There is no doubt that after a natural disaster everyone is affected emotionally. Children, the elderly and those with special needs are the most vulnerable. Here are some considerations that we must have to face the situation after the disaster.
UNDERSTAND THE EVENT
Being worried, feeling fear, being sad or angry about the situation is normal. Acknowledging your feelings helps you recover. Understand that others are also going through similar situations and support them.
EASING & MANAGING STRESS
Everyone has different needs and different ways of coping. Seek crisis counseling if you or someone in your family is experiencing issues with disaster related stress. Spend time with family and friends. Maintain a normal family and daily routine, limiting demanding responsibilities on yourself and your family. Ensure you are ready for future events, doing these can be comforting.
HELP THE KIDS
Disasters can leave children feeling frightened, confused, and insecure. Younger children may return to earlier behavior patterns, such as bedwetting, sleep problems and separation anxiety. Listen to what the child is saying or allow the child to draw a picture or tell a story of what happened. Personal contact is reassuring. Hug and touch your children.
Despite the disaster and losses, life continues. Encourage others to enjoy recreational activities, games or exercises. Spend extra time with your children such as at bedtime. Re-establish your daily routine for work, school, play, meals, and rest. Use existing support groups of family, friends and religious institutions. Take steps to promote your own physical and emotional healing by doing exercise, relaxation and meditation.
If you feel anxiety or need to talk to a professional, call the following helpline:
PAS Helpline: 1-800-981-0023