Addressing Trauma and Building Resiliency as Comprehensive Disaster Planning and Response

 

The attached memo is intended to make observations about communities affected by disaster-related trauma, and to offer recommendations for trauma-informed recovery.  

Community examples provide case studies or models for other communities grappling with similar issues.  Suggested resources and tools provide communities with support for accelerated action.

Memo authors represent active cross sector networks that contribute to resilient community infrastructure development, awareness building, resource marshaling, and relationship building.  Resilient communities invest in developing these networks prior to disasters as they are critical for trauma-informed disaster response.

Writers of this memo supported efforts to mobilize communities in addressing adversity and trauma, including trauma resulting from the following disasters:  California’s Wildfires (2017), Florida’s Hurricane Irma (2017), Texas and related states experience with Hurricane Harvey (2017), Oregon’s Wildfires (2017). In addition, mobilizers helped to address past man-made and natural disasters including 9/11 (2001) and East Coast Communities’ of Hurricane Sandy (2012).

Please review our top 11 observations and recommendations, which are detailed in the attached document.

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This is a great resource, Holly! I found Observation #2 to be especially salient, given what we've learned from the Center for Effective Philanthropy's survey about the impacts on nonprofits from the 2017 wildfire response. Our county really does need to be strategic and focus on building the resiliency of the supports for our County's most vulnerable *before* the next disaster. On a related note, I recently came to a section in Dr. Nadine Burke Harris's book, "The Deepest Well", where she talks about a study conducted by the NYC department of education on the effects of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on public school children. The researchers were expecting to find a strong correlation between proximity to Ground Zero and trauma experienced by children. Instead, what they found is that the areas with the largest clusters of children experiencing trauma were not the most proximate to Ground Zero, but were instead the areas with the highest rates of poverty and the fewest resources.

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