Category Archive: info4

Do No Harm: Humanitarian Volunteer Self-care

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I know that many of you are quietly working away. Your gift is beautiful and you are changing the world. But the world needs you rested too.

-Heather Leson, President Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team


Tips For Humanitarian Volunteer Self-care… From Experience

  • Set boundaries.  If struggling to do so, you may need to reach out for support.
  • Rationalization is a dangerous mechanism.  It doesn’t matter the types of tasks you assign or complete: you still need to practice self-care and enhance well-being.
  • Do no harm: don’t bring affected population into your decision-making if you lack the ability to think clearly, overwhelmed or are suffering from sleep deprivation or insomnia.  You are incredibly more useful when your head is on straight.
  • Do no harm: if you are a leader, what kind of example are you setting for your team?  People look up to you and are most likely are following your lead.
  • You are not alone!  Other disaster response and humanitarian volunteers have experienced burnout, compassion fatigue, anxiety, toxic stress, and other physical and mental issues.  Support is available if you just ask for it!
  • You are a human being.  You will make mistakes.  You are susceptible to the circumstances you are in and exposed to.
  • Coordinators or leaders, it may seem like it all falls on you.  It doesn’t.  Life happens, events can never be fully controlled.  Your sole mission isn’t being present every minute.  You are more effective when you allow yourself to sleep, eat, take breaks, and breathe.  If you’re worried about leaving your crew, take breaks together.
  • Remember that the fact that you are providing aid or responding does not harden you from being personally vulnerable to disturbing content, no matter how you’ve coped in the past.
  • Asking for help shouldn’t have shame or stigma attached.  Make self-care a top priority and focus, not what others think.  It is absolutely to critical reach out if you can’t cope anymore.
  • Suppression, bottling up emotions and dishonesty are not coping mechanisms!
  • Difficulty thinking and performing simple tasks means your brain needs rest.
  • Be proud you are smart enough to recognize the need to rest, take care of yourself and/or reach out for help.
  • Listen to your body.  If you don’t feel well, or can barely keep your eyes open then rest, don’t rationalize.  Physical cues from your body mean you need to act now, or suffer later.
  • Observe yourself from time to time to make sure you’re in a healthy place emotionally, and mentally.
  • Refresh and revitalize!  Listen to your favorite music, read a book, enjoy the outdoors, do something you love.
  • Stay hydrated.  How much water are you drinking versus coffee?  If you don’t prefer water, there are other choices, non caffeinated and healthy.
  • Spend uninterrupted time with those you love.  Log off, stay off.  They need and deserve your love and time.  You do too.
  • Respect yourself and your well-being.   If scheduled and dreading the next time you volunteer, don’t.  Tell your coordinator you will not available.  Talk to someone you love or trust.
  • Don’t be talked into working longer than you planned.  Just because someone isn’t present doesn’t mean it’s automatically your responsiblity to take their place.
  • Keep a log of hours worked.  If you don’t have an official schedule, keep one.  See for yourself how long those “few extra minutes” turned into.
  • Consider the value in preserving your long-term ability to help others.

Relevant Self Tests

Tests don’t diagnose, but they are useful for evaluation and self-reflection.

Life Stress Test


Professional Quality of Life Scale Test


Compassion Fatigue Test


Anything We Can Help With?

When you press send submit it may not look like anything happened… I would like to assure you, your request REALLY has actually been submitted!

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Privacy notice: We will never share your information with ANY third-parties unless YOU ask us to, or if we have SIGNIFICANT REASON to believe you are in imminent danger.


Do No Harm: Embracing Core Humanitarian Standards

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Technology has presented many opportunities and challenges for those involved in the emergency, humanitarian crisis and disaster relief fields.  Revolutionary advances have allowed support teams to evolve in many ways to assist operations on the ground from remote locations.  Disaster and humanitarian-related remote volunteers sometimes experience extremely high stress levels, compassion fatigue, lower priority of self-care, and vicarious trauma, alongside other physiological and psychological effects.  This post aims to discuss research related to health, volunteering in humanitarian and disaster response covering the concept “do no harm”, am humanitarian core standards.


Manner of Response Determines Results

During response to disasters, volunteers become submerged in their work, feeling a duty to the people they are helping.  Under high stress levels, workers perform with all of their energy, working longer and longer hours.  Mixed motivational messages can occur when a team leader or facilitator continually recognizes achievements of volunteers while failing to maintain a healthy working environment.  A health-centered work environment has volunteers take regular breaks, promotes emotional well-being, advocates self-care, respects personal priorities, supports team members in building amicable relationships, and encourages a non-hostile working space.

