Newsroom > DHHS News Release

May 16, 2014

Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or 
People Dealing with Tornado Damage are Experiencing Stress
Lincoln—The tornado damage in southeastern Nebraska is causing disruption and turmoil for many Nebraskans.  In times like these, people experience stress.
“Stress is a normal, human response to events like tornadoes, floods and other natural disasters,” according to Scot Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “People don’t know what to expect, and that uncertainty adds to the stress.”
Stress can cause physical symptoms, like upset stomach, headaches, and muscle tension. But everyone experiences stress differently.  The more signs and symptoms you notice in yourself, the closer you may be to stress overload.
Signs and symptoms of stress overload include moodiness, anxiety, irritability, constant worrying, the inability to relax, feeling overwhelmed, a sense of loneliness or isolation, and feelings of depression. 
If you find yourself overloaded by stress you can help yourself to relax by talking with others or by taking some time away from the disaster scene to regroup.  Eat balanced meals on a regular basis and, if possible, get some exercise to unwind.
If stress is interfering with your day-to-day life or you feel like completely giving up, get help. Stay in touch with family and friends, find a support network, and talk with a counselor. Getting involved with others can help.
Region III Behavioral Health Services and Region V Behavioral Health Systems are on the scene after the recent storms in the central and eastern parts of the state, offering resources and support for people with mental health and substance abuse issues.  For Region III, people can call Beth Reynolds at (308) 237-5113.  For Region V, call Kristen Nelson at (402) 441-4356.  See a map of the regions and find resources at or call the Family Helpline at 1-888-866-8660.
The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 is also available. Farmers and ranchers can call the Rural Response Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.