MADISON, Wis. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has funded a grant of $187,355 to the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services to provide immediate crisis counseling services for victims of the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.
"Losing a home, business, or personal property to disaster takes a financial toll on victims," said Ron Sherman, FEMA 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. Crisis counseling helps disaster victims recognize normal stress reactions and emotions caused or aggravated by a trauma and regain control over themselves and their environment.
"The sudden adversity of a natural disaster can cause serious stress and disruption in people’s lives,” said Helene Nelson, Secretary of the Department of Health and Family Services. “We will use these funds to help people regain control of their lives.”
The Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services is responsible for overall administration and implementation of the program, called Project Recovery. Crisis counseling, community education services, assistance and training are being provided through Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. If you live in a county declared eligible for Individual Assistance and want information about crisis counseling, call Project Recovery at 866-422-3742. If you live in Milwaukee, the number to call for Project Recovery Milwaukee is 414-963-6410.
Individuals who have suffered loss or damages from the severe storms, flooding and tornadoes that occurred May 19 through July 3 can register for disaster assistance by calling FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362),
8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, until August 18, 2004. The special number for those with speech and hearing impairment is TTY 1-800-462-7585.
The Wisconsin counties declared for Individual Assistance are Adams, Brown, Calumet, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, LaCrosse, Lafayette, Marathon, Marquette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Portage, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Shawano, Sheboygan, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago and Wood.