Dealing with the Health Aftermath of Natural Disasters

By: JANET McCONNAUGHEY and SHELIA BYRD - Associated Press Writers
By: JANET McCONNAUGHEY and SHELIA BYRD - Associated Press Writers

The aftermath of a disaster like the floods that submerged parts of Mississippi or the tornadoes that have wiped out towns in the Midwest and Southeast can leave victims with depression and other ailments.

Although the wait was agonizing as flood waters rose, experts say the extra time makes a difference in the long run.

The Mississippi River flooding has been a slow-motion disaster as the water made a month long trek from the Midwest to the Deep South. Most had plenty of warning that their homes could wind up under water.

Irwin Redlener, the director of Columbia University's National Center for Disaster Preparedness, says the extra lead time can help. It gives people time to safely leave with important documents and keepsakes, and allow them to eventually have a fresh start.

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