Hurricane Recovery


SAMHSA DTAC provides materials, training, and technical assistance to the entire United States, its territories, and federally recognized tribes for all-hazards disaster behavioral health preparedness, response, and recovery. For more information about our services, please visit our website at can also contact SAMHSA DTAC by emailing or calling the toll-free hotline at 1–800–308–3515.

The following list of materials includes those focused on general behavioral health needs after a hurricane and flooding, as well as separate sections listing materials for or about disasters and children, families, and schools; older adults; and responders. A final section lists resources for acute behavioral health need.

General Disaster Response and Recovery Information

Flood-specific Information

  • Floods—At this part of its website, the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline describes floods and how they can affect communities. The web page highlights signs of flood-related emotional distress, groups who are particularly at risk for emotional distress in the event of a flood, and flood-related resources. 
  • Natural Disasters and Severe Weather: Floods—This web page from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information to help people stay safe after a flood. The page includes links to information about risks associated with floodwater, safely returning to a home that has been flooded, and response worker safety.
  • Flood Safety—This web page from American Red Cross focuses on flood safety tips for families and communities. The web page encourages families and communities to implement best safety practices before, during, and after a flood, and discusses ways to stay safe after a flood.

Hurricane-specific Information

The web page is also available in Spanish at

Resources for Children, Families, and Schools

  • Children and AdolescentsSeveral sections of the SAMHSA DBHIS resource collection focus on the common responses and needs children and adolescents may have during and after disasters. These sections include resources that highlight the unique needs of children and adolescents in and after disasters, as well as how adults who work with children, and parents and other caregivers, can offer support to children and adolescents in coping. Following are SAMHSA DBHIS sections related to children and adolescents:
  • Resources intended for children:

Resources Focused on Older Adults

  • Helping Older Adults After Disasters: A Guide to Providing Support—Designed for anyone supporting older adults after a disaster, this SAMHSA guide highlights reactions to disasters that are common among survivors of all ages, as well as unique challenges older adults may face after disasters and how response workers can help. The guide also identifies resources available to help in connecting older adults with services and supports.
  • Eldercare Locator—This service of the Administration on Aging, part of the U.S. Administration for Community Living, features an online database users can search by ZIP code and city and state to find local services for older adults, which may be particularly useful following a disaster. The service can also be reached by toll-free phone at 1–800–677–1116. The Eldercare Locator website includes links to consumer publications and websites of organizations that serve older adults.
  • Helping Families Deal with the Stress of Relocation After a Disaster—In this handout, CDC provides a wealth of information about stress, why relocation after a disaster may be stressful, common signs of stress, and ways that parents and other caregivers can support children and adolescents in coping. Tips are also provided for helping older adults with coping, as are links to related resources.

Resources for Disaster Responders and First Responders

  • A Guide to Managing Stress for Disaster Responders and First RespondersThis SAMHSA guide is designed for first responders, public health workers, construction workers, transportation workers, utility workers, crisis counselors, and volunteers who respond to disasters and other crises. The guide provides information on how people experience stress; signs of extreme stress; and ways for organizations and individuals to manage and mitigate stress before, during, and after disaster response.
  • Responder Safety and Health—In this topical resource collection, the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) provides a wealth of items for healthcare, public health, and emergency management professionals pertaining to safety, including mental health-related safety for responders. Part of the ASPR Technical Assistance, Resource Collection, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) resource, the collection features three sections about responder behavioral health and resilience.  
  • Psychological First Aid Online—The NCTSN offers this online course to train new disaster responders in Psychological First Aid (PFA), as well as to provide a refresher training for responders who want to review this approach to disaster response. The course describes the core actions of PFA and how they can be applied after a disaster, as well as discussing provider well-being.
    A version of this course is available in Spanish at Both courses are available free of charge; however, to complete a course, you must create an account at

Additional Resources for Acute Needs

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline—The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) provides free, confidential crisis counseling and support to people in distress due to natural and human-caused disasters. The DDH is available 24/7, on all days of the year, via talk or text to 1–800–985–5990. The line also offers support in Spanish (people who call or text should press 2 for this option) and several additional languages other than English. People who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have other speech or hearing disabilities can use the texting option or, if they would like support in American Sign Language (ASL), they can call the DDH’s toll-free number via videophone-enabled device or click the “ASL Now” link at the DDH website.

This website is available in Spanish at

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline—The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a source of support available 24/7 to people in crisis, including people experiencing challenging reactions to disasters. Call 988 for support in English or Spanish.
The website is available in Spanish at

A disaster event such as this is unexpected and often brings out strong emotions. As noted above, people can call or text the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline’s toll-free number (1–800–985–5990) and receive immediate counseling. This free, confidential, multilingual crisis support service is available to anyone experiencing distress as a result of a disaster. People who call and text are connected to trained, caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the network. Helpline staff provide confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services.

Should you have further questions, please feel free to contact Myra Derbyshire at the phone number, email, and mailing address appear below. You may also reach a technical assistance specialist at SAMHSA DTAC by calling 1–800–308–3515 or emailing

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