Living through Hurricane Sandy

Living through Hurricane Sandy’s devastating impact on the East Coast has placed all of us in varying degrees of stress as we assess the damage to our homes, our loved ones and our communities. We should all expect to have strong feelings even if we have only experienced the devastation secondhand.  Everyone experiences trauma differently but there are four core emotions that are universal:  fear/anxiety, sadness/depression, guilt/shame and anger/irritability. 

These feelings may also be accompanied by thoughts that increase distress, such as thinking that what you are feeling is wrong, or bad.  Judging yourself for your feelings can make you feel a further loss of control.  Sometimes this leads to emptying and numbing of all feelings and/or a flooding of feelings. 

After the initial, expectable stage of shock and confusion, expect that all feelings are fine and will decrease in time if allowed to be experienced.  It is helpful to talk with friends, family, coworkers or neighbors. This can help us all feel less alone and more supported, and maybe facilitate concrete help with specific problems. 

Positive coping strategies to reduce anxiety and other distressing reactions include:

  • Relaxation methods such as deep breathing, meditation
  • Moderate exercise
  • Getting rest
  • Maintaining routines as possible
  • Eating healthy meals
  • Spending time with others
  • Journal writing
  • Finding a support group
  • Seeking counseling


  • Use of alcohol or drugs
  • Social isolation or withdrawal
  • Extreme avoidance of thinking about events
  • "Workaholism"
  • Violence

Hurricane Sandy Resources

In this time following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Counseling Services Center would like to remind the college community that our office is available to meet with students to address any crisis or issue that may have a negative impact on academic success.


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