Picking up the pieces for those who were devastated by Hurricane Florence involves more than discarding flood-damaged furniture or finding a new place to live.

In addition to the harming physical health and property, natural disasters can affect mental health as well, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).

A long time

“Bouncing back from a disaster of this magnitude can be extremely stressful and take a long time,” said APA President Jessica Henderson Daniel, PhD.

Her organization recommends that people who are still dealing with Florence’s aftermath reach out to friends and family as a source of strength and support, and that they establish new routines to restore order in their lives. Engaging in healthy behaviors can also help.

“For friends and family who would like to help those affected or displaced by Florence, be emotionally supportive,” Henderson said. “Just listening to Florence survivors can provide them with a sense of relief and comfort. Remember, their nearby support systems have probably been affected as well.”


The APA has some helpful materials available for Florence survivors: 

About the APA

The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, whose approximately 115,700 members are researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students.