Coping With Disaster

(Provided by Counselor Education Faculty from Department of Professional Studies)

As part of the human family, each of us is impacted by the disastrous consequences of Katrina. As faculty in the midst of this nature-induced trauma, we must take care of ourselves and be available to students we have in our temporary care. It is normal in this abnormal situation to have strong feelings and reactions to events and behaviors. This is as true of faculty as it is of students. 

Knowledge is a powerful tool. Faculty may observe some students exhibiting normal responses to trauma or other students exhibiting severe psychological distress as a result of their exposure to recent events. Following are resources that offer trauma-related information. If a faculty member witnesses severe distress in a student, a referral may need to be considered to a mental health professional. As a reminder, University Counseling Services (460-7051) offers free counseling to students, faculty and staff.


American Psychiatric Association

“Biological Responses to Disasters” by Shalev, A. Y.

Anger and Trauma

The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress

“In the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina” by Lerner, Mark D.

Department of Veterans Affairs

“Effects of Traumatic Stress in a Disaster Situation”

Department of Veterans Affairs

“Natural Disaster: Devastating Effects of Hurricane Katrina”

Helping: Contact Numbers

For those who have a strong desire to help in areas other than the classroom, the numbers below are provided:

Bay Area Food Bank: 251/653-1617:

Habitat for Humanity Hurricane Recovery Effort:

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster:

Points of Light:

Red Cross: 800/HELP-NOW or

Salvation Army: 800/SAL-ARMY or