Disaster-Related Trauma

Disaster-related traumatic stress reactions occur when an individual experiences an event that presents a serious threat to self and/or others and the response to the event includes intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Traumatic reactions may range from short term (e.g., traumatic stress; acute stress disorder) to prolonged and severe (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder). Whether the disaster is human caused or natural, the ability to resolve traumatic stress reactions is complicated by many factors. These complicating factors affect the intensity and duration of traumatic stress reactions. Interventions must be appropriate to disaster survivors’ level of stress reaction.

All disasters are stressful owing to factors related to preparedness, response, and recovery. These factors include evacuation, sheltering or temporary relocation, repair of damages or rebuilding homes, replacement of personal ...

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