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Maui Wildfires: Coping with Natural Disasters (Resources & Ways to Support in Blog)

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

Written By: Dr. Jaime G Raygoza

Links to support the cause can be found at the bottom of this blog.


Natural disasters can strike anywhere at any time. On the latest episode of his podcast "Finding the Unicorn in You," Dr. Jaime G. Raygoza discusses coping with disasters and finding resilience in traumatic times.


The Maui Wildfires


Dr. Raygoza opens by addressing the devastating wildfires in Maui, Hawaii that have killed over 100 people so far. He reflects on the immense loss these communities have suffered, losing their homes, loved ones, and entire way of life. It's crucial we support relief efforts however we can.


Be Prepared


Dr. Raygoza draws on his emergency preparedness training to advise everyone to have an emergency plan and disaster kit ready. This includes copies of vital documents, first aid supplies, food, water, clothing, and other necessities you may need if evacuated quickly. He provides tips like keeping expired food as a last resort and staying connected with neighbors for mutual aid.


Create an Evacuation Plan


Know your possible exit routes at home and have them written down. Identify any self-defense resources you may need. Stay updated on weather and local conditions so you can react promptly if threatened. Remain as calm as possible so you can think clearly.


Seek Community and Support


In traumatic times, relying on others is key. Seek emotional support, counseling, or group therapy to process events in a healthy way. Unaddressed trauma can resurface through anxiety, PTSD, and physical symptoms. Prioritize your mental health during the aftermath.


Though incredibly difficult, even the worst disasters can be survived one day at a time. Drawing on social and professional help, we can build back stronger than before.


What would you include in your emergency plan?


To hear the full episode, go to Finding the Unicorn in You Podcast! Find it on your favorite podcast app or click:



Resources:


Donate & Support Maui:


  • Help Maui Rise: Directly Aid Ê»Ohana Displaced by Fires

(thanks @sagelenier674 for making this spreadsheet and sharing it)


  • Donations to the Food Bank will provide meals to the thousands of people who have lost everything.



  • Donations to the Grief and Happiness Nonprofit Origination will provide copies of their The Grief and Happiness Handbook to those on Maui dealing with loss and Grief. Please Scroll to the bottom of the page.



Preparing For Natural Disasters Resources:


  • Ready.gov: Provides a comprehensive list of disasters and other emergencies, with information on how to prepare before the event, stay safe during the event, and recover after the event. They also provide a list of items to include in your disaster kit

  • Emergency Nurses Association: Provides valuable resources for emergency nurses related to natural disasters including earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes, and more


  • Nationwide: Offers tips to prepare for natural disasters, including having at least three days' worth of food, water, and medications on hand. They also provide a list of items to include in your disaster kit


  • U.S. Department of Education: Provides resources for restoring the teaching and learning environment at Natural Disaster Resources. They have curated resources, including those developed by other federal agencies and organizations, for K-12 communities after natural disasters. They also provide resources for higher education communities after natural disasters


  • American Red Cross: Provides information on how to prepare for natural disasters, including creating a disaster kit and making a plan. They also offer resources for specific types of disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires.


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Provides information on how to prepare for natural disasters, including creating a disaster kit and making a plan. They also offer resources for specific types of disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires.


  • Federal Emergency Management Agency: Provides information on how to prepare for natural disasters, including creating a disaster kit and making a plan. They also offer resources for specific types of disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires.


  • National Weather Service: Provides information on how to prepare for severe weather, including creating a disaster kit and making a plan. They also offer resources for specific types of severe weather, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods.

  • Due to the wildfires, it is important to be aware of asbestos exposure as many homes that are affected could contain asbestos. Asbestos is one of the most heat-resistant substances known to man, yet it can be highly toxic when it is damaged by fire. When structures catch fire, asbestos products become damaged and release carcinogenic fibers that become airborne and transportable by smoke. For more information visit:

  • Natural disasters, like floods and tornadoes, can cause harmful asbestos exposure to residents and first responders. Debris left over from a disaster causes the most damage in the air because people in the area can inhale the fibers without even realizing it. Residents should know where asbestos is before a disaster and leave the cleanup to trained professionals.

For more information visit:

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