Coping with Crisis & Caring for Yourself: 2010 Flood Disaster

Centerstone Crisis Management StrategiesWhat is a “critical incident?” A critical incident is technically defined as “an event which has the potential to overwhelm one’s usual coping mechanism, resulting in psychological distress and an impairment of normal adaptive functioning.” It’s normal to feel anxious and afraid after experiencing a trauma like a natural disaster. Below are common reactions and tips for coping.

  1. Acknowledge the Impact
    • Normal stress reactions:
      • Emotional: shock, sadness, anger, grief, feeling helpless
      • Cognitive: worry, disbelief, intrusive thoughts, nightmares
      • Physical: tired, on edge, easily startled, headaches
      • Interpersonal: withdrawn, more conflict, impaired work
  2. Stress vs. Emotional Trauma
    • Traumatic stress:
      • How quickly upset is triggered
      • How frequently upset is triggered
      • How intensely threatening the source of upset is
      • How long upset lasts
      • How long it takes to calm down
  3. Tips for Coping
    • Talk about it
    • Spend time with others
    • Self Care (and avoid destructive habits)
    • Keep proper perspective (what you have control over)
    • Maintain normal routine
    • Ask for help
  4. Problematic Stress Reactions (when to seek professional help)
    • Dissociation
    • Intrusive flashbacks
    • Avoidance
    • Hyper- arousal
    • Severe anxiety or depression
    • Self medicating
    • Bizarre thoughts

Business Recovery Services

Through our Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) services, we help your employees and your business heal faster – minimizing consequences and maximizing recovery. Contact our Crisis Management Strategies department at 615.202.2580 for business recovery services.

Centerstone Emergency Crisis Line 24 hours: 1-800-681-7444
Information & Appointments: 615.460.HELP (4357)

Susan Gillpatrick, M.Ed, LPC, Crisis Management Specialist, 615.202.2580