regarding the construction of their new houses. Habitat for Humanity’s continuous presence in these communities ensures the proper monitoring of the housing project. The Team will facilitate the construction of houses. Other welfare assistance programs are also in place to promote holistic formation and development.
The government program Healthy People 2020 has the goal of improving older adults’ health, function, and quality of life. Their program includes geriatric education, preventive health services, chronic illness services, and injury prevention. These services help guarantee that older persons receive adequate support, appropriate care and treatment for their well-being. They also recognize arising issues in health management of older persons such as the need for person-centered care planning, quality measure of care and monitoring of health conditions, fair pay and compensation for caregivers, and level of geriatric training for health professionals. These concerns need to be incorporated in health care programs to ascertain that older persons, the people and community around them have the capacity to provide their specific needs for their holistic development. Older persons need special consideration in emergency preparedness and the whole process of disaster risk reduction and management. They should have emergency kits ready and should include their medicine, vitamins, identification, contact details of family and relatives, and other particulars. Their families and caregivers should also be taught about how to get assistance or go to safe places during disaster. The community should have elderly-friendly safe spaces that can accommodate them during emergencies. The capacities of older persons need to be enhanced so that they can be prepared and we can mitigate adverse effects. Education and training are important in caring for the elderly. Healthcare professionals would know proper conduct, demeanor, and assistance when relating to elderly clients. We should promote a culture of safety in the communities where our older persons belong. There should be compassionate and patient-centered care for those who need health careespecially after experiencing a traumatic event such as a disaster. At the end of the day, a responsible health care program for older persons would ensure their holistic development and would respond to their dynamic concerns relating to their physical, mental, social, economic, and spiritual needs to pave the way for their over-all well-being.
Each year, many countries are affected by natural disasters. It does not matter if you are from a developed country or a developing country. As they say, natural disasters are a great equalizer. It affects everyone –both the developing and developed countries. But the difference lies in their ability to rise up from the debilitating effects of these natural disasters. As expected, those from developed countries can rise up immediately after being struck by a calamity because they have the resources to rebuild anew. While those from developing countries take a long time to recover from the effects of a disaster. Let us take for example the case of the Philippines. The Philippines experienced one of the worst natural disasters in history when Super Typhoon Yolanda with an international name Typhoon Haiyan ravaged different regions of the country. Haiyan is one of the strongest typhoons not just in the Philippines but all over the world. It struck many provinces and many of their residents were low-income families. They lived in houses made of lightweight materials. They lived along the coastal area. This made them vulnerable to the effects of the typhoon. When Typhoon Haiyan hit their villages, their houses were washed away by the storm surge – taking with it precious lives, properties and sources of income. Typhoon Haiyan claimed thousands of lives and left the survivors with virtually nothing – they did not have a roof over their head and they did not have food or any means to provide for their needs. They relied on the government and aid of various humanitarian organizations that extended assistance upon hearing the news of what happened to them. They were given temporary shelter, relief goods, food, and financial assistance. And it is unfortunate that almost five years after Typhoon Haiyan, these people are still having a hard time getting back on their feet. They continue to bear the effects of that disastrous moment.