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Crisis Counseling for Tornado Survivors

  • Published: 2011-06-02 : Author: FEMA
  • Synopsis: Recovering from the tornadoes has been a stressful and psychologically draining event for many survivors.

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While survivors of Alabama's April tornadoes work nonstop to recover from the devastation, many may also need to recover emotionally during trying times.

Individuals often seek counsel from their family, friends or church during emotional distress.

While these support networks are very beneficial, survivors should be aware that additional help is available for those who feel mentally overwhelmed, exhausted or unable to cope.

The Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal, state, and local agencies have partnered to reactivate Project Rebound in the tornado affected parts of the state. Project Rebound is a federally funded initiative that groups in Alabama have instituted when a natural disaster occurs. Project Rebound Teams provide free crisis counseling for an extended time after a disaster.

Services provided in this partnership include a toll-free hotline telephone number, community outreach and educational services and the hiring of additional personnel to staff the state's counseling needs during these critical times.

If this disaster has emotionally impacted you or a loved one, or even if you just want someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to call 800-367-0955 for help. This is a toll-free number operated by ADMH that will be used until the Project Rebound Call Center hotline number is established. Additional free resources for parents or teachers may be found at Registration for disaster assistance is not required and all calls are confidential.

Recovering from the tornadoes has been a stressful and psychologically draining event for survivors, many of whom are mourning the losses of loved ones. Some survivors may overlook the signs of emotional stress while they work to rebuild their lives. While individuals respond to stress in different ways, emotional distress following disasters can include at least one of the following: depression, feelings of guilt, irritability, sleeping difficulties, fatigue, nightmares or excessive worrying.

People of all ages may exhibit any one of these symptoms, but children and older adults are of special concern in the aftermath of disasters. Children especially can be vulnerable to disaster-related stress from the interruption of daily routines and the loss of stability that the home environment provides. Symptoms of disaster trauma in children can include excessive fear of the dark, crying, fear of being alone and constant worry.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA ( 3362 ). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.


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