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Your wellbeing during and after a flood incident

It is important to look after your wellbeing during and after a flood incident.

Major events can make us feel life is unfair and unsafe. But despite our feelings and problems at the time, most people do cope and recover without long-term problems.

Please see below support and advice on how to look after your wellbeing.

How you might feel

Major events are shocking and some of them can feel overwhelming.

After any major event it is normal to have feelings such as anxiety and shock. These experiences may continue for some weeks.

If you are directly involved in a flooding incident or have lost a loved one you are likely to be feel these feelings moreso than others. However, witnesses, friends and relatives may have reactions too.

Immediately after the incident, you may feel:

  • stunned, dazed or numb;
  • cut off from what is going on around you; and / or
  • unable to accept what has happened / believe that it has not really happened.

Usually, these feelings fade and others may take their place in the hours or days afterwards.

The weeks following a flooding incident

In the following few weeks you might experience:

  • tears and sadness;
  • fear;
  • anxiety;
  • unpleasant memories about the event;
  • difficulties with sleeping, nightmares and tiredness;
  • feeling angry or irritable;
  • reduced appetite;
  • guilt about the incident;
  • headaches and other aches and pains; and / or
  • wanting to avoid people, places or activities that remind you of the event.

Children and young people are likely to be as affected and may experience similar feelings. Often, they become unsettled and more aggressive or fearful. It is usual for them to become clingier and demanding. They may also ‘re-play’ the event in their games.

All these reactions are understandable and, usually, reduce gradually over time.

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Page updated: 29/11/2022 Page updated by: Flooding Team

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