Natural Disaster Relief: Psychologists Offer Help After Fires and Hurricanes


Experts available to discuss psychological effects of natural disasters.

As you contemplate and discuss the devastation of the wildfires burning across Washington and much of the West, plus the destruction of two hurricanes across the Gulf Coast and Caribbean, the experts listed below are available to discuss how psychologists can help after a disaster, the impact of natural disasters on people’s emotional health and how to deal with traumatic stress.

APA also has many resources available for the media and the public who are covering and dealing with the aftermath and ongoing struggles with these natural disasters.

Locally, you may need to discuss the effects of wildfires on local communities or one-on-one with fire victims and their families. The following links provide guides to discussing and understanding the traumatic effects of wildfires, evacuations, and property damage:

Recovering from Wildfires addresses shock and other emotional responses to sudden and chaotic situations, including wildfire evacuation.

Recovering emotionally after a residential fire helps victims cope with the loss of one’s home and items of significant value, and helps to recover feelings of safety and security.

Stopping young fire-starters helps parents and professionals address potential psychological problems, misinformation, and dangers of juveniles playing with fire.

Additional links and resources are available for those dealing with the effects of the multiple hurricanes on the Gulf Coast and in the Carribean:

Managing traumatic stress: After the hurricanes provides insight into how victims of disasters can understand their emotions and learn to cope.


Tornadoes, Hurricanes and Children gives tips to parents and others who care for children to help alleviate the emotional consequences of natural disasters.


Managing traumatic stress: Dealing with the hurricanes from afar offers tips to people who are witnessing the images of flooding and hurricane destruction from afar.


Manage flood-related distress by building resilience addresses people’s stress and anxiety related to anticipated and continued flooding.


What psychologists do on disaster relief operations discusses the role psychologists play in disaster relief.


Recovering emotionally from disaster can help people better understand the overwhelming reactions and responses they may be having following evacuations.