Managing the Aftermath of a Hurricane: Resources Make a Difference

Army truck driving down a flooded street
U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jose Ahiram Diaz-Ramos
By Holly N. O’Reilly, Ph.D.
August 31, 2017
(Updated: October 4, 2017)

In the wake of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, service members and their families living in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have been impacted and may be displaced from their homes. Access to emergency response resources can make a critical difference for those impacted by the hurricanes and providers should encourage service members, veterans and military families to leverage all available resources.

General Hurricane Assistance and Information

Military-specific Information and Resources

Air Force Resources

Army Resources

Navy / Marine Corps Resources

Coast Guard Resources

Veteran-specific Resources

For updates for the following VA facilities visit their websites:

Child-focused Resources

Information for Psychological Health Providers

Following natural disasters of this magnitude, it is common (and normal) to experience a whirlwind of emotions. People may report feeling emotionally overwhelmed, shocked, helpless or “numb.” Others will report that they are easily distracted, very fatigued or experience intrusive or repeated images of what they have seen. These responses are to be expected and for many, the symptoms will fade with time. If symptoms do not fade within several weeks or begin to contribute to unhealthy coping responses, professional help may be needed.

For now, providers should focus on immediate assistance, which may take the form of psychological first aid. Consult these resources for more information on post-disaster psychological health support:

Dr. Holly N. O’Reilly is a clinical psychologist and evidence-based practice subject matter expert at the Deployment Health Clinical Center. Her specialties include the consequences of traumatic exposure as well as gender studies

The views expressed in Clinician's Corner blogs are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Psychological Health Center of Excellence or Department of Defense.

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