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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > Take Care of Yourself as You Offer Help to Others

Take Care of Yourself as You Offer Help to Others


September 2, 2005


AUGUSTA, MAINE – The Maine Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services ask that everyone take a moment to recognize the impact of Hurricane Kristina on all of us. Many of us may experience stress reactions over the next few days and weeks. As you watch the events in the southern states and struggle to find a way to assist the people living there, take the time to care for yourself and your family as well.

Common stress reactions can be emotional, cognitive, behavioral and physical. Some examples are anxiety, fear, depression, confusion, poor concentration, a change in sleeping or eating patterns, headaches, fatigue, stomach distress, and a decreased resistance to infection. All of these and others are normal responses to abnormal and traumatic events.

It is important to take extra time to care of yourself and loved ones. Make sure you are eating well, drinking lots of fluids and getting enough sleep. Exercise and relaxation exercises are highly encouraged. Stay connected with your friends and family.

Talk with your children about their feelings and share information that they can understand. The two most common indicators of distress in children are changes in their behavior and behavior regression. Reassure your child that you are safe and together. Try to spend extra time together in fun family activities. Limiting media exposure for children is a good idea.

If you feel the need to have additional professional support and counseling, talk with your family physician or a counselor.

If you want to learn more about the organizations that are helping in this disaster, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency website at:

Information about helping disaster victims also is available at:




Last update: 07/20/10