For mental health support:
- Aetna Behavioral Health is offering FREE Resources for Living telephone support to those affected by the earthquake. Individuals can contact Aetna EAP at 833-327-AETNA (1-833-327-2386) for telephonic consultation to help cope with the emotional impact of this event.
- United Health Care is offering a FREE Emotional Support Line from Optum to those affected by the earthquake. Individuals can contact the toll-free help line at 866-342-6872 to speak to a mental health specialist 24/7.
- If you need support or referrals to services in your area please call 2-1-1.
- You can also call Careline, Alaska’s statewide 24/7 free and confidential crisis line. 1-877-266-4357 (HELP), or text for help at 839863.
- For more information:
FEMA: Recovering from the Storm Within
Special considerations for individuals with disabilities and elderly:
- Call 9-1-1 during a life-threatening emergency.
- Adult Protective Services through DHSS Senior Disabilities Services helps to prevent or stop harm from occurring to vulnerable adults. Call 1-800-478-9996 to make a report of abuse, neglect, abandonment and more.
- For more information
Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs
CDC Information on Earthquakes and People with Special Needs
After a natural disaster like the big earthquake that hit Southcentral Alaska on Nov. 30, it’s normal to feel anxious, sad, or angry. It’s important to recognize those feelings in yourself or others and know they are valid. Acknowledging our feelings, helping loved ones and neighbors and connecting with others can help us get back on track.
Here are some basic tips to help you and your loved ones cope in the aftermath of the earthquake and the repeated aftershocks, many of which were greater than 4.0 in magnitude. Here are some helpful tips as we recover together from this earthquake event:
- Make sure you take care of yourself and others. Don’t forget to eat regular meals and drink water to stay hydrated.
- As much as possible, stick to your normal routines (including mealtimes, bedtimes). If you have children, they will feel more safe and secure with structure and routine.
- Carry out small, practical tasks and count each success.
- Take deep breaths if you feel the need to calm down. Take a slow, measured inhale through your nose. Hold your breath and count to three before exhaling through pursed lips.
- Seek social connections and support. Share your experience and feelings.
How adults, caregivers and teachers can help children:
- Talk to children and teenagers about their feelings and how they are affected.
- Use simple honest answers.
- Be prepared to discuss the same details many times.
- Let children know that adults also don't always understand why things happen.
- Do your best to be supportive, loving and predictable.
- Encourage them to engage in physical play and exercise.
Special thanks to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services for their help compiling these links and information:
Here are some helpful resources for helping children:
How we can help our neighbors:
- Check on your neighbors. If you and your family are healthy and well, lend a helping hand to your neighbors and friends by helping with cleanup, cooking for them if their electricity is out, coordinating errands.
- Talk to your neighbors and see if anyone needs a backup generator. Provide one if you have one, or help find one if you can.
- Now is a good time to plan ahead. Review your family’s emergency plans, including where to gather and how to communicate in an emergency. Work on developing and upgrading your emergency kit if you need to. Here are some helpful resources on earthquake preparedness:
FEMA: Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness
FEMA: Earthquake Home Hazard Hunt