CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- Disaster officials overseeing recovery efforts in West Virginia have announced that funds are available to provide short-term crisis intervention services to eligible persons affected by the November storms, floods and landslides.
In recent years residents have suffered repeated and devastating natural disasters. Faith Stuart, of the Department of Health and Human Resources comments that “Once a person has experienced a disaster, they become apprehensive and fearful when severe weather threatens; this is not unusual.” Stuart’s agency will direct the counseling outreach, which is called “Project Recovery.”
Feelings of stress are not always easily traced to their source, but there are signs residents can look for. They may include some or all of the following symptoms:
- Depression, feelings of despair
- Fearfulness, anxiety
- Difficulty sleeping
- Recurring nightmares
- Irritability or feeling edgy
- Loss of appetite
- A change in personality
“Project Recovery” sites are set up in several areas of the state. For a referral to the nearest counseling site, residents can call 1-800-232-0020. “If people have any reason to believe they are suffering emotional stress we urge them to call and obtain counseling,” said Stephen S. Kappa, state coordinating officer, West Virginia Offices of Emergency Services.
The State administers this special program, which is funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.