The emotional toll that disaster brings can sometimes be even more devastating than the financial strains of damage and loss of your home, business, or personal property.


  • Everyone who sees or experiences a disaster is affected by it in some way.
  • It is normal to feel anxious about the safety of yourself, family and friends.
  • Profound sadness, grief, and anger are normal reactions to an abnormal event.
  • Acknowledging your feelings helps you recover.
  • Focusing on your strengths will help you heal.
  • Accepting help from community programs and resources is healthy.
  • Everyone has different needs and different ways of coping.

Children and the elderly are of special concern in the aftermath of disasters. Even individuals who experience a disaster through exposure of the media can be affected.

Contact local faith-based organizations, voluntary agencies or professional therapists for counseling.


  • When adults have the following signs, they may need crisis counseling or stress management assistance:

    • Difficulty communicating thoughts
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Difficulty maintaining balance in their lives
    • Low threshold of frustration
    • Increased use of drugs/alcohol Limited attention span
    • Poor work performance Headaches/stomach problems
    • Tunnel vision/muffled hearing Colds or flu-like persistent symptoms
    • Disorientation or confusion
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Reluctance to leave home
    • Depression or sadness
    • Feelings of hopelessness
    • Mood-swings and often/easy bouts of cryings
    • Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt
    • Fear of crowds, strangers, or being alone


  • The following are ways to ease disaster-related stress:

    • Talk with someone about your feelings.
    • Seek help from professional counselors who deal with post-disaster stress.
    • Do not hold yourself responsible or be frustrated if you cannot help directly with the rescue.
    • Take steps to promote your own physical and emotional health by healthy eating, rest, exercise, relaxation and meditation.
    • Maintain a normal family and daily routine, limiting demanding responsibilities on yourself and your family.
    • Spend time with family and friends.
    • Participate in memorials.
    • Use existing support groups.
    • Ensure you are ready for future events by restocking supplies and doing positive actions.
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