Tornado-Specific Information | General Disaster Response
Special Populations: Children | Older Adults | Persons with Disabilities
Guidance for First Responders: Resources on Self-Care and Stress Management | Post-Deployment Tips | Acute Interventions
American Psychological Association (APA). (n.d.). Managing traumatic stress: After the tornadoes. Retrieved from the APA website at http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/tornadoes.aspx
This tip sheet explains ways survivors can build their resilience and ease recovery after a tornado.
(Also available in Spanish at http://www.apa.org/centrodeapoyo/tornados.aspx )
American Red Cross. (2009). Be Red Cross ready: Tornado safety checklist. Retrieved from http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340177_Tornado.pdf [PDF - 256 Kb]
This checklist offers preparedness ideas and safety concerns before, during, and after a tornado.
(Also available in Spanish at http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340170_Tornado_SPN.pdf [PDF - 247 Kb])
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (n.d.). Tornadoes. Retrieved from http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/tornadoes
This webpage provides safety tips related to preparation for and actions to take after a tornado.
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APA. (2011, August). Managing traumatic stress: Tips for recovering from disasters and other traumatic events. Retrieved from the APA website at http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/recovering-disasters.aspx
This tip sheet discusses normal reactions to a disaster or traumatic event and the steps that can be taken to alleviate stress.
American Red Cross. (2009). Be Red Cross ready: Taking care of your emotional health after a disaster. Retrieved from http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240142_EmotionalHealth.pdf [PDF - 307 Kb]
This fact sheet explains normal reactions to a disaster, says what a survivor should do to cope, and indicates where to seek additional help if needed.
CDC. (2010, February 18). Health recommendations for relief workers responding to disasters. Retrieved from the CDC website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/content/relief-workers.aspx
This web page provides health advice specific to the needs of relief workers responding to disasters internationally or domestically. Those who provide assistance should pay attention to their mental health needs before, during, and after their work in the field.
National Center for PTSD. (2007). Working with trauma survivors: What workers need to know. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/dtac/FederalResource/Response/21-Working_with_Trauma_Survivors.pdf [PDF - 43.2 Kb]
This tip sheet discusses the importance of understanding traumatic stress when working with trauma survivors.
National Center for PTSD. (2010, February). Mental health reactions after disaster. Retrieved from http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/pages/handouts-pdf/Reactions.pdf [PDF - 87.8 Kb]
This handout provides information about normal stress reactions, other mental health problems that commonly occur following a disaster, and the recovery process.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services. (2007, April). Tips for survivors of a traumatic event: Managing your stress (HHS Publication No. NMH05-0209). Retrieved from http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//NMH05-0209R/NMH05-0209R.pdf [PDF - 926 Kb]
This tip sheet outlines the common signs of stress after a disaster and provides stress reduction strategies.
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National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). (2004). For parents: Childhood traumatic grief educational materials. Retrieved from http://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdfs/parents_package1-15-04.pdf [PDF – 117 Kb]
These fact sheets 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 http://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdfs/GriefSpanishComplete.pdf [PDF – 273 Kb])
NCTSN. (n.d.). Tornadoes. Retrieved from NCTSN website at http://www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/natural-disasters/tornadoes
The web page has information about the impact that tornadoes can have on children and tips for parents on how to help children and teens cope with emotional reactions. It links to several fact sheets.
HHS, SAMHSA. (2007, April). Tips for talking to children and youth after traumatic events: A guide for parents and educators (SAMHSA Publication No. KEN-01-0091/KEN-01-0093). Retrieved from https://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/KEN01-0093R/KEN01-0093R.pdf [PDF – 454 Kb]
This tip sheet for parents and teachers explains how to help children cope with the emotional aftermath of a disaster and includes information on common reactions according to the child's developmental stage.
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Geriatric Mental Health Foundation. (2009). Older adults and disaster: Preparedness and response. Retrieved from the website of the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation at http://www.gmhfonline.org/gmhf/consumer/disaster_prprdns.html
This guide is designed to help older adults, their family members, and their caregivers to prepare for and respond to disasters. The web page describes factors that affect vulnerability, actions that can be taken before and after a disaster strikes, and resources for additional support.
