At least 36 people died and dozens more are missing after a string of serious storms hit a half a dozen states from the Great Lakes to the Deep South. The greatest damage occurred in Tennessee, where 17 are already reported dead, and in Alabama were the toll now stands at 12. While the damage will cost millions, the forecast for citizens who were lucky enough to survive the storm fronts now calls for low levels of psychological trauma as they recover.
Man-made traumatic events such as terrorist bombings create greater levels of stress and posttraumatic stress than do incidents of nature. "Events like [the tornados] are "acts of God;" they don't get their claws in you," says Richard Driscoll, Ph.D., who has a private practice in Tennessee. "You don't get the sense that they are after you."