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• Headaches and/or stomach problems • Tunnel vision and/or muffled hearing • Colds or flu-like symptoms • Disorientation or confusion • Difficulty in concentrating • Depression and/or sadness • Feeling of hopelessness • Mood-swings and crying easily • Guilt and self-doubt

3. Some ways to ease disaster related stress: • Talk with someone about your feelings even though it may be difficult - anger, sorrow, etc. • Seek help from professional counselors who deal with post-disaster stress. • Don't hold yourself responsible for the disaster event or get frustrated because you cannot directly assist in the recovery work. • Stay active in your daily routine to help promote your own physical and emotional healing (e.g. healthy eating, exercise, rest, relaxation). • Spend time with family and friends.

Children's Reactions to Disasters

Children show a remarkable resistance to disasters. Those affected, however, show temporary emotional upsets manifested by insomnia, clinging to parents, dependency and fear. After disasters, children usually fear: • Recurrence, injury or death. • Being separated from parents. • Being left alone.

How to Cope

These steps can help: • Keep the family together. Avoid leaving the child alone. • Give assurance by word and deed. • Listen to what a child says about his/her fears. • Encourage the child to talk about his/her reactions to the disaster. • Include children in cleaning up activities. • Parents must control their own fears and seek professional help if: - Sleeping problem is prolonged. - Clinging behaviour does not diminish - Fears become worse.

For more information please contact the Mental Health Unit at: (284) 494-3472

34 Community Disaster Preparedness Guide

BVI DDM Community Disaster Preparedness Guide  
BVI DDM Community Disaster Preparedness Guide  

The Disaster Management Department of the BVI's Community Disaster Preparedness Guide, released May 18, 2012

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