Monthly Article Archives: October 2005

Coping with a Natural Disaster: The Aftermath of Katrina and RitaRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

Given our work in the area of resilience my colleague Dr. Sam Goldstein and I have received many questions about the most effective strategies for managing the stress and anxiety triggered by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. In response to these questions, we have prepared the following article for our websites. * * * * * On August 29, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the United States, leaving a trail of destruction that went far beyond what most had expected. Many lives were lost, countless homes and entire communities destroyed, and thousands left homeless. Just three weeks later, Hurricane Rita unleashed its fury on Texas and Louisiana and flooded parts of New Orleans again. Understandably, the scope of such devastation resulted in profound stress especially to those who lost loved ones, homes, jobs, and any semblance of order. Many found temporary refuge in other states (sadly, many people from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast who were sheltered in Houston after Katrina were forced to evacuate again with the approach of Rita). The word “refugee” was used in many news accounts to describe these displaced Americans. Adding to the distress is that many still do not know if

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