Workers may ignore the red flags of overwork and fatigue.  In supportive environment, teaching the signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and toxic stress are now more commonly addressed.  Increased irritability, confusion, headaches, symptoms of cold/virus, or extreme exhaustion are glaring signs of overwork and toxic stress levels. These may go either unnoticed or simply pushed aside.

With little to no energy left from prolonged hours of work, basic needs and personal wants may begin to become neglected.  What a person loves to do: spending time with family and friends, playing with a pet, engaging in sports and physical activities, enjoying social outings or the luxury of relaxing and pursuing peace of mind… these aspects are usually sacrificed first in order to “finish up those details”.  These basic wants help contribute positively to health and emotional well-being and are unique for each person.  Even basic needs that we all share, such as: consumption of food and water, a healthy amount of sleep, regular practice of hygiene, exercise, and maintaining emotional well-being may become secondary.


Some of these items seem simple or extravagant considering the emergency at hand, but many of us have burnt out during emergencies.  It will sneak up on you – the stress and the rollercoaster.  You may downplay it.  This is why we share to remind you that digital contributors can become strained too.

-Heather Leson, President Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

Overload vs. Sense of Coherence

Overworked responders’ stress can reach toxic levels, causing their coping mechanisms to fail.  Toxicity of stress goes largely undiscussed, and magnifies stress as it combines with encounters of highly distressing information.  Witnessing unbearable scenes with the haunting faces of destruction, death, and suffering is unfortunately a common occurrence in disaster response and humanitarian crises.  Toxic stress happens when “unsuccessful coping due to lack of adequate internal capacities as well as poor external support” happens, or if a worker’s neural architecture is simply unable to handle stressors (McEwen, 1998).

Increasing hours worked means increasing exposure to deeply tragic elements.  Elements that aren’t fun to talk about, aren’t faced with ease, and can leave within us incredibly charged emotions.  Suppression and plowing onwards serve only as temporary coping mechanisms. Lack of proper self-care and toxic stress may reach what feels like the point of no return.  In all cases, this “allostatic overload” is volatile (Dias-Ferreira, et al., 2009).  Allostatic overload eventually leads to physiological dysregulation. Physiological dysregulation may then cause physical or mental disease.  It is important to remember however, that jobs creating worker burnout and/or depression can happen in any line of work.

Observations have shown that volunteer participation in group collaborative activities gives each volunteer a “Sense of Coherence” or SOC.  SOC is significant in that it helps build and strengthen coping abilities for situational stressors when a volunteer identifies their experience within a group as “comprehensible, manageable, and meaningful (Haraoka, Ojima, Murata, Hayasaka, 2012).”  When a team encounters “collective stressors”, SOC is felt at very high levels.  “The present findings show that strength of SOC in a community links more with willingness to carry out collaborative activities with volunteers (Haraoka, et al., 2012).”  Mutual support within a responding volunteer community is vital for the group’s collective SOC to solve problems more effectively.

Embracing Core Humanitarian Standards

A volunteer collective that tackles obstacles together might be a new concept for coordinators. Practices that consider the well-being of each person in the organization must evolve to develop a healthy level of community SOC that benefits everyone.  Only then, can volunteers develop better stress coping abilities, and have their problem-solving capabilities strengthened.  The organization can offer greater impact when working as a cohesive unit. It is a collective responsibility to see that volunteers within every community treated with dignity and care.  Leaders too often add to factors of burnout and depression in workers, weighed with the truth that ultimately only the worker can follow through with self-care and maintenance.

Leaving sole volunteers to deal with problems during a crisis with no help from the rest of the community represents a harmful expectation.  It isn’t a healthy experience for volunteers to face stressors without leader and community support.  Additionally, members of a volunteer community may see this and experience a higher burden of stress themselves because of projected expectations.  The SPHERE Project’s Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards, particularly the 6th core standard, reminds leaders and organizations of the responsibilities and rights of their workers, “Equally, agencies are responsible for enabling aid workers to perform satisfactorily through effective management and support for their emotional and physical well-being (SPHERE Project, 2012).”

Common Sense: Do No Harm

I have heard time and again volunteers referred to as handy tools, free labor, time savers, and other disparaging terms when some organizational leaders and coordinators discuss affiliated volunteers publicly.  In these cases, there is little consideration of the volunteers’ well-being or SOC, collectively or individually.  Volunteers make the choice to dedicate time, often with specialized skill-sets.  I do not write to accuse, but rather to discuss, educate, and remind organizations of the positive or negative effects they have on volunteers.


