Coping after a crisis

What you or others might experience after a crisis, and how to manage it.

Emergencies and crises by their very nature are disruptive and can be stressful. The recovery process can take time, sometimes months or even years.

What you, your family or friends have experienced is a unique and personal event. Some crises happen suddenly, with very little or no warning. Others develop more slowly and accumulate over time.

It’s normal to have a range of feelings in reaction to an abnormal situation. With time, some simple steps, and the support of people close to them, most people will cope well with the stress of a crisis.

Common physical and emotional reactions following an emergency or crisis change and evolve over time.

For each of the stages you’ll find information on some of the common reactions to crises. There are also tips on how to look after yourself and your loved ones. There are many different forms of support available to you. You’ll find many listed here.

Coping and returning home after a crisis
Information on what you might be feeling and how to look after yourself, as well as practical tips on returning home and navigating repairs and rebuilding.
Maintaining wellbeing in the face of long-term stress
Information on coping with long-term stress in times of uncertainty.
Bushfire recovery events and webinars
Connect with communities and experts who can support you. Register for upcoming Red Cross events and connect in with communities and experts who can support you

Staying healthy

Supporting others to cope with crisis

Crisis may be more intense for people who have suffered heavily or been directly involved. Others may find it more difficult to adjust, and will require more support from their community. This could include people in the community who:

  • have been evacuated or separated from family and friends, or quarantined
  • are more physically isolated 
  • are newly arrived to an area, including recent migrants or people with a refugee background 
  • are unwell, either prior to or as a result of the event
  • have a physical or intellectual disability and are living in the community with support 
  • have suffered or will suffer significant financial losses 
  • have been injured or have witnessed a traumatic event 
  • have previously experienced trauma
  • are experiencing family violence

Resources to help you support others through a difficult time.

Resources for parents and carers
Supporting children and young people after a crisis
Resources for teachers and schools
Information for school communities as they support their students, including lesson plans
Resources for agencies
Information for agencies looking to support their local community following a crisis
Resources for communities
Information for local communities impacted by crises

Charity donations of $2 or more to Australian Red Cross may be tax-deductible in Australia. Site protected by Google Invisible reCAPTCHA. © Australian Red Cross 2022. ABN 50 169 561 394