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You are preparing for a disaster and may have survived a terrible natural disaster. The main priority now is to protect your family’s health and wellbeing in the difficult days and weeks ahead.

WATERBORNE DISEASES like cholera, dysentery and diarrhea are common in natural disasters and are a major risk where floods and stagnant water resulting after rains from hurricanes, have contaminated water sources. Good hygiene protects against diarrhea and other water borne diseases. Follow these simple steps at all times: Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or ash and water after using a latrine, or working in the house or field, and before touching food or feeding children.

Dispose of all faeces the best way possible, including children’s wastes! If it is not possible to use a toilet or latrine, everyone should defecate as far away as possible from houses, paths, water sources and places where people and children use. Faeces should be buried immediately or covered with ash.

Only use water that is from a safe source or is purified. Water containers need to be kept covered to keep the water clean. If you are not sure if the water is clean make sure you bring it to the boil, and cool if necessary, before using.

Raw or leftover food can be dangerous. Raw food should be washed or cooked. Cooked food should be eaten without delay or thoroughly reheated.

Food, utensils and food preparation surfaces should be kept clean.

Food should be stored in covered containers Keep the household and nearby areas clean of faeces, refuse and waste water to discourage the flies, cockroaches, rats and mice that can spread disease.

BREASTFEEDING - protect the

youngest children!

Breast milk alone is all your child less than 6 months needs.


Breastfeeding is particularly important in disaster and emergency situations. Special attention to exclusive breastfeeding of babies under 6 months should be a priority to avoid illness and deaths. Special attention and support may be needed for mothers with stress reactions.


The standing water and water-logged areas created by floods and hurricanes bring an increased risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue, especially for displaced families living outside without protection. Children and pregnant women are most at risk Where possible everyone should sleep under bednets. Seek prompt medical treatment for any case of high fever.

Families and communities should prevent mosquitos from breeding. Cover still water, fill in or drain places where water collects and clear bushes away from houses and shelters.

OTHER DISEASES Disease can spread quickly when people are crowded together. Accept any essential health care that is offered – including measles vaccination, food and micronutrient supplements.


It is particularly important that children are fully immunized at this time especially against measles. Take all unimmunized, or partially immunized children to the nearest health center to complete their vaccinations on schedule or as near to schedule as possible.

SpEcIAl cARE!!! It is always best for children to be cared for by their parents or other familiar adults, especially during emergency situations because it makes them feel more secure. Children need special attention, extra affection and the opportunity to express their feelings and to talk about their experiences in ways that are appropriate for their age. They also need privacy and protection.

Try to stick to regular routines, going to school and maintaining regular eating and sleeping schedules. Help girls to learn about menstrual hygiene care. Help give children a sense of security and continuity. Monitor children while in shelters especially when using bathrooms. Protect them from sexual abuse.

Enjoyable activities can help children deal with stress. Drawing or playing with toys can help.

Children need constant reassurance. They should not be scolded or punished. If close family members need to be away, the child should be told where the person is going, when he or she will return and who will be caring for them during the absence. Children should be encouraged to talk about what is troubling them. They should be encouraged to express themselves but should not be forced. Most of all they need to be listened to. When children’s stress reactions are severe and last for a long time they need special help from a counselor. Help children with disabilities to address any special and particular need that they may have.

For more information please contact: Your nearest health facility in your town or district or Department of Health Services Ministry of Health Telephone: 822-2325 Email:

Ministry of Health

Protect survive highres  

This Protect and Survive Booklet provides information on how you protect you and your family's health and well- being during times of emerge...

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