Monthly Archive: May 2013

Dealing With Disasters

Dealing With Disasters

During disasters, it can be hard to know what to do, and how to deal with unimaginable tragedy, destruction and loss… this list has resources available on the Internet, for Adults, Adolescents, Children, with information on traumatic stress, stress in disasters, how to cope, how to talk to your family and children about a disaster.
Soon to be added, tips and resources to help pets, in field, international, and multilingual resources…

Red Cross: Searching for Family Members

During an emergency, letting your family know that you are safe can bring loved ones peace of mind. If you have a loved one in a disaster-affected area and are unable to contact them directly, please visit our Safe and Well service to see if your family member has registered. If no information is available, contact your local Red Cross chapter to request assistance.

Help for Military Families, Active Duty Service Members, Veterans

Find Your Local Red Cross Chapter by Zip Code

Resources on the Web:

General & Adult Resources

Coping with Traumatic Stress Reactions -from VA Webpage

Fact Sheet on Stress- National Institute of Mental Health -Webpage, and PDF available
PTSD Meetup Groups- Search in your local area
Coping With Traumatic Events- SAMHSHA webpage   
Taking Care of You Coping Guidelines – From American Red Cross  
Red Cross Trauma & Emotional Support – all pdfs, all languages for download  
Trauma Information on Mental Health & Coping- Webpage 
Coping with Traumatic Stress 
Coping With Stress– CDC- Webpage

Adolescent & Children Resources for Parents

Helping Children Cope with Disaster (from FEMA)  
Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters: For Parents  (From National Institue of Health)
Where to Get Help for PTSD: General, Family, Military -National Center for PTSD
Helping Children Cope in Unsettling Times: Tips for Parents and Teachers– NASP
What Community Members Can Do: Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters- National Institute of Mental Health -Webpage, and PDF available

National Help Hotlines For USA

Disaster Distress Helpline

“Feeling stressed? If you or someone you know has been affected by a disaster and needs immediate assistance, please call this toll-free number for information, support, and counseling. You will be connected to the nearest crisis center.”

1-800-985-5990 or
Text TalkWithUs to 66746

TTY for Deaf/Hearing Impaired:
1-800-846-8517

Also you can call:

Samariteens Emotional Support Hotline (For Teens)    800-252-8336

Samaritans Emotional Grief Support & Suicidal Hotline

877-870-4673

24 hours a day: 617-247-0220 and 508-875 4500

Other Resources:

Ready.gov on Recovering from Disasters:

Recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process. Safety is a primary issue, as are mental and physical well-being. If assistance is available, knowing how to access it makes the process faster and less stressful. This section offers some general advice on steps to take after disaster strikes in order to begin getting your home, your community and your life back to normal.

 

This originally started as a spreadsheet and I wanted to make the list more publicly available in wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings, and more recently, the Texas and Oklahoma Tornadoes this month… Tragedies and disasters can be stressful and anxiety provoking. We are all human, we are all breakable. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it, seek it out!

(Kelli Merritz)

May 18, 2013 Oklahoma Tornadoes Resources

FEMA: Oklahoma Severe Storms and Tornadoes (DR-4117) Disaster Declaration

Disaster Recovery Center Locator

Current Real Time Weather Alerts For OK (from KOCO Weather)

From the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office:

Investigators with the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office are investigating instances of price gouging and ask that anyone who experiences price gouging to contact the AG’s Office immediately on the fraud hotline at (405) 521-2029. The practice is illegal.
Also, the first scams typically seen following such tragic situations is charity fraud. Please stay alert and only donate to reputable charities.

Help for Military Families, Active Duty Service Members, Veterans

Resources for Native Americans:

The Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference Disaster Relief Team, whose mission is to provide direct support, care, and assistance to American Indian victims of disasters, is serving as a focal point to coordinate Native relief efforts. Rev. David Wilson, Choctaw, head of the OIMC Disaster Relief Team, has provided a telephone number for people who need help or who want to provide assistance; the team can be reached directly at 405.632.2006.

Resources for dentists, physicians, and veterinarians:

Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC), the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, medical and animal health practitioners, today announced that it has opened the Henry

Schein Disaster Relief Hotline for dentists, physicians, and veterinarians who experience operational, logistical, or financial issues as a result of the devastating tornado in Oklahoma. The toll-free number for all Henry Schein customers – 800-999-9729 – is operational from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.

“We are all so deeply saddened by the devastating tornado that has struck the Oklahoma City region,” said Stanley Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Henry Schein, Inc.  “When this kind of natural disaster occurs, it is imperative that we do all we can to help those impacted by such a tragedy. We encourage practitioners to call our hotline, so that we can assist in their recovery as quickly as possible.”

