TODAY | November 04, 2012
>>> nearly a week after sandy hit the east coast millions of people are still without power and facing the daunting task of rebuilding their homes and communities. they're also dealing with anxious and fearful of what the future holds. dr. nancy snyderman is nbc's chief medical editor. some of us were inconvenience d by power outages, but some people are in it really bad straits and it's starting to take a real emotional aal toll.
>> you can see it literally in people's eyes, the exhaustion and fright. i've talked to more parents who said on monday and tuesday they, themselves, were so scared but they felt they had to be stronger because the fright in their children's faces was extraordinary. and now from the inconvenience of no power, no water, to really being cold and the disruption for a lot of kids still no school and then what is monday going to bring?
>> and also, a lot of folks have never had to ask for help and this is a time where you need help. but it's difficult.
>> it is. you and i have lived in california. so we understand what preparedness is. we think like earthquake people. and i would have to say that on the east coast , people don't necessarily have that same preparedness aspect. so even though there are warnings, people find themselves caught off guard and you and i know having covered katrina you get the first wham was, okay, but then the insidious sort of day after day after day --
>> it's going to be a long slaught.
>> that's what hit people now. as trite as it sounds, the more you can talk to your family members about it, the more important it is. reach out to neighbors who may not have anything. find out if you can help car-pool kids. find out what's happening in community centers . there are a lot of communities still virtually cut off from the rest of the world and they're not getting information.
>> everything connects, you don't have any power, any gas. you don't have gas, you can't get to the store, the pharmacy. talk about people if you need a medication and you have just fumes in your gas tank , you can't get to the pharmacy, may not be open when you get there, what do you do?
>> this preparedness issue. everyone should have a five-gallon water container that sits in the basement that's always there. for people on medications, have a zip locked bag with at least two or three days of medication that's labelled. know where there are alternate pharmacies you can go. and i would always ask the physician please give me a backup prescription that i can have that shows that i need this medication and then keep it in a safe place that you can access a watertight box. now we don't think enough ahead for the routine medications. if you're a patient who is on any kind of mental health drugs, any cardiac drug, cancer patients, and your hospital or 0 your doctor isn't open for business, you really need to have two or three days minimum, a week is even better. and i can't underscore the preparedness issue enough. think like a californian from here on out.
>> let's all hope we learn lessons from this. dr. nancy