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FPS 2019 Spring CME Meeting

3/29/2019 » 3/31/2019
FPS 2019 Spring EXPO

Hurricanes and Disasters
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Hurricanes and Other Disasters

Disasters can take on many forms, from weather-related to terrorist or accidental disasters. They can have disastrous effects where they strike.

This past year has borne witness to some of the most devastating effects of man made and natural disasters. For most of us, disasters cause little more than a temporary disruption in our lives. But for those that are effected, basic human needs--sanitation and hygiene, infection control, water safety, immunization, and access to medical care--become the priority.


 Instructions for 12 Counties Designated by FEMA for Hurricane Michael Disaster


Preparing for 2018 Hurricane Season

The Atlantic hurricane season of 2017 was one of the most active on record. The latest installment of the SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series focuses on hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery, as well as behavioral health issues related to hurricanes. 

SAMHSA Disaster-specific Resources HERE

Below is an information page with helpful resources that was recently developed for Hurricane Harvey (grief and loss, evacuation centers, impact of chemical spills from flooding, leadership support and consultation, among others). The content should be very applicable following Hurricane Irma.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management website,, has a wealth of information including key contacts in your county. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continues to assist communities affected by Hurricane Irma. The latest news from HHS, information about cleaning up and staying safe after the storm, mental and behavioral health information, food and water safety and much more can be found hereSAMHSA's page on hurricanes and tropical storms has additional information about who is most at risk for emotional distress after a disaster and where to get help.

Visit to find out how you can assist with disaster relief anywhere in Florida, or check out the Medical Reserve Corps here.

Other resources: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control:; FEMA: www.fema.govThe American Red Cross:

Being prepared for a disaster will not prevent everything, but it can certainly ease some of the aftershock. For information on trauma caused by disasters, and the recovery process, see the links below:

Words Matter: A Guide to Reporting on Mental Health Conditions

SAMHSA Behavioral Health Disaster Response App.


Guidance to All Providers Regarding Provision of Services During Hurricane Irma:
This Guidance Applies for Both Fee-For-Service and Managed Care Providers


NAMI disaster/emergency website:

APA’s Response to Natural Disasters and How You Can Help

The APA Foundation has created a fund to provide desperately needed services to those impacted by major disasters. To contribute, please visit the Foundation’s Disaster Relief page

If you're looking for a local charity to support in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, you may want to consider Houston Food Bank or Food Bank of Corpus Christi. These organizations are in the most-affected areas and are providing support to individuals. For a list of other reputable charities, please visit Charity Navigator.

The Texas Office of the Governor temporarily suspended all necessary statutes and rules to allow health care providers employed by a hospital and licensed and in good standing in another state to practice in Texas in order to assist with the Tropical Depression Harvey disaster response operations.

If you want to assist, the Red Cross is recruiting for health care volunteers to deploy to Texas and other areas that may be impacted by Irma. 

APA continues to work closely with District Branches directly impacted by a disaster to provide resources and financial assistance. As volunteer opportunities for members become available, we will provide additional information on our website and through the District Branches.

School Shootings

In response to the tragic shootings at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress has created resource page with information and educational fact sheets. These resources provide disaster mental health information to assist families, responders, community leaders, and healthcare providers in response and recovery efforts. The resource page can found HERE.

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress
Advancing Psychological Health and Resilience through Tramua Research, Education, and Consultation


Today, we stand together and grieve for those affected by this tragedy. Tomorrow, we will continue to work together in our efforts to help children and their families everywhere.
In hopes of helping children and families deal with violence, we’ve compiled the following resources HERE
American Academy of Child
&Adolescent Psychiatry

 Other Resources Can be found HERE

Here are some PTSD talking points that may help

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)*

 Definition:   Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event like the Orlando nightclub attack.  It can also occur in people who have experienced a natural disaster, a serious accident, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault.   These traumatic events can lead to distressing symptoms such as nightmares, flashbacks, and vivid upsetting memories. 

Important points:

1.       PTSD symptoms vary from person to person.  A person may not appear sad or afraid, but may be angry, reckless, moody, withdrawn, jumpy, forgetful, or hard to talk to and get along with. PTSD is diagnosed when the person has had symptoms for longer than 1 month.

2.       Symptoms often begin within the first 3 months after the trauma, but they may appear even later.

3.       DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition) makes clear that the trauma must involve real or threatened death.  Learning that a family member has died from natural causes or watching a terrorist attack on the evening news does not meet the standards for the diagnosis.

4.        People with PTSD often relive the experience through sudden disturbing memories that involve what they saw, felt, heard, or smelled, as if the event were happening again. They may have distressing dreams, intense fear, helplessness, nightmares, and problems sleeping, and feel detached or distant.

5.        Some people with PTSD may have changes in thinking and mood. They may make vague and extreme negative statements about themselves or others, such as “I always had bad judgment” or “People in authority can’t be trusted.” They may blame themselves or others for the trauma.

6.        About one-half of adults who have PTSD will fully recover within 3 months, while some have symptoms longer than a year and sometimes for more than 50 years.

7.       Children can also develop PTSD and at first may be restless or confused after the traumatic event. They also may show intense fear and sadness. Their play often reflects the trauma they lived through or witnessed. DSM-5 has set guidelines for children age 6 and younger who have this disorder to detect their unique symptoms

How You Can Assist to find out how you can assist with disaster relief anywhere in Florida, 
or check out the 
Medical Reserve Corps here.


American Academy of Child&Adolescent Psychiatry

Words Matter: A Guide to Reporting on Mental Health Conditions

SAMHSA Behavioral Health Disaster Response App.


Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress Resources

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Restoring Wellbeing in Children After Disaster PDF (229.09 KB) Administration 6/20/2016
Recovery After Witnessing a Traumatic Event PDF (75.21 KB) Administration 6/20/2016
Providing Safety Recovery and Hope to Communities PDF (219.89 KB) Administration 6/20/2016
PFA Support Well Being of Disaster Victims PDF (103.04 KB) Administration 6/20/2016
Stress Management after Disaster PDF (92.91 KB) Administration 6/20/2016
In the Wake of Tragedy PDF (138.78 KB) Administration 6/20/2016
Funerals and Memorials Part of Recovery PDF (90.91 KB) Administration 6/20/2016
Communication Anticipating Responding to Stressful PDF (98.98 KB)  more ] Administration 6/20/2016

Hurricane Resources

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
ATSDR_RELOCATION_STRESS.pdf PDF (471.21 KB) Administration 10/11/2016
CSTS_Addressing_Needs_of_Mentally_Ill.pdf PDF (116.25 KB) Administration 10/11/2016
CSTS_PFA_Helping_Community_and_Families_Recove.pdf PDF (118.68 KB) Administration 10/11/2016
CSTS_Managing_Stress_of_Children_After_Disaste.pdf PDF (83.14 KB) Administration 10/11/2016
CSTS_Helping_Students_After_Disaster.pdf PDF (105.09 KB) Administration 10/11/2016
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