Storm Trauma: New Disasters Trigger Old Memories

State News

EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, La. (WVLA/NBC News) – (7/12/19) As the Gulf Coast braces for the arrival of Tropical Storm Barry, experts warn the experience could trigger Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among survivors of past natural disasters.

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.

“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,” says Greater Baton Emergency Medical Services supervisor Brad Harris.

Harris says 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,” Harris says.

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