Helping Trauma Survivors after a Natural Disaster

Image of mother comforting child

Natural disasters such as hurricanes often are not one-time, discrete events but rather, the start of ongoing traumatic stresses. Survivors face the loss of their homes, possessions, and even loved ones, while adapting to new routines and support systems, sometimes in unfamiliar environments.

For too many people, the trauma is compounded by previous or ongoing exposure to other life stressors, such as violence in families and communities, illnesses, poverty, racism, unemployment, and a lack of resources and diminished support networks.

All systems—schools, hospitals, community organizations, state agencies—must be prepared to recognize and address the effects of trauma of all types. By building "trauma-informed" systems of care, we are better prepared to address emergencies and longer-term challenges, as we work together to foster healing and resilience for individuals and across communities.

Related Resources

National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE)

NCSSLE seeks to improve schools' conditions for learning so that all students have the opportunity to realize academic success in safe and supportive environments. The NCSSLE website offers resources related to Emergency Readiness and Management and Trauma-Sensitive Schools.