Disasters occur often and generally without notice. In the blink of an eye, a person can lose their home, their personal possessions, their car, or their job. It can take a long time and can cost a lot of money to recover. Some things that are lost cannot be replaced. This stress can be felt in day-to-day life and can affect relationships with friends and family. Children also feel the stress. The stress can build over time because recovery is slow and can seem to take forever. Other people seem to have forgotten the disaster and have moved on to other things. Disaster survivors can start to feel very alone.
There is help available for disaster survivors. The Iowa Concern Hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can be reached at 1-800-447-1985. This is a free service.
Disaster survivors may want to talk to a counselor more often and in person. Community Mental Health Centers can offer mental health treatment, counseling, and support groups. They see people both with and without insurance. They also take Medicaid.
There are Community Mental Health Centers all around the state of Iowa. The following link provides contact information for the Community Mental Health Center serving each county in Iowa:
The website below offers written materials for dealing with stress on your own. It also provides help for talking through the disaster with your children and answering the questions they may have. There are also materials for disaster recovery for older Iowans and those with disabilities:
· Iowa Legal Aid provides help to low-income Iowans.
· To apply for help from Iowa Legal Aid:
o call 800-532-1275
o Iowans age 60 and over, call 800-992-8161
o apply online at iowalegalaid.org
· If Iowa Legal Aid cannot help, you can look for an attorney on “Find A Lawyer” on the Iowa State Bar Association website – iowabar.org. A private attorney there can talk with you for a fee of $25 for 30 minutes of legal advice.