Red Cross Provides Tips for Easing Stress After Disaster

Emotional Support
People across the country may be feeling more anxious or stressed...

With the events of recent days—including the attack and investigation in Boston, ricin-tainted mail, plant explosion in Texas, tornadoes and now severe flooding in the Midwest—people across the country may be feeling more anxious or stressed, particularly after extended exposure to media coverage.

The American Red Cross has some simple steps you can take to help you cope during disasters:

  • Stay informed, but limit exposure to media coverage of the events.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water and get enough rest.
  • Be patient with yourself and others. It’s common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration and anxiety.
  • Stay connected with your family and other support systems. Reach out and accept help from others.
  • Encourage children to express their feelings and thoughts. Reassure them about their safety.
  • To reach out for free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746.
  • Disasters are upsetting for everyone involved. People near the emergency are affected, as well as people across the country who may have family in the area or who are watching the media coverage of these events.

    Children are especially at risk since they may become afraid that a disaster could affect them, or that they or someone in their family may be harmed. It is important to reassure children and talk to them in a calm manner. Their view of the world as a safe and predictable place is temporarily lost. How a parent or other adult reacts around the child following a disaster can determine how quickly and completely the child recovers.

    You can find more information on recovering after a disaster or emergency on

    Tags: Cope.
    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.