Oriol, W. (1999). Psychosocial issues for older adults in disasters (HHS Publication No. ESDRB SMA 99-3323). Retrieved from http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//SMA99-3323/SMA99-3323.pdf [PDF - 244 Kb]
This booklet provides tools for mental health professionals, emergency response workers, and caregivers to provide disaster mental health and recovery support to older adults. It also defines who the "elderly" population is and explores the nature of disasters and older adults' reactions to them.
Texas Department of State Health Services. (2009). What you need to know about . . . helping the elderly recover from the emotional aftermath of a disaster. Retrieved from http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/preparedness/factsheet_elderly_emotional_recovery.pdf [PDF- 149.5 Kb]
This fact sheet lists common reactions older adults may experience after a disaster, warning signs that someone may need extra help, and strategies to help older adults with their special needs.
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National Organization on Disability (NOD). (n.d.). Prepare yourself: Disaster readiness tips for people with sensory disabilities. Retrieved from http://www.disastersrus.org/MyDisasters/disability/epips2sensory.pdf [PDF - 155.84 KB]
This brochure from NOD outlines tips for those who have sensory-related challenges. It reviews preparedness, warning and response planning, and related accommodations such as shelters for people with special needs.
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Communication Enhancement. (n.d.). Disaster preparedness tips for emergency management personnel: Communication access for people with limited speech. Retrieved from http://aac-rerc.psu.edu/images/file/DPFirst%20respondersv_8for%20printing.pdf [PDF – 1.29 MB]
This checklist and tip sheet provides general steps that emergency responders should take to prepare to meet the needs of individuals with limited speech. The tip sheet reviews different methods of augmentative and alternative communication, including speech-generating devices and personal communication displays.
U.S. Department of Justice. (2008). An ADA guide for local governments: Making community emergency preparedness and response programs accessible to people with disabilities. Retrieved from http://www.ada.gov/emergencyprepguide.htm
This guide provides recommendations for local governments and agencies to use in making disaster response accessible to people with disabilities. The guide also provides recommendations for creating accessible shelters and training staff to deal with service animals, medications, and communication.
University of New Mexico, Center for Development and Disability. (n.d.). Tips for first responders (4th ed.). Retrieved from http://cdd.unm.edu/dhpd/images/Fourth%20Edition.pdf [PDF - 486.31 Kb]
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.
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CDC. (2002). Traumatic incident stress: Information for emergency response workers. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2002-107/pdfs/2002-107.pdf [PDF - 423 Kb]
This fact sheet outlines symptoms of traumatic incident stress and what emergency response workers can do on site and at home to cope with disaster response.
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. (2005). Leadership stress management. Retrieved from http://www.cstsonline.org/wp-content/resources/CSTS_leadership_stress_management.pdf [PDF - 69.1 Kb]
This fact sheet discusses tips for leaders to monitor and minimize their stress when managing teams during traumatic events.
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. (2006). Natural disasters: Optimizing officer and team performance. Retrieved from http://www.cstsonline.org/wp-content/resources/CSTS_law_enforcement_natural_disasters.pdf [PDF - 97.9 Kb]
This tip sheet is intended to help managers and supervisors limit officer stress resulting from disaster response.
HHS, SAMHSA. (2005). A guide to managing stress in crisis response professions (HHS Publication No. SMA 4113). Retrieved from http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA05-4113/SMA05-4113.pdf [PDF - 1.29 Mb]
This is a pocket guide that provides first responders with information on signs and symptoms of stress and offers simple, practical techniques for minimizing stress responses prior to and during disaster response.
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, The New Jersey Center for Public Health Preparedness. (2005). First responders: Self care, wellness, health, resilience, and recovery dealing with stress. Retrieved from http://www.njcphp.org/legacy/drup/index.php?q=node/115
This presentation covers how first responders can deal with the stress they feel while helping their communities respond to and recover from a disaster, how they can prepare for the pressure they face, and how they can help their families.
