Disaster-specific Resources

This installment of the SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) presents information specific to particular kinds of disasters, as well as general preparedness and response information. Topics covered include but are not limited to the following:

  • Information about a range of natural disasters (such as drought, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes) and human-caused disasters (such as mass violence, terrorism, and technological disasters)
  • General disaster preparedness and response

Use the menu bar on the left to narrow the results by professional and research topic, types of intervention and treatment, and more.

Related Resources

Displaying 30 total results.
University of Southern California, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

The National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at the USC Suzanna Dworak-Peck School of Social Work is dedicated to helping schools support their students through crisis and loss. They offer crisis response resources, educational materials, and consultation and training, and they conduct childhood bereavement and disaster preparedness research. Many of the resources they offer are free; however, the books may require purchase.

American Psychological Association (APA)

In this online article, the APA suggests ways to build resilience and cope with exposure to incidents of terrorism through newspapers, broadcast news, social media, and word of mouth. The importance of developing practices for emotional wellness and resilience is discussed, as are ways to avoid overexposure to the incident, plan for emergencies, help survivors, and tap into social networks to enhance coping and resilience.

U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office for Victim Assistance (DOJ, FBI, OVA)

This handbook is intended to help survivors of a terrorist or mass violence incident to understand common reactions they may experience. It includes coping tips and suggestions for finding assistance from friends, mental health professionals, and the Office for Victim Assistance.

Southeast Missouri State University

This online article outlines common reactions to violent events such as campus shootings. It lists tips for coping and seeking help after a traumatic event, as well as resources for additional information and support.

Center for Technology and National Security Policy, National Defense University

This chart offers information on various types of responses for biological, chemical, or "dirty bomb" incidents.

Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, National Center for Disaster Preparedness

This report presents recommendations from a national consensus conference on how first responders, emergency managers in all levels of government, and communities can incorporate the needs of people with disabilities into emergency preparedness and response. The document includes recommendations related to disaster communication and children with special health care needs and mental health needs. [Authors: Markenson, D., Fuller, E. J., and Redlener, I. E.]

American Psychological Association (APA)

This fact sheet for mental health professionals who work with adults is designed to assist in fostering adults' resilience in response to terrorism.

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime (DOJ, OJP, OVC)

This webpage provides information on the current funding opportunities available from the OVC. Topics for grant funding opportunities include antiterrorism and emergency assistance programs and mass violence events.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (HHS, SAMHSA)

The goal of this 50-minute podcast is to help parents, caregivers, teachers, and other school staff to identify common reactions of children and youth to disaster and trauma. It can also help adults determine when a child or youth exposed to a disaster may need mental health services. The PDF version of the podcast presentation is available at https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/podcasts-children-trauma-pres....

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

This online article suggests ways for families and school staff to behave around children, and talk with children, to help them cope with the emotional effects of acts of terrorism. Adults are also advised to monitor their own emotions and levels of stress and engage in self-care activities.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)

This tip sheet identifies 10 ways in which youth may react to community traumas such as natural or human-caused disasters and suggests ways for educators to respond to these reactions and support youth in coping. The tip sheet also advises educators to find professional mental health support for youthand for themselvesas needed.

WBUR's CommonHealth: Reform and Reality

This article discusses how children may react to traumatic events with information specific to the Boston Marathon bombing in this case and what parents and caregivers can do to help them cope with these events.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (HHS, SAMHSA)

This training manual contains the basics of what mental health providers, crime victim assistance professionals, and faith-based counselors need to know to provide appropriate mental health support following incidents involving criminal mass victimization. The manual is primarily for mental health professionals, yet all service providers will find much of the material to be useful.

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime (DOJ, OJP, OVC)

OVC is committed to enhancing the nation's capacity to assist crime victims and to providing leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime.

U.S. Department of Education (DOE)

This webpage describes the Project SERV grant program, which provides grants to local educational agencies and institutions of higher education to support recovery after a violent or other traumatic incident. Project SERV includes Immediate Services grants, which support efforts to provide services and reinstate an environment conducive to learning for up to 60 days after the incident. It also includes Extended Services grants, which support longer term recovery for up to 1 year after an incident has occurred.

U.S. Department of State (DOS)

This pamphlet discusses the characteristics of chemical and biological terrorist threats, suggests ways to detect them, and provides strategies for protection and decontamination.

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

This booklet describes the relationship between the Office for Victims of Crime and the American Red Cross and provides guidance about the potential needs of crime victims, their rights and how to assist victims of terrorism and mass violence crime specifically. The pamphlet provides a comparison of how natural disasters are similar to and different from disasters caused by criminal human behavior and notes the psychological effects of each.

U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (DOL, OSHA)

This section of the OSHA web site explains what ricin is and how it can be used as a biological weapon, and highlights related OSHA standards and enforcement policies.

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

At this part of its website, NASP provides information and resources about natural disasters, terrorism, suicide, trauma, and violence prevention. Materials on these topics are also offered in languages other than English, including Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean, Kurdish, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

American Psychological Association (APA)

This fact sheet for healthcare practitioners contains information relevant after a terrorist incident. It includes self-care tips, pointers for assisting others, and challenges associated with behavioral healthcare work following a terrorist attack.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)

NCTSN's mission is to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for traumatized children and their families. The terrorism section of the NCTSN web site is designed to assist parents and families after a biological, chemical, or radiological terrorist attack.

American Red Cross

This guide explains what individuals can do to prepare for an unexpected terrorist attack and reduce the stress in case of such an emergency. Also available in Spanish at https://www.redcross.org/content/dam/redcross/atg/PDF_s/Preparedness___Disaster_Recovery/Disaster_Preparedness/Terrorism/TerrorismSp.pdf.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HHS, CDC)

This video describes how biological agents such as smallpox, anthrax, and viral hemorrhagic fevers have been or can be used as bioterrorist weapons.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)

This tip sheet provides guidance for parents and youth about how to talk to journalists about civil unrest in their community. It covers parents and childrens rights and lists signs of a good reporter, to help readers know what they should expect.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)

This 1-page tip sheet from the NCTSN describes how talking with journalists may affect youth who have survived an incident of mass violence. It lists the rights that youth and families have (for example, they have the right to ask what the interview questions will be in advance of agreeing to an interview). It also identifies signs that reporters are doing their job well, so that readers know what to expect.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services (HHS, SAMHSA, CMHS)

This fact sheet identifies common reactions to a disaster or other traumatic event. It provides tips for reducing stress and for following up if you feel overwhelmed by stress and lists resources for additional support. The English-language version is available at http://store.samhsa.gov/product/Tips-for-Survivors-of-a-Disaster-or-Othe....

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for PTSD (VA, PTSD)

This article reviews different debriefings, including critical incident stress management, and evaluates research findings related to the model.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HHS, CDC)

This infographic shows where to go and what to do in the event of a radiation emergency (i.e., get inside, stay inside, stay tuned for updated instructions from emergency response officials).

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for PTSD (VA, PTSD)

This article explains why it is important to understand the different types of traumatic stress and the risk of burnout when working with trauma survivors. It describes burnout, secondary traumatic stress, compassion stress, and compassion fatigue, and suggests ways to mitigate and manage the stress that disaster responders may experience through their work.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (HHS, SAMHSA)

The goal of this 50-minute podcast is to help parents, caregivers, teachers, and other school staff to identify common reactions of Children and Youth DBHIS to disaster and trauma. It can also help adults determine when a child or youth exposed to a disaster may need mental health services. The PDF version of the podcast presentation is available at https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/podcasts-children-trauma-pres....

Last Updated: 09/06/2017