Here at Hanley Foundation, we are committed to creating supportive recovery communities, and that commitment is only magnified in the wake of a natural disaster. In preparation for what is predicted to be an active storm season, we have created this mini prep guide as a resource for families, caregivers, and our recovery community in the event of a natural disaster.
For more information on general disaster preparedness, please see Palm Beach County’s Hurricane Prep Guide.
Stay In Contact With Your Community
Emotional and mental support are vital during times of stress, such as a hurricane. For those with access to a phone or other smart device, be sure to stay in regular contact with friends, sponsors, mental health professionals, physicians, and family members. If you choose to evacuate to another city, look up local AA or NA meeting times and plan to attend regularly. Remember, even if you’re unable to physically make it to a meeting, many programs offer virtual meeting options.
Create a Schedule
Because natural disasters interrupt our daily schedules, it’s important to create a new one in anticipation of any potential difficulties. Write out what your day will look like as you ride out the storm.
Don’t Ignore Trauma
Often, untreated or undiagnosed PTSD may lead a person to seek relief by way of substance abuse. Many people who have been affected in this way by natural disasters do not even realize that they using to seek relief from these past traumatic experiences.
Know Where to Find Help
SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
Hotlines and Resources:
• SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (Support and counseling 24/7)
• NAMI HelpLine: 800-950-NAMI (6264) or Text NAMI to 741-741 (24/7 crisis support)
• NEDA Crisis Text Line: Text NEDA to 741741 (24/7 text support)
• Emergency Information Center: 561-712-6400 (24/7 sheltering & hurricane info)
• 211 HelpLine Palm Beach & Treasure Coast: Call 211 or (866) 882-2991
• AlertPBC Emergency Notification System: Sign up to receive alerts here Palm Beach County (Public) – AlertPBC – Sign up (everbridge.net)
• PBC Disaster Awareness & Recovery Tool (DART): Download on the App Store or Google Play https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pbc-dart/id526473189
SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline
This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call or text 1-800-985-5990 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
Resource for Co-Occurring Disorders
This tip sheet discusses the needs of individuals with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders after a disaster. It also covers key considerations for healthcare practitioners and others who provide services and formal and informal support after disasters for individuals with co-occurring disorders.