Young, B. H., Ford, J. D., & Watson, P. J. (2007, January 1). Disaster rescue and response workers. Retrieved from the National Center for PTSD website at http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/pages/disaster-rescue-response.asp
This fact sheet explains the different stressors that affect disaster response workers and provides tips on how to cope with stress during, after, and upon returning home from a disaster assignment.
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Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. (2004, summer). Becoming a couple again: How to create a shared sense of purpose after deployment. Retrieved from http://www.militarymentalhealth.org/resources/pdf/USU%20Becoming%20a%20Couple%20Again.pdf [PDF - 406 KB]
This tip sheet contains information for a family reuniting after a member returns home from deployment.
HHS, SAMHSA. (2005). Returning home after disaster relief work: A post-deployment guide for families of emergency and disaster response workers (HHS Publication No. NMH05-0220). Retrieved from http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencypreparedness/resilience_resources/support_documents/
This guide is intended to assist deployed employees when they are transitioning back into their regular work situations following deployment.
HHS, SAMHSA. (2005). Returning home after disaster relief work: A post-deployment guide for supervisors of deployed personnel (HHS Publication No. NMH05-0218). Retrieved from http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencypreparedness/resilience_resources/support_documents/
This guide is intended to assist supervisors in transitioning deployed employees back into their regular work situations.
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CDC. (2005, August 30). Disaster mental health for responders: Key principles, issues and questions. Retrieved from http://www.bt.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/pdf/responders.pdf [PDF - 188 Kb]
This fact sheet highlights mental health-related information that can be beneficial for a first responder in recovery efforts after a disaster.
National Center for PTSD. (2007, July 5). Early mental health intervention for disasters. Retrieved from the National Center for PTSD website at http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/pages/early-intervention-disasters.asp
This fact sheet offers information on crisis intervention, PFA, and the obstacles that prevent a survivor from seeking services.
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Mental Health Disaster Preparedness and Response. (2005). Providing Psychological First Aid (PFA). Retrieved from http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/mhdpr/mhdpr-pfa.pdf [PDF - 40.4 Kb]
This tip sheet offers quick reference to the principals of PFA and self-care tips for first responders.
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. (2005). Guidelines on notifying families of dead or missing loved ones. Retrieved from http://www.cstsonline.org/wp-content/resources/CSTS_guidelines_missing_death_notification.pdf [PDF – 56.5 Kb]
This fact sheet provides guidance for first responders assisting in the recovery efforts for events with large numbers of dead, injured, and missing persons. It offers dos and don'ts for notifying families of dead or missing loved ones.
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. (2005). Psychological First Aid: Helping victims in the immediate aftermath of disaster. Retrieved from http://www.cstsonline.org/wp-content/resources/CSTS_psychological_first_aid.pdf [PDF - 436 Kb]
This tip sheet was designed for first responders working in international emergency situations. It provides guidelines for the proper use of Psychological First Aid (PFA).
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. (2005). Psychological First Aid: How you can support well-being in disaster victims. Retrieved from http://www.cstsonline.org/wp-content/resources/CSTS_psychological_first_aid.pdf [PDF - 76 Kb]
This tip sheet offers first responders quick guidelines for conducting PFA.
HHS, SAMHSA. (2005). Psychological First Aid for first responders: Tips for emergency and disaster response workers (HHS Publication No. NMH05-0210). Retrieved from http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//NMH05-0210/NMH05-0210.pdf [PDF - 400 Kb]
This pamphlet provides a brief explanation of PFA for first responders and information for working in the field.
Young, B. H., Ford, J. D., & Watson, P. J. (2007, January 1). Helping survivors in the wake of disaster. Retrieved from the National Center for PTSD’s website at http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/pages/helping-survivors-after-disaster.asp
This web page offers information on common reactions to disasters, identifies more severe reactions, and the goals for first responders in a disaster.
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Last updated 2/27/2013
Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event
A Guide for Parents, Teachers and Care-Givers.
Immediate Disaster Response: Hurricane Sandy-Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS)
This installment of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) focuses on first responders and, currently, Hurricane Sandy.