Blog – Disaster Preparedness

Kewa Pueblo family proves the harmful effects of mold in children and the elderly

Holly Martinez of Kewa Pueblo witnessed firsthand how detrimental mold can be to a child’s health. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that for the first time in over two years, Holly’s child, Dominique, has slept through the night. The young mother reports that Dominique, who has cerebral palsy, would wake up on a nightly basis with difficulties breathing because of the mold in the home.

The realization about mold’s harmful effects came after a devastating hailstorm earlier in the month damaged Martinez’s home, along with the homes of 66 other families. Left homeless, the family now resides in a community shelter that helps displaced family. Martinez states, “I never knew (mold) was affecting her so much. At our house, she would wake up at night, gasping for air. Here, she sleeps through the night.”

The homes of 600 area families were devastated by water damage after the hailstorm. As a result, the families that moved did so because the damage was so severe that it posed dangerous health risks. It could cost up to $2 million to reconstruct the water-damaged community.

Children and the elderly are the most vulnerable when mold takes over a building. Martinez’s grandmother, Andrea Calabaza, developed a fungal infection in her nose because of the mildew that grew in the home over the years due to continual water damage.

For Martinez and Calabaza, the building lost to mold was more than just a home—it was also their place of business from where the family would make and sell beaded jewelry. When individuals think of business continuity, they often imagine damage to a remote location away from the home. However, when a business is run out of a home, emergency disaster plans must be made for both the family and enterprise.

Learn more about what businesses should do after a storm.

[photo: Justin Watt]

Related articles