Resources for Military Members Before, During, and Following a Hurricane

Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Garrett Dipuma
By Holly O’Reilly, Ph.D.
July 12, 2019
(Updated: August 27, 2020)

Tropical storm Barry is expected to become a hurricane and make landfall on Saturday. Service members and their families living in Louisiana and other regions of the Gulf Coast may experience challenges related to the extreme weather. While it is always hard to predict just how impactful these storms will be, quick access to emergency preparedness and response resources can make a critical difference and providers and commands should encourage service members, veterans, and families to leverage all available resources.

General Hurricane Assistance and Information

Military-specific Information and Resources

Air Force Resources

Army Resources

Navy/Marine Corps Resources

Coast Guard Resources

Veteran-specific Resources

Child-focused Resources

Information for Psychological Health Providers

After natural disasters, such as damaging hurricanes, it is common for affected individuals to experience a range of emotions including feeling sad, overwhelmed, shocked, helpless, “numb,” distracted, or fatigued. Some may experience intrusive, repeated images of what they have seen. These responses are to be expected, and for most individuals the symptoms will fade with time. But if symptoms linger or contribute to unhealthy coping responses (such as increased alcohol or substance use), these individuals should seek help from a health care provider.  

Psychological health providers should be ready to offer support following hurricanes. In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, they can provide psychological first aid, an evidence-informed approach to reduce initial distress and foster adaptive functioning. They can also help educate patients on normal responses to extreme stressors and help them to move forward.

Post-disaster Psychological Health Support Resources:

Dr. O’Reilly is a clinical psychologist at the Psychological Health Center of Excellence. She specializes in the consequences of trauma and gender studies.

The views expressed in Clinician's Corner blogs are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Psychological Health Center of Excellence or Department of Defense.

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