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Gender and Disaster Network

Pacific-Oceania Region

Getting help

It is normal to feel like you are not in control and don’t have all the answers.

It is not unusual to feel:

  • shocked and numb
  • frustrated, irritable or angry
  • helpless, anxious or scared
  • tired, exhausted and on edge
  • like it’s too hard to make decisions
  • overwhelmed and tearful.

You might find it hard to sleep or be having nightmares. You might not feel like doing things you used to enjoy.
Children might also have problems sleeping, have nightmares and be too scared to sleep alone. They might also be more clingy and cry more, or be more frustrated and impatient than usual.


It is normal to feel like this. It is the situation that is abnormal.
It is ok to feel sad and to grieve for the loss of your precious belongings.
You will start to feel better but it might take longer than you expect.

Tips to help you deal with what has happened:
  • Ask for help when you need it. Talking to someone helps. Talk to people you trust.
  • Get some exercise; even going for a walk will help relieve stress.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol or caffeine.
  • Try to eat less takeaways and more healthy foods.
  • Try to re-establish as many normal routines as possible.
  • Limit the amount of news you watch if you are finding it distressing.
  • Stay with someone else or have someone stay with you if you don’t want to be on your own.

Getting help

Talking to a counsellor who knows about the effects of a disaster can help.

Counsellors can help you:

  • if you feel worried or afraid
  • think through your next steps
  • find ways to help you feel as normal as you can be at the moment
  • to help your kids cope
  • deal with stress
  • feel less irritable.

Useful websites:

If you are worried about your children or teenagers visit: