Many resources are available to help those affected by disaster. Many are free, and can be easily accessed using a smartphone.
Find Disaster Services
2-1-1 is a free, confidential service that can help you find a wide variety of local resources you may need. If you need help but don’t know quite where to start, 2-1-1 is a great resource. Help is available in all languages, by dialing 211 from a phone or online HERE.
Disaster Assistance Resources
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) strives to provide assistance in all matters of hazard prevention and disaster recovery. You can use their website to locate the nearest FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) and Red Cross units, and find the closest hospitals using the US Hospital Finder. You can also download the FEMA app and read more about their services HERE.
Helpguide is an online directory that features articles concerning mental health. The Social Services Directory offers medical, financial, behavioral health support services, as well as public assistance. You can access these services HERE, or refer to their article “Recovering from the Stress of Experiencing or Being Exposed to Traumatic Events” to make the first steps towards recovery following a traumatic event.
The American Red Cross offers various resources for disaster relief. To learn more and access specific services, click HERE.
Resources for Disaster Responders & Providers
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention works 24/7 to ensure health security across the nation. For the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)’s Emergency Response Resources, click HERE.
- PFA Mobile™
The PFA Mobile™ app is available for mobile Apple devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch), and Android devices. Following disasters or emergencies, this app can help responders who provide Psychological First Aid (PFA) to adults, families, and children. Materials are adapted from the Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide (2nd Edition). You can download the app HERE.
- SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Response App
This free mobile app by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration contains behavioral health information and resources that providers can use in any setting to support those impacted by disasters. You can download the app HERE.
As a part of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Youth Preparedness Program, the site allows kids, parents, and educators to learn more about emergency preparedess and disaster relief. Kids can play games, and families and educators can use it to make safety plans and build their own toolkits. To learn more, click HERE.
Resources for Parents and Caregivers
- Help Kids Cope
Help Kids Cope will help parents talk to their kids about the disasters they may face and know how best to support them throughout—whether sheltering-in-place at home, evacuating to a designated shelter, or helping your family heal after reuniting. Help Kids Cope by UCLA is free from iTunes and available for mobile Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch). You can download the app HERE.
Sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the following guide helps parents and caregivers talk to children after a disaster, helping them understand without alarm. View the full guide HERE.
The National Association for the Education offers a list of organizations that help those in need, information on how to talk to young children about disasters they learn about in the media, and preparedness for child care and preschool programs in the U.S. Additional resources include a section on the need for child care centers and preschool programs to prepare for disasters. For more information, click HERE.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) offers trauma-relief resources about children and youth for parents, educators, and other caregivers. Along with providing Psychological First Aid training and handouts, you can access more services HERE.