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A despondent Mariela Leon sits in front of her flood damaged home after the passing of Hurricane Irma, in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. Photo: Ramon Espinosa/AP

There are a number of side effects of a disaster like Hurricane Harvey or Irma that last long after the cameras leave.

Here are some of the lesser-known side effects:

  • Disaster fraud: Between fake charity donation sites being established to collect money, false insurance claims, and price fixing, natural disasters give way to billions of dollars lost in fraudulent activities, per the Economist.
  • Domestic abuse spikes: The New York Times reports that domestic violence victims can become "particularly vulnerable" after a disaster due to disconnected domestic violence hotlines and being cut off from people who had been helping them (like friends or neighbors). Additionally, the financial assistance given after the disaster could be controlled by the abuser.
  • Child abuse and neglect: The World Health Organization reported that traumatic brain injuries in children under two were five times higher in counties affected by Hurricane Floyd in North Carolina than children in counties less affected or not affected at all.
  • Exploitation: W.H.O. also reports that human trafficking can increase after a disaster due to decreased employment options for women and large numbers of unaccompanied children.
  • Mental health deterioration: U.S. News reported in 2014 that mental health problems like post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are "rampant" among survivors of several natural disasters. This isn't usually prevalent until after the shock of the event wears off.
  • Health services: Aside from the physical impact disasters may have on hospitals and other health services buildings, health professionals may relocate after a disaster, resulting in fewer resources and "a scarcity of health services," per U.S. News.

Go deeper

Biden extends mask mandates for travelers into 2022

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

President Biden will announce new testing protocols for international travelers on Thursday and extend masking requirements through March as the U.S. prepares to fight the Omicron variant this winter, according to senior administration officials.

Driving the news: The U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols starting early next week by requiring all inbound international travelers to take COVID-19 tests within one day of their departure rather than three.

44 mins ago - Health

America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The race to figure out just how dangerous the Omicron variant is will likely be a global effort, but some experts are skeptical that the U.S. will play a dominant role.

Why it matters: The CDC has repeatedly come under fire for inadequate data collection throughout the pandemic — and figuring out how to respond to Omicron requires a lot of data that doesn't currently exist.

U.S. faces urgent anti-hacker crisis

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The Biden administration is accelerating efforts to fill nearly 600,000 vacant cybersecurity positions in the public and private sectors bogging down efforts to protect digital infrastructure.

Why it matters: Following a deluge of ransomware attacks targeting critical government and corporate infrastructure this year, clogs in the talent pipeline are leaving federal, cash-strapped local governments and Big Business even more susceptible to hacking.