If humanitarian and disaster response organizations continue to embrace the core humanitarian standards, and the principle “do no harm” to those they serve, it MUST be equally important to these organizations to avoid deleterious internal treatment and harmful practice to those who volunteer their time, intellect, and heart.  In the same way, if humanitarian and disaster volunteers wish to embrace and admonish “do no harm” and core humanitarian standards to those around them with equanimity, they MUST include care and treatment of self.  It is emotionally and physically essential for volunteers to consider that it is those around them, are directly affected by the personal decision to embrace, or deny their own well-being and self-care.  For responders, “do no harm” must stay a vital concern when considering those affected and in need due to humanitarian crises and disasters… the same must apply to themselves, and those closest in heart and home.




Ahola, K., Hakanen, J., Perhoniemi, R., & Mutanen, P. (2014). Relationship between burnout and depressive symptoms: A study using the person-centered approach. Burnout Research, 1(1), 29-37. Retrieved December 1, 2014, from


Dias-Ferreira, E., Sousa, J., Melo, I., Morgado, P., Mesquita, A., Cerqueira, J., & Sousa, N. (2009). Chronic Stress Causes Frontostriatal Reorganization and Affects Decision-Making. Science, 325(4290), 621-625. doi: 10.1126/science.1171203.


Enman, N., Sabban, E., Mcgonigle, P., & Bockstaele, E. (2015). Targeting the neuropeptide Y system in stress-related psychiatric disorders. Neurobiology of Stress, 1, 33-43. Retrieved March 26, 2015, from


Franklin, T., Saab, B., & Mansuy, I. (2012). Neural Mechanisms of Stress Resilience and Vulnerability. Neuron, 75(5), 747-761. doi: 10.1016/j.ynstr.2014.09.001.


Haraoka, T., Ojima, T., Murata, C., & Hayasaka, S. (2012). Factors influencing collaborative activities between non-professional disaster volunteers and victims of earthquake disasters. PloS one, 7(10), e47203. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047203.


McEwen, B. (1998). Seminars in medicine of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: Protective and damaging effects of stress mediators. New England Journal of Medicine, 338(3), 171-179. Retrieved March 28, 2015, from


McEwen, B., Gray, J., & Nasca, C. (2015). Recognizing resilience: Learning from the effects of stress on the brain. Neurobiology of Stress, 1, 1-11. Retrieved March 26, 2015, from


SPHERE Project, The. (2012). Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response. Retrieved May 1, 2015, from


WHO, War Trauma Foundation, & World Vision International. (2011). Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers. Retrieved May 1, 2015, from 


Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) Resources

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(Last Updated: April 24, 2015 22:09 EST)

This page was strictly dedicated to Typhoon Ruby resources.  The links are updated and organized by closest related subject.  Visit the GOVPH Official Gazette Page for Typhoon Ruby Updates.  Visit PAGASA-DOST for weather updates. The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) remains a vital resource; listen to their advice carefully.



Directory of Gov PH Social Media Accounts to Follow for Updates

Google’s Typhoon Ruby Map

Project AGOS Map


Updates and Effort

Comprehensive Matrix of Typhoon Ruby actions

Situation Reports (PDF)

* Situation Report 16 was not made available on website

Field Bulletins



List of Multihazard Maps in the “Yolanda Corridor”

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA-DOST)

PAGASA-DOST Mobile (Android) Downloads


Ruby Preparedness Measures Situation Reports Archive (PDF)


Quick Note on the use of #RubyPH

The Philippine Government and PRC have been using the #RubyPH on Twitter & other micro-blogging platforms for outreach, crisismapping and social media monitoring.  Please use the hash-tag appropriately, especially when residing (and using) internationally.



Online information for natural calamities

What does it mean if an area is under a state of calamity?

Make sense of PAGASA’s color-coding signals

Learn more about PAGASA’s public storm warning signals

Infographic: Mga paalala ukol sa storm surge

Infographic: Mga paalala ukol sa baha


See Something Missing? Let Me Know!

If you see a missing resource in this list please comment below, and I will be happy to add the information!  Always looking to add to the list of Typhoon Ruby resources if you want to contribute! (:


Info4 Ukraine in Crisis

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Flag-of Ukraine

In light of the events that continue to unfold in Ukraine, we have created an Info4 Ukraine Initiative.

Info4 Ukraine is a Facebook page dedicated to providing useful information including medical and mental health care available to the people of Ukraine, some news, other resources, and human rights information.  Info4disasters is also working with translators to translate basic first aid information and instruction for civilians through 1stAid4’s Ukrainian Twitter account, @1staid4ukrainia.

