Stressful events like hurricanes activate the body’s “fight or flight” response, releasing adrenaline and stress hormones like cortisol throughout your body. Almost everyone exposed to natural disasters will experience some of these physiological and psychological effects. It’s part of being human. But many people continue to feel high levels of stress and anxiety even after the storm. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a combination of anxiety and depressive symptoms that include hyperarousal or feeling jittery and always alert. Other symptoms may include intrusive thoughts, sleep problems, nightmares, heightened startle reaction or avoidant behaviors. If trauma-related symptoms such as PTSD persist, talk with your physician about how to address the underlying cause.