About My Disaster Recovery

My Disaster Recovery is a self-help service designed to help survivors who have experienced a recent disaster learn more about post-disaster stress and cope more effectively with the effects of the disaster.

Not a Replacement for Counseling!

This educational self-help website is not intended to replace face-to-face counseling. If you continue to experience significant distress beyond the first weeks after the disaster, please talk to your doctor and consider seeking counseling from a traumatic stress specialist. You can use the site to help you learn more about post-disaster stress and decide whether to seek counseling.

The Self-Test.
When you first begin using the service, you’ll be asked to complete a Self-Test. This questionnaire is anonymous, because you will use your personal password. Your answers are used to:

  • Let you know how you’re doing.
  • Help educate you about post-disaster stress reactions.
  • Direct you to which services on the site may be most useful for you.
  • Start a graph of your stress reactions and coping confidence, to help you chart your recovery progress. The graph is updated every time you visit the site and complete the Self-Test.
  • Help us evaluate and improve the service.

My Travel Log
Once you create an account with us, and sign in as a member, you will begin on the Travel Log page. This is your personal “home page” where you can:

  • Find where you left off during your last visit.
  • See how much of each Destination of Recovery (see below) you have completed.
  • Access your Progress Charts, including a graph of how your stress reactions are changing (i.e., you can track your recovery progress and see if your post-disaster stress reactions are reducing over time) along with a graph of your confidence in your ability to cope (i.e. you can see if your confidence is growing).
  • Remember which services were recommended for you.
  • Access your Mastery Tools (tools and skills you collect throughout the site)
Destinations of Recovery
Each of the destinations focuses on a different educational topic that may help with your recovery. They are designed to help you learn something important that may give you more control in your recovery process. There are six destinations available to you:
  • Relaxation: Reduce Your Physical Tension and Anxiety. Learn and practice 3 kinds of relaxation exercises that can help you lower your tension and anxiety.
  • Social Support: Get Support from Others. Learn about how support can help, consider who might be a good support person, and think about how to deal with unhelpful people.
  • Self-Talk: Reduce Your Worry and Negative Thinking. Negative thinking can slow down your recovery. Use this destination to identify your personal negative thoughts, learn about how to worry less, and reduce your negative self-talk.
  • Triggers and Memories: Cope with Memories, Triggers, and Reminders. After experiencing a disaster, lots of things trigger distressing memories and physical reactions. Learn about how reminders trigger your memories and how to manage your triggers more effectively.
  • Unhelpful Ways of Coping: Reduce Bad Coping Habits. Find out what kinds of coping can make things worse, and focus on reducing or avoiding bad coping habits.
  • Seeking Professional Help: Consider Whether to Seek Face-To-Face Counseling. Many individuals recover more rapidly if they go for counseling from a traumatic stress specialist. Learn what happens in counseling and consider some “pro’s” and “con’s” of talking to a counselor.

Initial development of the My Disaster Recovery website was supported through a grant from the Network Information and Space Security Center and the Center for Homeland Security at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and through a National Institute of Mental Health Grant #1R41MH082498-01