Wireless Carriers:

Sprint and AT&T have said they are waiving voice, data and text overage charges through June 30 for customers in the affected areas of the May 18, 2013 Tornadoes

[/important]
How to Help Tornado Victims (from newsok.com)
Federal Assistance Information – Press Release from Governor Mary Fallin
The City of Moore Recovers Website
OKStrong Website
Sign up to receive weather alerts by email and phone from OK Office of Emergency Management

Resources From Oklahoma OEM; Helpful Links-

National Weather Service

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Interactive Weather Information Network

Oklahoma Emergency Management Association

Oklahoma Water Resource Board

Central Plains Visible Satellite

Doppler Radar Sites

Oklahoma Red Flag Fire Alert

Oklahoma’s Official Website

Additional Resources

Local Emergency Contacts

National Resources

Oklahoma Resources

Oklahoma Weather

Oklahoma Emergency Manager Directory

 Updated as of 1100 CDT 5/23/13

 

Tropical Storm Mahasen (Retired)

Because Tropical Storm Mahasen has dissipated, this page is retired and will no longer provide updates. Any further related events will be reported separately from this report to avoid confusion.

 

Listed Below are Prior Updates

 

On Friday 17 May, 2013:

Cautionary Reminder

There is still a cautionary reminder to those still in the path of the remnants of Tropical Storm Mahasen.

 A Met office bulletin said under the influence of Mahasen, heavy to very heavy showers might occur at most places in southern Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and Nagaland during the next 36 hours. (via Al Jazeera)

General Updates

Cyclone Mahasen weakened to a Tropical Storm before making landfall (late on the 16th) in Bangladesh.  With Bangladesh, India, Myanmar taking an active preparedness stance by evacuating hundreds of thousand of citizens from low-lying coastal areas and raising alert levels, when the Tropical Storm Mahasen arrived, what would have been a high number of deaths, is appearing to be in the single or double digit range.

“The storm was weaker than expected, but we have to commend the preparedness work done by the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar and their partners to get people to safety and ensure that communities were ready,”  -Brian Kelly, IOM’s Asia-Pacific Emergency Advisor. (via Reliefweb)

There has been a lull in reports, and, as of yet, no official reports have been released indicating the cumulative amount of damage that Tropical Storm Mahasen has caused the affected areas, the numbers displaced (besides rough estimates), or the official cumulative death toll.

“The situation is turning normal and the people have started returning home after some 200,000 people took overnight refuge at cyclone shelters at Barisal Division,” divisional commissioner of Barisal Mohammad Nurul Amin told Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS).

Useful Links

Media Coverage

 

On Thursday 16 May, 2013

Courtesy of BBC: Cyclone Mahasen is estimated to reach Bangladesh on Thursday 16 May, 2013 hitting coast by Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar. Burma is also threatened and evacuation efforts are underway to move tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims living in camps around Sittwe in the state of Rakhine.

 

Click on the image above to be directed to original, larger picture.

 

Northern Texas Tornadoes

Crushed autos sit amid the rubble as emergency personnel continue search efforts to locate people in that are unaccounted for in the destroyed Rancho Brazos neighborhood of Granbury, Texas, Thursday, May 16, 2013. Ten tornadoes touched down in several small communities in North Texas overnight, leaving at least six people dead, dozens injured and hundreds homeless.

Thursday, May 2013. Ten tornadoes touched down in several small communities in North Texas overnight, leaving at least six people dead, dozens injured and hundreds homeless.  Photo via Dallas Star AP

In Northern Texas, 10 tornadoes touched down overnight, including one monster tornado, ‘almost a mile wide’.  They appeared  in several communities, Granbury being the hardest hit.  EMS Search and Rescue teams face a demanding and chaotic situation in Granbury.  There are still search and rescue operations taking pace, with about 100 injured, and 6 found dead so far.  In the Northern Texas, tornadoes touched down in the area of the town of Granbury.  The deadly storm system had a powerful impact, leaving in its wake mere rubble collapsed homes, obliterated neighborhoods, shocked communities, 100s homeless, and 20,000 without electricity. To convey the devastation, Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds advised that the total of people injured, or dead has the potential to climb as search and rescue teams pick through the debris of tattered and destroyed homes. The hardest hit within Granbury was in the southern end of the town with the well known neighborhoods of Rancho Brazos Estates and DeCordova Ranch.  The town of Granbury, Texas has an estimated population of 8,000 residents.

 

The top priority “is to try to get the people that are out there in the community under a shelter somewhere” and to account for the missing.

 -Granbury Mayor Pro Tem Nin Hulett

 *Authorities warn death toll could rise as rubble searched

* About 100 people injured as homes destroyed, trees uprooted

* 3 separate tornadoes strike near Dallas-Fort Worth 

 

American Red Cross Shelter Finder 

Shelters Open:

First Christian Church Of Granbury
2109 W. Highway 377
Granbury ,TX 76048
Shelter Capacity : 100
Current Residents : 31

(as of 3:41PM CDT May 17, 2013)

 

 

 

H7N9: China’s Growing Worry

China’s affected provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hangzhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian and Capital City region, 135 infected, 35 dead. 

