Hurricanes such as Irma and Harvey, can cause people to have very strong emotional reactions before, during and after this natural disaster has subsided. Unfortunately, they often times come with damage to a person’s home, infrastructure, loss of power, missed days at school or work. Even when it has passed, you might feel on edge and stressed out, you are not alone. Understanding how you respond to events such as a hurricane can help you cope with your feelings and thoughts about the situation and your behavior. There are a number of things that you can do to help you regain back that sense of well-being you had before disaster struck.


  • Acknowledge to yourself that this is not an easy time but that you will manage to get through it. Think back at how you have handled others hardships during your life and how you managed to find strength even in those hard times.
  • Allow yourself to mourn the losses you are experiencing. You might have lost part or all of your house, you might have lost your car, boat, or maybe the loss goes deeper and you lost something such as a pet or family member. It is ok for you to be grieving any of those things and you will go through different stages of grieving. Kuebler-Ross outlined five stages of grieving that include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.These are all things you might be feeling.  Loss and grief is a very personal process; allow yourself to go through the different emotions.
  • Take a break from social media and the news. People will often post things or talk about things on the news that are either exaggerated or show the worst of a situation. This might not be representative of what you have or are going through. Taking a break and just talking to neighbors will help you become more grounded in what you have to do to feel better.
  • Ask for support from people that are close to you. Remember, some may be going through their own spiral of emotions, so be mindful of their experience. Together you might find a way to help each other out.
  • Helping your neighbors and community can help you find more meaning in the experience and may allow you to connect with others, which can help you through your own emotions.
  • Try to get back to your regular routine as soon as possible. Engage in healthy behaviors and try to get plenty of sleep and eat well-balanced meals to help you regain some of the energy that your anxiety is draining from you. If you notice you are having problems sleeping try some of the many different relaxation techniques you find online.–Avoid making huge life changing decision that can affect your daily life, such as moving or changing jobs. Often times, it might take a few weeks to get life back to normal and during that time huge decisions can make you even more stressed.
  • If you feel that you are having a hard time handling your daily functioning you may want to consult with a mental health therapist.

How can a therapist help you?

Therapists can help you understand your responses to extremely stressful situations and help you move forward. By using evidence-based treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, EMDR, solution-focused therapy, psychoanalysis, they can give you tools that you will be able to use throughout your life. For some individuals, a combination of medication and psychotherapy might be the best treatment option and you can talk to your mental health care provider about different options. Psychiatrist, primary care physicians and pediatricians are allowed to prescribe medication. Therapists, counselors and psychologist all provide talk-therapy.



Monika Kreinberg LMHC, LMFT, NCC, CST, CCTP is a dually licensed psychotherapist that specializes in trauma and anxiety. Hurricanes although part of Florida life, can still be traumatic. If you feel that you need that extra help contact her or another health provider that specializes in trauma and anxiety. She is also a tele-mental health care provider and available for phone or video sessions. Groups are also a great way to process emotions. Ms. Kreinberg will be holding group session that focus on the aftermath of hurricane emotions, in the near future, please contact her if you are interested.