Immediate Response to Tornadoes

This installment of the SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) focuses on the disaster behavioral health impacts of tornadoes. Topics covered include but are not limited to the following:

  • Ways to protect your physical and behavioral health during and after a tornado
  • Considerations specific to children, older adults, and people with disabilities and other access and functional needs
  • Guidance for first responders

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Displaying 64 total results.
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Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (HHS, ACF)
The ACF is responsible for Federal programs that promote the economic and social wellbeing of families, children, individuals, and communities.

After the tornado: Helping young children heal - National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
This tip sheet offers ways for parents to help their children heal after experiencing a tornado. It helps parents identify behaviors that may indicate trauma, and lists specific steps they can use to promote healing.

A guide to managing stress in crisis response professions - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (HHS, SAMHSA)
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.

American Association of Retired Persons - American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
AARP is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for older adults. AARP promotes positive social change and provides its members with information, advocacy, and services.

An ADA guide for local governments: Making community emergency preparedness and response programs accessible to people with disabilities - U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
This guide provides recommendations for local governments and agencies to help them create disaster preparedness and response programs that account for the needs of people with disabilities, which will bring these programs into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It suggests ways to handle planning, notification, and evacuation; make sure shelters are accessible; and train staff to deal with service animals, medications, and communication.

Becoming a couple again: How to create a shared sense of purpose after deployment - Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS)
This tip sheet contains information for a couple reuniting after a member returns home from deployment. The authors list common relationship concerns and provide suggestions for "building a shared sense of purpose and stronger family."

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

Be Red Cross ready: Tornado safety checklist - American Red Cross
This checklist offers preparedness ideas and safety concerns before, during, and after a tornado. Also available in Spanish at

Children & disasters: Hurricanes, tornadoes, and storms - American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
This section of the AAP website on how to address disaster preparedness for children provides information on hurricanes, tornadoes, and other storms, and links to websites and other resources for families.

Clinician Outreach and Community Activity (COCA) - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HHS, CDC)
This section of the CDC website provides information on COCA, which prepares clinicians to respond to emerging health threats and public health emergencies by communicating relevant and timely information on disease outbreaks, terrorism events, and disaster response.

Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project - Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project (CFAP)
This website provides information and resources related to compassion fatigue, a condition common among individuals who work directly with trauma victims, such as nurses and first responders.

Disaster and emergency planning for seniors and persons with disabilities - is an independent health and disability website that provides information on topics related to seniors and disability. This section of the website provides links to resources specific to disasters and emergency planning for seniors and people with disabilities.

Disaster preparedness tips for emergency management personnel: Communication access for people with limited speech - Pennsylvania State University, Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC-RERC)
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.

Disaster rescue and response workers - U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for PTSD (VA, PTSD)
This online article explains the different stressors that affect disaster response workers and provides tips on how to cope with stress during and after a disaster, and upon returning home from a disaster. [Authors: Young, B. H., Ford, J. D., & Watson, P. J.]

Disaster survival resources for special needs - Disaster Survival Resources
This website provides information and resources related to disaster preparedness, and provides tools that may assist with survival and recovery.

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Last Updated: 10/27/2015