Disaster Behavioral Health

Introducing Ticket to Hope:  A Program providing free counseling sessions to individuals and families who need assistance in coping with the aftereffects of the 2008 disasters.  Please click here for more information: http://www.tickettohope.org/

Call 800-447-1985 to access information regarding Ticket to Hope 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Dealing with the Stress of Surviving a Disaster - You are Not Alone

Thousands of Iowans have received crisis mental health counseling in the wake of severe storms and flooding during the summer of 2008.

We know that more will need help. That's because the response to a disaster goes through many phases. The euphoria of actually surviving the disaster has long passed, and many Iowans are now entering the frustration and anger stage as they struggle to put their lives back together. In many cases, it takes weeks or even months for signs of stress to surface.

Iowans don't need to battle these symptoms alone. Our residents have a well-deserved reputation for self reliance, but in the wake of a disaster we hope Iowans will be a little less self-reliant and will seek help. 

Introducing the Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team:  A statewide team established to respond to the behavioral health needs of all Iowans following disasters and critical incidents.  Six regional Disaster Behavioral Health Response teams can be deployed anywhere in Iowa.  Please click here for more information:  http://www.iowadbhrt.org/

Project Recovery Iowa is the name Iowa uses when implementing a federally funded Crisis Counseling Program grant.  The Project Recovery Iowa response to the disasters from the summer of 2008 (DHR 1763) ended on September 30, 2009. 

If you would like information on Project Recovery Iowa or the Crisis Counseling Program Grant please contact Karen Hyatt, Emergency Mental Health Specialist at khyatt@dhs.state.ia.us

Additional Resources pdf

How to Cope With a Disaster

These documents provide information for families and individuals dealing with a disaster event.

Personal Recovery From Natural Disasters
Managing Traumatic Stress: Tips for recovering from a natural Disaster It is common for people who have experienced traumatic situations to have very strong emotional reactions.  Understanding normal responses to these abnormal events can aid you in coping effectively with your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, and help you along the path to recovery. This article will help you recognize the signs of stress, how to relieve stress and know when to get help.

pdf [12KB]

Self Care Tips: What to Expect in Your Personal, Family, Work and Financial Life A disaster or traumatic event can have far-reaching effects in several major areas of our lives; making rebuilding our emotional lives extremely difficult. This file provides information on what to expect that can help ease the transition back to a normal life.

pdf [84KB]

Dealing with Effects of Trauma: A Self-Help Guide This is a comprehensive 8-page Self-Help Guide. It may give you guidance to relieve some disaster-related symptoms and share some simple and safe things you can do to help yourself heal from the effects of trauma.

pdf [162KB]

Phases of Disaster Recovery The different phases of disaster recovery are distinct with some phases emerging long after the actual disaster.  This one-pager helps to explain these common phases.

pdf [80KB]

Coping with Floods Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. This article gives tips on how to prepare for a flood and advice on what to do if your home is damaged.

pdf [106KB]

Coping with the Aftermath of a Flood This one-pager provides tips for dealing with the range of emotions you may experience as a flood survivor.

pdf [59KB]

Help for Children and Teens
Tornadoes, Hurricanes and Children The anxiety and fear followed by a disaster can be especially troubling for surviving children. This article has tips for parents to help alleviate emotional effects of trauma and how to know when it is time to get professional help. pdf [7KB]
Flood Aftermath:  Helping Your Children Floods bring special stress to children. These suggestions are for helping children through this stress.

pdf [57KB]

Tips for Talking to Children Disasters or traumatic events affect children as much as adults. This article talks about how to help your child understand and cope with the experience.

pdf [76KB]

Helping Children Cope How parents or other adults react to a child following any traumatic event can help children recover more quickly and more completely. This one-pager contains six primary action items to help you in this task.

pdf [83KB]

Impact of Disasters on Children This 2-page article discusses the significant emotional and physical changes that children experience as a result of a disaster.

pdf [91KB]

How Children React to a Disaster Based on Their Age Group This article provides information on how children of different age groups react to disaster and helpful tips on how to help them cope.

pdf [91KB]

After a Disaster - What Teens Can Do This one-page document provides tips on how teens can deal with their feelings post disaster.

pdf [78KB]

Help for Older Adults
Helping Older Adults Cope This document talks about understanding some of the common reactions in older adults, and ways we can better offer support and assistance where appropriate to help them recover from a catastrophic event.

pdf [67KB]

Home Repairs
Repairing Your Flooded Home This 56-page book gives detailed, step-by-step advice you can use to clean up, rebuild, and get help after a flood.. pdf [738KB]
Flood Cleanup Safety and Salvaging This brochure provides some tips on residential cleanupand gives an overview of those materials that can be salvaged and those that cannot and how to make some decisions. pdf [511KB]
Help for Emergency Responders
Managing Stress - Tips for Responders This guide for emergency and disaster response workers provides information on ways to help manage their stress. pdf [76KB]
A Guide to Managing Stress in Crisis Response Professions Crisis response workers and managers are repeatedly exposed to extraordinarily stressful events. This places them at higher-than-normal risk for developing stress reactions. This 40-page guide to managing stress provides some basic tools that can inspire and spread optimism and point the way to effective stress management.

pdf [1.3MB]

Images of people and children