The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the state Department of Public Welfare announced Thursday that a disaster distress hotline is available to help people who have stress stemming from severe weather and power outages that are expected to last into the weekend.
The phone number, 1-800-985-5990, is available to all Pennsylvanians to help ease the stress from severe weather damage caused by Wednesday's ice and snow storm.
The TTY number for deaf or hearing impaired individuals is 1-800-846-8517. Help is also available by texting 66746.
According to a joint news release from PEMA and DPW, signs of stress may include any of the following physical and emotional reactions:
- sleeping too much or too little;
- stomachaches or headaches;
- anger, feeling edgy or lashing out at others;
- overwhelming sadness;
- worrying a lot of the time;
- feeling guilty, but not sure why;
- feeling like you have to keep busy;
- lack of energy or always feeling tired;
- drinking alcohol, smoking or using tobacco more than usual;
- using illegal drugs;
- eating too much or too little;
- not connecting with others;
- feeling like you won't ever be happy again; and
- rejecting help.
Trained professionals will take phone calls to provide emotional support for callers.
All calls are strictly confidential.