The top news headline this morning is an 8.9 earthquake in Japan, and the resulting tsunami that could impact much of the Pacific area, including Hawaii and the portions of the west coast states in America.

 As people in the affected areas wait to see how this will develop, tensions rise. News of a possible disaster often leads to heightened anxiety, fear, and worry.

 The unknown track and intensity of the tsunami means that people in a wide geographic area are on alert for this potentially devastating disaster.

 What often happens with a disaster looming is an increase in anxiety. Other reactions may include:


* Worry about family members

* Physical signs of stress: headaches, stomach upset

* Apprehension about damage to home and possessions

* Uncertainty about how to prepare for the event

* Denial that the feared event will occur

 The American Psychological Association has information on what to do following a disaster:

 The American Red Cross is another resource for people experiencing disasters:

 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a publication that gives tips for coping after traumatic events:

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