“The H7N9 bird flu has killed one person in central China’s Hunan Province, local health authorities said Wednesday. A 64-year-old woman surnamed Guan died Tuesday morning at a hospital in the city of Shaoyang some 20 days after her infection was confirmed, the Hunan Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission said. She was the first person in Hunan diagnosed with the virus. Another three patients were confirmed afterward. One of the three died earlier this month, one has recovered and the other is still in critical condition, according to the commission. The first human infection was reported in China in late March. Authorities have recorded 130 confirmed cases thus far. Previously the National Health and Family Planning Commission said the virus had killed 35 people on the mainland, while 57 of those infected had recovered as of May 13.”

RSOE EDIS

 

World Health Organization Warns Of Bird Flu Epidemic, Tuesday

On Tuesday, Sri Lanka suspended meat imports from China and redoubled surveillance of wild birds migrating from that country, after the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of an epidemic.

Thousands of wid birds migrate to Sri Lank from China annually, according to Dr. W.K. de Silva, animal production and health department director with the Sri Lanka government. “We have doubled the number of samples that we collect from wild birds, particularly those that migrate to certain wetlands in Sri Lanka,” he told media.

“We will intensify the checks until the WHO warning is lifted,” he said.

Several versions of the rapidly evolving H7N9 bird flu virus are circulating within China, epidemiologists said Tuesday.

The novel influenza A virus, a combination of three similar viruses found in chickens, ducks, and wild birds, emerged in China in February and has sickened more than 100 people in China and Taiwan, killing at least 20. Among three early cases reported in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province in China, two of the patients had contact with environmental sources — namely, live poultry markets.

Testing of chicken cages and feces from the market visited by one of the two patients were positive for the virus, indicating a direct connection between the poultry source and human infection, researchers reported Tuesday in the journal Science China: Life Sciences. Funded by China and Hangzhou Province, the researchers analyzed the DNA sequences from the viruses found in that province in addition to H7N9 viral sequences available in databases. The sequencing showed divergence between samples from one of the earlier patients and others from the province, suggesting that “several H7N9 viruses are circulating in Hangzhou,” the authors wrote.

However, “it is uncertain whether the diversity of H7N9 in Hangzhou is the result of host adaptation, or predates the transmission to humans from an avian source.”

Researchers said the origin and development of the novel flu virus remains unknown, though a study involving animal models yielded some insight into the disease’s pathogenicity.

“A glutamine to isoleucine substitution was observed at position 226 of the hemagglutinin amino acid sequence in the newly sequenced virus,” the authors wrote. “Isoleucine has similar characteristics to leucine, which was previously shown to be a pivotal amino acid in the binding of avian- or human-type receptor, and might be essential for pathogenicity in cases of airborne viral transmission. This substitution was observed for the first time at this site in H7N9, which may indicate a novel host adaptation feature of the H7 virus.”

Medical Daily

 

The study suggests the disease continues to mutate rapidly, and that researchers should further explore the significance of the receptor binding properties of Q226I protein sequence in the virus — as well as the significance of the substitutions, in both live organisms and laboratory sequencing.

Source: Li J, Yu X F, Pu X Y, et al. Environmental connections of novel avian-origin H7N9 influenza virus infection and virus adaptation to the human. Sci China Life Sci, 2013, 56(6), 485-492. doi: 10.1007/s11427-013-4491-3.

Updates on H5N1 current situation can be found at:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/avian-flu-summary.htm

http://medicalxpress.com/tags/avian+flu/

You can read more information about the general history of H5N1 strain at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avian_flu_outbreak_of_2009#2009

You can check out the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Resources and Information on Avian Flu with this link:

http://www.who.int/influenza/resources/avian_influenza/en/index.html

You can find the CDC’s General Information on Avian Flu here:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/

 

May 15

North Korea’s H5N1 Outbreak

 

There was a strain of H5N1 in North Korea reported Tuesday, 14 May, 2013.

 

A new outbreak of the H5N1 strain of the avian influenza virus has been confirmed at a duck production unit in P’yongyang-Si, resulting in the deaths of more than 164,000 ducks. This is according to the World Organisation for Animal Health who received notification from the Anti-Epizootic Department at the Ministry of Agriculture in Pyongyang yesterday. Ducks in one of the 20 cages showed clinical signs on 19 April 2013 but recovered 3-4 days later. As mortality increased, samples were sent to the Central Veterinary Station on 2 May 2013. In total, one adult cage, 12 fattening cages and 7 duckling cages were infected. More than 2,000 adult duc

ks, 42,000 fattening ducks and 120,000 ducklings younger than 20 days were dead or killed. Movement controls, quarantining an disinfection are part of a raft of measures put in place to control the outbreak.  H5N1 is a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus.

RSOE EDIS

 

Updates on H5N1 current situation can be found at:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/avian-flu-summary.htm

http://medicalxpress.com/tags/avian+flu/

You can read more information about the general history of H5N1 strain at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avian_flu_outbreak_of_2009#2009

You can check out the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Resources and Information on Avian Flu with this link:

http://www.who.int/influenza/resources/avian_influenza/en/index.html

You can find the CDC’s General Information on Avian Flu here:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/