This is the second in a three-part series on post traumatic stress disorder following disasters. Part One, PTSD in Emergency Workers, can be found here.
General Public at Risk
Over 2/3 of the general population will experience some significant traumatic event in their lifetime, and 1/5 of Americans will undergo such an event in any year. One review of the literature found that the prevalence of PTSD in direct victims can range from 30-40%, in rescue workers 10-20%, and 5-10% in the general population.
Tornadoes ripped through Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Iowa in the past month month, leaving 16 people dead and homes, businesses, and schools completely leveled. The event was classified as an EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which uses an assessment of the damages caused to classify the wind speed of a tornado. This storm comes only three years after one of the deadliest tornado events ever recorded killed 348 people in the South and Midwest, a region known as Tornado Alley. Historically, the US is seeing an upward trend in annual tornadoes.