Flooding & Natural Disaster Response Resources

APA’s Disaster Resource Network (DRN) is actively engaged in efforts to disseminate resources and recruit psychologists in the DRN for response efforts. DRN staff are in contact with our long-time partner the American Red Cross which works to deploy volunteers times of flooding, Earthquakes, and other natural disasters.

Psychologists who are licensed and have disaster mental health training but are not in the DRN can also volunteer through Red Cross. They will need to follow the instructions in the attached Red Cross flyer.

The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is the first national hotline dedicated to providing year-round disaster crisis counseling. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746) to residents in the U.S. and its territories who are experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

The following APA resources are available on the Psychology Help Center.

Wildfire Resources

Disaster-specific Resources

Wild Fire Safety Checklist

Recovering from wildfires

Wildfire Resources

Western Wildfires: Keeping Communities from Polluted Air (webinar from earlier 2018 California fires)

Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) Resource Collections (global disaster information – searchable).

Hurricane Specific Resources

This file contains information on what you should do to prepare for a hurricane and how to recover afterwards.

This article includes tips on how to restore emotional wellbeing and a sense of control in the wake of a hurricane.

This article includes tips on how to manage distress from watching images of destruction and worrying about others.

This website contains the most up to date information regarding natural disasters and severe weather, preparation, key facts, and recommendations.

This website allows for tracking of hurricanes and storms on the Atlantic and Pacific in real time.

Part of Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 24th – May 30th), this consumer website offers information on hurricane history, hurricane hazards, and what people can do to prepare.

  • NCTSN – Simple Activities for Children and Adolescents (looks like a great resource for shelters or communities without electricity)


  • Resources from SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline  (references APA Help Center materials along with several others)


Tip Sheets


  • The American Red Cross has developed emergency-specific checklists using the latest research, science, best practices and expert opinion. These include information on how to be prepared for many types of disasters. These checklists are online in multiple languages at the following link: Disaster Preparedness Checklists.

 Checklists that can assist you are:

Equally important, businesses should be prepared with emergency plans in place to stay afloat. Putting a disaster plan in motion will improve the likelihood that your company may recovery from a disaster. Ready Business (www.ready.gov/business) outlines measures business owners and managers can take now to start getting ready.

Disaster Resources Mobile Apps

Safe & Well

During an emergency like a hurricane, letting your family know that you are safe can bring your loved ones great peace of mind. That’s why the Red Cross has developed an easy-to-use online tool, called Safe and Well, to help families and individuals notify loved ones that they are safe during an emergency

To register, people should visit the Safe & Well website and click on the “List Yourself or Search Registrants” links. People in the affected areas can list themselves as “safe and well” on the site by using a pre-disaster phone number or complete address. Disaster survivors can also update their Facebook and Twitter status through the Safe and Well Web site.

Red Cross Shelter App

  • The application displays real time open shelter information from the National Shelter System, updated every thirty minutes. Shelter details such as the agency managing the shelter, capacity of the shelter and current population, the associated disaster event and the specific shelter address and location are displayed.
  • Red Cross shelter information can be found on our national website at American Red Cross – Shelters.

American Red Cross Hurricane App

  • Be ready for Hurricane Sandy with the hurricane app by American Red Cross. Monitor conditions in your area or throughout the storm track, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an area where a hurricane may strike or has loved ones who do. http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/hurricane-app

 First Aid App

  • The official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Available for iPhone and Android devices, the official American Red Cross First Aid app gives you instant access to the information you need to know to handle the most common first aid emergencies. With videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to know first aid. http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/first-aid-app

 Earthquake App

  • Be ready for an earthquake with Earthquake by American Red Cross. Get notified when an earthquake occurs, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an earthquake-prone area or has loved ones who do. http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/earthquake-app

Wildfire App

  • Be ready for wildfires with the official Red Cross wildfire app. “Blaze Warnings” let you see where NOAA has issued wildfire warnings, “Blaze Alerts” notify you when a new wildfire occurs and the “Blaze Path Tracker” gives you a current view of the wildfire’s track and perimeter. You can also let loved ones know that you are safe even if the power is out and learn what steps you should take to prepare your family, home and pets – all from the palm of your hand. http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/wildfire-app
  • From your mobile phone, call **REDCROSS (**73327677) and we will send you a link to download the app or visit iTunes or Google Play app stores.

Selected Research

The aim of this study was to examine the psychological impact of flooding in the UK.

  • Carroll, B., Morbey, H. Balogh, R., & Araoz, G. (2009). Flooded homes, broken bonds, the meaning of home, psychological processes and their impact on psychological health in a disaster. Health & Place, 15(2), 540-547. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18996730

A study done on flood victims assessed the social and health impacts on people’s lives.

  • La Greca, A.M., Silverman, W.K., et al. (2010). Hurricane-Related Exposure Experiences and Stressors, Other Life Events, and Social Support: Concurrent and Prospective Impact on Children’s Persistent Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(6), 794-805. Retrieved from http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/ccp/78/6/794.pdf

This study examines the influence of a destructive hurricane on children’s persistent posttraumatic stress (PTS).

  • North, C.S. (2010). A Tale of Two Studies of Two Disasters: Comparing Psychosocial Responses to Disaster among Oklahoma City Bombing Survivors and Hurricane Katrina Evacuees. Rehabilitation Psychology, 55(3), 241-246. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/rep-55-3-241.pdf

Research conducted in the aftermaths of the Oklahoma City bombing and Hurricane Katrina showed that the type of disaster can have a distinct effect on how people respond psychologically.

  • Roberts, Y.H., Mitchell, M.J., Witman, M., & Taffaro, C. (2010). Mental Health Symptoms in Youth Affected by Hurricane Katrina. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 41(1), 10–18. Retrieved from http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/pro/41/1/10/

This study presents the results of a youth assessment survey done 2 years after Hurricane Katrina regarding the prevalence of mental health symptoms with recommendations for post-Katrina mental health needs.

Discussion regarding a study done at Virginia Tech regarding the serious emotional disturbances found among children after Hurricane Katrina, including hyperactivity, eating disorders, fears, and learning difficulties.

This article is about children in post-Katrina Louisiana (education/health issues, etc).

  •  Schulenberg, S.E., Dellinger, K.A., Koestler, A.J, et al. (2008). Psychologists and Hurricane Katrina: Natural Disaster Response Through Training, Public Education, and Research. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 2(2), 83-88. Retrieved from http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/tep/2/2/83/

This scholarly article explores ways psychologists can use their clinical training in a disaster setting in light of the author’s experience in Hurricane Katrina.

A scholarly study on the use of mental health services by adult survivors of Katrina, concluding that few Katrina survivors with mental disorders received adequate care and future disaster responses will require timely provision of services.

  • Aten, J.D., Madoson, M.B, Rice, A. & Chamberlain, A.K. (2008). Postdisaster Supervisor Strategies for Promoting Supervisee Self-Care: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 2(2), 75-82. Retrieved from http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/tep/2/2/75.pdf

Scholarly article focusing on strategies for supervisors to deal with the self-care of their supervisees written in the wake of Katrina. A supervisor self-care tool is also included.