Just How Unhealthy and Unsafe Are Disaster Shelters?

There has been much evidence to support preparing for an emergency and disaster scenario on your own without putting your hopes in crowded shelters or government-operated camps.  Even though FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has come out and said they are not efficient nor are they even effective at helping people, most just don’t seem to care, and won’t until it is too late. And a shelter may not have conditions that are any better.

One of the worst conditions imaginable would be the prison-like atmosphere of a FEMA camp. However, taking your family to a disaster shelter could be just as bad. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, many found themselves in non-profit disaster shelters, and many reported conditions that were not healthy or safe for human beings, especially children. As hundreds of thousands of people packed in close proximity to one another in Houston’s convention centers, churches, mosques, and schools all serving as temporary shelters, their basic needs seemed to be met.  Food, water, and a place to sleep were provided.  But the danger of an infection -both viral and bacterial– and subsequent horrible illness was high.  And in close quarters, these infections could easily spread sickening many in a short amount of time.



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“The primary concern is communicable diseases,” Chris Van Deusen, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of State Health Services, told Newsweek. “When people get in that close proximity that’s sort of the right conditions for illness.” Health care providers, coordinators, and volunteers involved in operating shelters are constantly on the lookout for any…

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