Behavioral Health During and After a Hurricane

North Carolinians can experience the impacts of a hurricane long after the storm passes. DHHS works diligently to support North Carolinians on their way to a full recovery after a storm– mind, body and belongings.

Disasters are stressful and there is no right or wrong way to feel. People can experience a wide range of emotions and stress manifests differently in different people. Signs of distress can include: changes in sleep, appetite, energy or substance/medication use and physical manifestations such as headaches or stomach aches.

Certain people, such as children or those with an intellectual or developmental disability, may find it especially troubling to be forced out of the stability of their community and their daily routine.

The state, local health care providers, and volunteer organizations are making every effort to bring care and comfort to those in need.

How to get help immediately:

Other help and resources from DHHS and partners:

  • Each LME/MCO is following their disaster response plan that is focused on regional and local behavioral health needs for both children and adults.
  • The state will allow opioid treatment programs additional take-home doses for opioid patients in the areas of potential impact at another licensed opioid treatment program, provided their medical director agrees. Other locations can be found in the Central Registry.


Watch this video on how to handle stress after a natural disaster featuring Dr. Carrie Brown, DHHS' Chief Medical Officer for Behavioral Health & IDD.