The Atlantic

‘Even the Best-Run Hurricane Shelters Can Be Highly Stressful’

Thousands of North Carolina residents are still displaced after Hurricane Florence, but research suggests evacuees who stay with family or friends are less likely to develop PTSD symptoms.
Source: Thomas B. Shea / AFP / Getty

When Hurricane Florence made landfall in coastal North Carolina on Friday morning, some 20,000 residents had evacuated from their home and were taking refuge in 157 shelters, according to Governor Roy Cooper. “We’ve spent the last week telling people to evacuate. Now we’re working very hard to save lives,” Cooper said Friday in an interview with NPR. In the days since, some of those evacuees have returned to their home, but the total number of people in the state still in shelters was estimated on Tuesday to be around 10,000.

For families who end up displaced from their home due to mandatory evacuation, fear of unsafe conditions, or actual unsafe exposure to a hurricane and increased symptoms of PTSD and depression. displacement specifically to higher levels of PTSD and depression. Newer research, though, clarifies that some kinds of displacement can lead to better mental-health outcomes than others.

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