Hurricane Preparedness: Useful Websites

Tips to strengthen your emotional well-being before the arrival of a hurricane—This tip sheet from the American Psychological Association (APA) provides ways to recognize common emotional reactions and steps to prepare for a hurricane that will be helpful in safeguarding the emotional well-being of the survivor.

Be Red Cross ready: Hurricane safety checklist—This tip sheet from the American Red Cross explains how to prepare for a hurricane.

Also available in Spanish at ne_SPN.pdf

Key facts about hurricane readiness—This fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists supplies needed for a hurricane and provides safety tips related to preparing for a hurricane.

Hurricanes—This website by the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides tips to follow before, during, and after hurricane events.

Also available in Spanish at

Hurricane Response and Recovery

Managing traumatic stress: After the hurricanes—This website from APA describes common reactions to hurricane events, and provides tips for hurricane survivors for understanding and coping with these feelings, thoughts and behaviors. The tip sheet also describes how psychologists and other mental health providers can help those who have severe or prolonged reactions that disrupt daily functioning.

Managing traumatic stress: Dealing with the hurricanes from afar—Individuals who are not directly and physically impacted by a hurricane can still feel anxiety and distress related to the storm. This fact sheet from APA provides coping tips for dealing with these reactions.

Be Red Cross ready: Taking care of your emotional health after a disaster—This fact sheet from the American Red Cross explains normal reactions to a disaster, what a survivor should do to cope, and where to seek additional help if needed.

Mass disasters, trauma, and loss—This fact sheet from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies includes information on common stress reactions to mass disaster, trauma, and loss. It explains how to minimize these reactions and when to seek professional help. te=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=1464

Psychological First Aid (PFA)—NCTSN and the National Center for PTSD provide an evidence- informed approach for assisting children, adolescents, adults, and families in the aftermath of disasters and terrorism. The manual includes handouts and tips for survivors and providers and can be downloaded in English, Spanish, Japanese, or Chinese.

PFA online training—According to its online description, PFA Online is an “interactive course that puts the participant in the role of a provider in a post-disaster scene. It features innovative activities, video demonstrations, and mentor tips from the nation’s trauma experts and survivors.”

Psychological first aid: How you can support well-being in disaster victims—This fact sheet from the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress explains how disaster response workers can use psychological first aid to help people in distress after a disaster.

Reactions to a major disaster: A fact sheet for survivors and their families—This handout from the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress provides information about normal stress reactions, other mental health problems that commonly occur following a disaster, and the recovery process.

SAMHSA Disaster Kit—This kit contains psychoeducational materials to help guide effective response during and after a disaster. Materials also deal with workplace stress and can be used to educate the general public on disaster concerns. Kits can be ordered from the SAMHSA Store by calling 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727) or the materials can be downloaded electronically.

Resources Focused on People with Disabilities:

Disabled people and disaster planning—This website provides recommendations to reduce or eliminate the barriers to access that many people with disabilities experience after disasters.

Hurricane health tips: Special needs and the elderly—This webpage provides tips for those who have special needs to help prepare for a hurricane, including information on what items to pack, and how to evacuate or find shelter. page4image18632 page4image18792 page4image18952

Individuals with access and functional needs—This website was developed by the Department of Homeland Security in consultation with AARP, the American Red Cross, and the National Organization on Disability. It provides recommendations for creating an emergency supply kit for people with disabilities.

Tips for first responders— This 28-page booklet provides tips for responders during emergencies and routine encounters to accommodate and communicate with people with disabilities. Separate sections address populations including seniors; people with service animals, autism, multiple chemical sensitivities, or cognitive disabilities; and people who are hearing or visually impaired. It is available in both English and Spanish.

Special Needs of Vulnerable Populations: Resources Focused on Children

Childhood traumatic grief educational materials for parents—These factsheets from NCTSN describe childhood traumatic grief, how it differs from other kinds of grief, common signs and other tips for parents.

Also available in Spanish at

Hurricanes—NCTSN also provides several webpages with specific information on hurricane readiness, response and recovery.

Several resources from NCTSN focus on how hurricanes affect children and youth, including:

Resources Focused on Older Adults:

Hurricane stress and seniors—This webpage from a senior living center provides tips for older adults who are experiencing hurricane-related distress by focusing on six dimensions of wellness.

Hurricane health tips: Stress, adults and seniors—This webpage describes the stress reactions that are common for adult and senior hurricane survivors, including coping techniques, and a step-by-step description of the phases of disaster recovery.

Older adults and disaster: Preparedness and response—This guide from the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation helps older adults, their family members, and their caregivers to prepare for and respond to disasters. The webpage describes who is most vulnerable, lists actions that can be taken before and after a disaster strikes, and provides a list of resources for additional support.

Psychosocial Issues for older adults in disasters—This booklet gives mental health professionals, emergency response workers, and caregivers tools to provide disaster mental health and recovery support to older adults. Defines “elderly” and explores the nature of disasters and older adults’ reactions to them.

What you need to know about…helping the elderly recover from the emotional aftermath of a disaster—This one-page fact sheet lists common reactions older adults may have after a disaster and warning signs that someone may need extra help, as well as strategies to help older adults with their special needs.

Resources for Disaster Response Professionals:

A guide to managing stress in crisis response professions—This manual aids crisis response workers in stress prevention and management before, during, and after a public health crisis. It describes the stress cycle and common stress reactions and offers tips to promote a positive workplace and to monitor and minimize stress.

Guidelines for working with first responders (firefighters, police, emergency medical service and military) in the aftermath of disaster—This online tip sheet lists common characteristics of disaster responders, suggests interventions for working with disaster responders, and provides additional resources in working with this population.

Self-care for disaster behavioral health responders podcast—SAMHSA DTAC’s 60-minute podcast provides information, best practices, and tools that enable disaster behavioral health responders and supervisors to identify and effectively manage stress and secondary traumatic stress through workplace structures and self-care practices. presentation.pdf

You can read a transcript of the podcast at transcript.pdf

Tips for managing and preventing stress: A guide for emergency response and public safety workers—This fact sheet gives organizational and individual tips for stress prevention and management for emergency response workers and public safety workers. It describes normal reactions to a disaster, signs of the need for stress management, and ways to handle stress. emergency-response-public-safety-workers.pdf

Disaster Anniversaries and Traumatic Stress

Addressing the traumatic impact of disaster on individuals, families, and communities— Presented at the After the Crisis Initiative: Healing from Trauma after Disasters Expert Panel Meeting, this white paper addresses healing from the trauma induced by a disaster, especially in terms of regaining normalcy and offering and receiving peer support. In addition, the paper focuses on restoring communities with the supports necessary to be sensitive to the recovery from trauma by individuals, children, and families. r.PDF

Anniversary reactions to a traumatic event: The recovery process continues—This fact sheet describes common anniversary reactions among survivors of a disaster or traumatic event. eactionstoaTraumaticEvent.pdf

Coping with disaster anniversaries and trigger events—This tip sheet includes tips for coping with a disaster anniversary and includes common emotions one may experience during this time.

Tips for survivors of a traumatic event: Managing your stress—This tip sheet outlines the common signs of stress after a disaster and provides stress reduction strategies.

Tips for teachers: Marking disaster anniversaries in the classroom—This tip sheet provides useful information for teachers and activities designed to help children deal with normal recovery issues that may be triggered by the anniversary of a disaster. in-the-classroom.html

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