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Impact of natural disasters on wellbeing
Much of the focus of responses to natural disasters usually centres on the cost of physical damage to property. But the impact on an individual and community’s wellbeing is of even greater concern. Natural disasters cause significant disruption to every-day life, often resulting in post-traumatic stress and even loss of life. The loss of loved ones, the sight of flames engulfing homes or people being rescued from the roof of a house as flood waters rise can be devastating. These are enormously stressful events which can turn lives upside down and take away our sense of safety and security.
After a catastrophic event, it is very common for people impacted to experience a range of emotions including shock, guilt, sadness and anger. The shock of disaster loss can be reduced through a range of personal strategies, including psychological support, ‘planning activities and appropriate insurance cover. Seeking out support to help cope with traumatic stress is an important part of the recovery process. There are a number of organisations who make available information on dealing with the effects of natural disaster. Some example supported services are provided below:
|Australian Psychological Association||http://www.psychology.org.au/|