Know how the COVID-19 pandemic can affect disaster preparedness and recovery, and what you can do to keep yourself and others safe.

Healthy Ways to Deal with Stress after a Natural Disaster

Information for Teens and Young Adults

Teen standing outside, arms outstretched, with both thumbs up

After a natural disaster, it’s normal to feel different and strong emotions. Feeling emotional, nervous, or having trouble sleeping and eating can all be normal reactions to stress. Here are some healthy ways you can deal with stress.

Take care of yourself.

  • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals
  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out

Talk to others.

  • Share your problems and how you are feeling and coping with a parent, friend, counselor, doctor, or pastor.

Avoid drugs and alcohol.

  • These may seem to help, but they can create additional problems and increase the stress you are already feeling.

Take a break.

Listen to other teens’ stories about life after a natural disaster. Find videos, posters, and graphics here.

  • If news events are causing your stress, take a break from listening or watching the news.

Recognize when you need more help.

  • If problems continue or you are thinking about suicide, talk to a psychologist, social worker, or professional counselor.
  • You can also call or text SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. People with deafness or hearing loss can use their preferred relay service to call 1-800-985-5990.
Infographic: Be Ready! Hurricanes Ready: Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed. Social Media at CDC Emergency