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Tornado-Scarred States Receive American Red Cross Health Services
Date:2/7/2008

ental health needs of those affected is an important part of the larger Red Cross disaster response."

The Red Cross offers the following tips for those dealing with the emotional impact of this disaster:

Tips for Dealing with Stress:

-- Take a few deep breaths to relax.

-- Count to ten.

-- Prioritize your tasks.

-- Tend to necessary activities and try to establish a routine.

-- Take time to assess your physical health and seek medical care when appropriate.

-- Make an extra effort to listen and talk to the people around you.

Tips for Helping Children:

Disasters come in many forms and affect children and adults differently. Children take their cues from their parents and other adults. When these important people in their lives cope well in a disaster, children are more likely to respond positively. Adults can help children cope with the recent tornadoes by following some general steps:

-- Encourage children to talk and listen to their concerns.

-- Take time to provide factual information about the disaster and your plans for ensuring their ongoing safety.

-- Take care of yourself so you can take care of your children.

-- Offer them a sense of protection. Speak with confidence about the situation, and work with them to build up their sense of feeling protected. A good way to do this is to create a disaster supplies kit and a family communications plan.

-- Help your children reconnect with people around them, family, friends and schoolmates. This connection can help strengthen your child's sense of safety.

-- Re-establish daily routines for work, school, play, meals and rest.

-- Monitor and limit your children's exposure to news coverage of the disaster. Children may think the event is happening over and over again when they see or hear repeated reports and images.

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