SAN JUAN, PR -- Coping with any type of loss, whether it involves personal possessions, a job or a family member, can be very strenuous. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, hurricane survivors, including children, are dealing with stress issues which people seldom face.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) implements the Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) as a supplemental assistance program to help survivors and communities in recovering from the effects of natural and human caused disasters. The CCP supports short term interventions which assist survivors in reviewing their disaster recovery options, promoting the use or development coping strategies, providing emotional support, and encouraging linkages with other survivors in their recovery process.
"Many survivors cannot understand why they are feeling or reacting differently" said Justo Hernández, FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer. "Crisis counseling specialists are trained to identify disaster related needs and make referrals to federal, state and local resources available. Also, they provide emotional support to survivors and their families in their recovery process."
Survivors can call the crisis counseling helpline, "La Línea PAS", 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-981-0023. Survivors can also visit the 18 Disaster Recovery Centers in Arroyo, Caguas, Canóvanas, Carolina, Cayey, Cidra, Coamo, Comerío, Humacao, Jayuya, Juncos, Loíza, Luquillo, Orocovis, Patillas, Ponce, San Juan and Villalba to find crisis counseling assistance.
During this hurricane season's peak, emergency preparedness should be a priority for every community member. To learn on emergency preparedness, how to create an emergency family plan and kit, residents may visit www.ready.gov.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.