Flood victims from 2016 likely to experience PTSD during tropical storm

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (NBC Local 33) (FOX 44) Experts say survivors of major disasters can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Greater Baton Rouge area experienced devastating floods in 2016, which claimed the lives of 13 people and left many declaring their homes a total loss.

With a tropical storm looming in south Louisiana, NBC Local 33 caught up with Brian Harris, a supervisor for the Department of Emergency Medical Services for Baton Rouge city-parish.

“Knowing what has happened before, they hear about the rain event that is coming now – that will trigger some of those same feelings and memories from three years ago,” said Harris.

Harris said flood victims can find the events that follow a flood more stressful than the flood itself.

“They’ve had to rebuild and they know the trauma that comes from it. (You) end up having to sleep in a shelter for two weeks or living in a hotel room for two to three months,” said Harris.

A study in Science Daily said the most difficult aspects for many people in the aftermath is the clean-up process and rebuilding. The report also found 75% of people said the most difficult aspect of the aftermath is dealing with insurance companies.

“I don’t think everyone has come back from (the 2016 flood),” said Harris. “There’s still some people that are working on their houses because they didn’t have the monies saved up or they didn’t have insurance.”

If you recognize someone around you who may be dealing with PTSD, experts say the best thing you can do is provide practical help and emotional support.

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