Written By Kiera Ford (March 21, 2016)


Disasters are a distressing time for everyone and can cause drastic changes in one’s physical, mental and emotional status. During a disaster it is very common for you to have a number of emotional responses you may have never experienced. You may feel:

  • Emotionally and physically drained
  • Easily frustrated (and on a frequent basis)
  • Upset with family and friends
  • Tired, sad, numb, lonely, or worried
  • Guilty, helpless, or hopeless
  • Unable to eat or sleep

Red Cross Mental Health workers are highly trained in helping those who are experiencing tragedy to keep their spirits high and develop a plan to a healthy recovery. Here are some amazing tips to help you remain healthy and stable as you begin the recovery process following a disaster.

Tip #1

Get Some Rest

With so much going on it can be hard to stop and rest, however, it is VERY important to try and do so. Sleep can help alleviate stress and give you the energy you need to cope with the present situation.

Tip #2

Stay Connected/Close to Your Friends and Family

At times of uncertainty it is extremely important to stay close to your loved ones for mental and emotional support. No one should ever have to feel alone!

Tip #3

Gather Information

Do not allow yourself to be left in the dark! Make sure you are collecting valid information about the status of the disaster and the level to which you and your family were affected. When collecting information include how and where you can get assistance, any changes that may occur in your regular routine, and who you can turn to for help and support.

Tip #4

Stay Positive!

Although it maybe hard to do so, remember that things will get better. Keep in mind all of the things you’ve overcome and remember to use your support system to help keep you uplifted.

At the American Red Cross we offer a number of ways to help you and your family begin the recovery process. Victims are encouraged to call our free Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746.

For more information on how you can begin your emotional recovery, click here.