Crisis Counseling Is Available For Disaster Victims

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Release date: 
June 30, 2004
Release Number: 

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Crisis counseling is available to help Louisiana residents rebound from the state’s severe storms and floods on May 12-19, 2004. State and federal disaster recovery officials said the program, funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and administered by the Office of Mental Health for Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, is available to residents of the nine parishes that have been declared disaster areas.

"Losing a home, business, or personal property to disaster takes a financial toll on those affected," said Pete Martinasco, federal coordinating officer for FEMA. "But personal well-being can be affected, too.”

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, especially children and the elderly.

Parents can help their children cope by giving them undivided attention and listening carefully to their fears and concerns. In addition, parents should encourage their children to talk about their feelings, inform them about what is happening, and take time to have fun with them.

Crisis counseling helps people recognize normal stress reactions and emotions caused or aggravated by a disaster and regain control of themselves and their environment.

Individuals living in any of the nine declared Louisiana parishes are eligible for crisis counseling. Help for individuals are at the following specific parishes.

  • Acadia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, St. Landry and St. Martin parishes
    Daytime emergency #: 337-262-4100
    Nights and Weekends: 1-800-272-8367
  • Pointe Coupee parish:
    Daytime emergency#: 225-359-9315
    Nights and Weekends: 1-800-272-8367
  • West Baton Rouge and Iberville parishes
    Daytime emergency #: 225-925-1906
    Nights and Weekends: 1-800-272-8367
  • Livingston parish
    Daytime emergency #: 985-543-4080
    Nights and Weekends: 1-800-749-2673

Individuals who have suffered losses or damages from the floods can register for disaster assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily. The number for the speech- and hearing-impaired is TTY 1-800-462-7585.

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 Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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