Mesa, AZ -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has funded a $363,000 grant to the Arizona Department of Health Services Division of Behavioral Health to establish crisis counseling from state and federal agencies to assist in the recovery process from the Rodeo-Chediski fire.
"Losing a home, business, or personal property to disaster takes a financial toll on victims," said Sandy Coachman, the federal coordinating officer. "But the emotional toll a disaster exacts can be devastating too. A victim's emotional recovery also needs to be addressed."
Common reactions to a disaster may include: nightmares, difficulty sleeping, feelings of being overwhelmed, fear of the weather, anxiety about the future, difficulty making decisions, hopelessness, disappointment with outside help, headaches, increased anger or aggression, domestic violence, frustration, and feelings of powerlessness. These feelings can be exhibited by people of all ages, including children.
"People affected by a disaster can be seriously stressed and confused
by the sudden adversity in their world," said Director of Arizona's
Division of Emergency Management Michael P. Austin. "We want to keep
them from being overwhelmed and empower them to regain control of their
lives. No one who experiences a disaster goes untouched by it."
Crisis counseling will help fire victims recognize normal stress reactions and emotions caused or aggravated by a disaster and regain control over themselves and their environment.
Any individual who was affected by the disaster and is in need of crisis counseling can call the Northern Arizona Behavioral Health Authority at 1-800-640-2123, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In person counseling services will be available on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation at the Apache Behavioral Health Services Building in White River (928-338-4811) and at 14 Community Counseling Centers Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Community Counseling Centers are located in Show Low, Heber, Overgaard, Snowflake, Winslow, Holbrook, McNary, Eager, Pinetop-Lakeside, Forest Lakes, Springerville, St. Johns, Taylor and Payson (928-537-2951).
Individuals who have suffered losses or damages can register for other disaster assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week. The number for the speech and hearing impaired is TTY 1-800-462-7585.
The Arizona Division of Emergency Management coordinates emergency services and the efforts of governmental agencies to reduce the impact of disasters on persons and property through disaster mitigation programs and the coordination of federal, state and local government agencies to respond to, and recover from, disasters through training and emergency response planning.
FEMA is the federal agency that coordinates response efforts to federal disasters. The agency's 10 regional offices work directly with the states to help plan for disasters, develop mitigation programs and meet needs when disasters occur. FEMA Region IX serves the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada, as well as the territories of American Samoa and Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.