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

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Active shooter: How to respond - U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
This publication is designed to help community members feel more prepared for active shooter situations. The resource explains strategies for identifying an active shooter, responding when an active shooter is in the area, preparing for and managing an active shooter situation, recognizing potential workplace violence, and managing the consequences of an active shooter situation. Wallet card also available at http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/active_shooter_pocket_card.pdf

Active Shooter in a House of Worship - National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN)
This tip sheet provides prevention, preparedness, and proper conduct guidelines for religious leaders to use during an active shooter crisis. The sheet also includes information on how to help the congregation recover from such an event.

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress - Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (USUHS, CSTS)
The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress is dedicated to advancing trauma-informed knowledge, leadership, and methodologies. The Center's work addresses a wide scope of trauma exposure from the consequences of combat, operations other than war, terrorism, natural and human-caused disasters, and public health threats.

How to talk with children about Boston Marathon bombs - 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.

Mental health response to mass violence and terrorism: A training manual - 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.

Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) - U.S. Department of Justice, OVC TTAC - Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) (DOJ)
Through its website, the OVC TTAC makes available training and technical assistance materials for victim service providers and others who serve crime victims. The Center also assesses the needs of organizations and develops training, technical assistance, and peer support offerings to meet those needs. It works to build the capacity of victim assistance organizations across the country. http://www.ovcttac.gov

Office for Victims of Crimes (Department of Justice) - 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.

Resilience: After a hurricane - American Psychological Association (APA)
Defines resilience for trauma survivors and provides strategies for developing resilience in the wake of a hurricane.

Responding to victims of terrorism and mass violence crimes: Coordination and collaboration between American Red Cross workers and crime victim service providers - 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.

SAMHSA's Disaster Distress Helpline - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (HHS, SAMHSA)
The Disaster Distress Helpline is the nation's first hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis counseling. The toll-free helpline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This free, confidential, and multilingual crisis support service is available via telephone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (text "TalkWithUs" to 66746) to U.S. residents who are experiencing psychological distress as a result of a natural or human-caused disaster. The helpline's website provides information on disaster distress in addition to a brochure and wallet card.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Technical Assistance Center (SAMHSA DTAC) - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (HHS, SAMHSA)
SAMHSA DTAC supports the efforts of states, territories, tribes, and local entities to be prepared, so they are better able to deliver an effective behavioral health (mental health and substance abuse) response to disasters. SAMHSA DTAC provides guidance pertaining to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program by facilitating information exchange and knowledge brokering by connecting technical assistance requestors to their peers and experts in the field. Last, SAMHSA DTAC has useful print and electronic materials in the Resource Collection about disaster behavioral health preparedness and response.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Trauma Resources - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (HHS, SAMHSA)
SAMHSA's Coping with Disasters and Traumatic Events webpage provides a wealth of resources that can be adapted by communities affected by mass violence.

Virginia Tech Cook Counseling Center - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
This website contains resources collected by the Virginia Tech Cook Counseling Center and the American Psychological Association as part of the ongoing support and recovery efforts in response to the anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings. These materials contain information on stress management and the effects of traumatic stress, tips for parents and students in the aftermath of shootings, suggestions for faculty and staff when dealing with a tragedy, and recommendations for identifying and referring distressed students.

Virginia Tech Office of Recovery and Support - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
This office supports the families of those lost and injured in the shooting at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, and any others directly affected by the tragedy. The website includes information on remembrance services, memorial funds, notification resources, counseling resources, and internal review reports.

Last Updated: 09/06/2017