Learning Resources

As it happened: Ukraine crisis (Live Updates)
Reddit Page for Ukraine Crisis
Three maps to help understand what’s going on in Ukraine
Ukraine: ICRC urges respect for medical aid and humanitarian work
Ukraine revolution in pictures: Latest photos from Kiev’s Independence Square
Ukraine: The Haze of Propaganda

(For more links please visit our Facebook page Info4 Ukraine)

Resources Useful for Ukrainians

@1stAid4Ukrainia – Twitter account provides medical and first aid tips

Департамент охорони здоров’я інформує про надання психологічної допомоги у м. Львові та Львівській області (оновлено) / This link is from the Department of Health, and provides information on the provision of psychological assistance in Lviv and Lviv region (updated and in Ukrainian)

Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group On Human Rights in Ukraine (in Українська and Русский )

Товариство Червоного Хреста: Личаківського району / Red Cross: Lucakivskovo area (link in Ukrainian)

(For more links please visit our Facebook page Info4 Ukraine)


Updates on Ukraine / 02 Apr 2014

Source: International Crisis Group
As the Central African Republic becomes increasingly fractured along communal and regional lines, the re-emergence of the rebel Front populaire pour le redressement (FPR) in the north further worsened insecurity. Muslims continue to be targeted daily. African Union peacekeepers fell victim to two … Read more


Additional Information About Ukraine

Ukraine’s borders many countries: the east and northeast parts of Ukraine border Russia, the northwest region borders Belarus, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary constitute Ukraine’s western border.  Romania and Moldova establishes Ukraine’s southwest border.  The Black Sea and Sea of Azov are the south and southeast boundary.

Administrative Divisions

Ukraine is a unitary state, comprised of 24 oblasts (provinces), 2 municipalities (Kyiv and Sevastopol), and one autonomous republic (Crimea). There has been some confusion by some that Crimea has only recently designated itself as an autonomous republic. Due to severe ethnic tensions in the early 1990’s, pro-Russian groups pushed for the secession of Crimea and annexation to Russia. The Ukrainian and Crimean Parliaments came to the resolution that Crimea was to become autonomous republic, while still being a part of the Ukraine.


It is vitally important to emphasize when considering the history of Ukraine and it’s conflicts that inflamed ethnic tensions between groups over time has warranted concern of increased ethnic and religious tensions as well as hate speech, but this concern has also prompted community and religious leaders to take action and remind that differences be put aside for common goals.


Ukrainian Red Cross (Video)

Since tensions began mounting in Kyiv in January 2014, the Ukrainian Red Cross has been on the front line, helping all the injured without distinction. So far, 300 people have received treatment. This short video shows the Ukrainian Red Cross in action.



Updates on Ukraine / 08 Mar 2014

Source: UN News Service
7 March 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today emphasized the need for peace and stability in Ukraine’s Crimea region, where the announcement of a referendum on joining Russia constitutes a “worrying and serious” development. Lawmakers in the autonomous Ukrainian region of Crimea voted … Read more
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
**Period covered by this update: 12 February to 5 March 2014.** **Summary:** Due to the escalating situation, the original sum of CHF 139,302 that had been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 13 December 2013 to support the Ukrainian Red Cross Society to enhance … Read more
Source: Amnesty
With journalists, activists and peaceful protestors facing increasing harassment and intimidation in Crimea, there is an urgent need for a strong international monitoring mission in Ukraine, said Amnesty International. It is calling for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe … Read more

Luxmoore, Jonathan. “ News from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.” Ukraine Church Urges Return to Peace amid Spiraling Street Violence. Catholic News Service, 21 Jan. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

“Military.” Autonomous Republic of Crimea., 02 Mar. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

“Regions and Territories: Crimea.” BBC News. BBC, 22 Nov. 2011. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

The Catholic Free Press. “Ukrainian Churches Urge Peace as War Clouds Gather over Crimea.” The Catholic Free Press. Catholic News Service, 28 Feb. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

“The World Factbook: Europe: Ukraine.” Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, 27 Feb. 2014. Web. 02 Mar. 2014.

“Ukraine: ICRC Urges Respect for Medical Aid and Humanitarian Work.” – ICRC. International Committee of the Red Cross, 20 Feb. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

Релігійно-інформаційна служба України. “Точка зору.” Рада Церков висловила підтримку легітимній владі України і закликала громадян сумлінно виконувати свої обов’язки. Інституту Релігії та Суспільства Українського Католицького Університету, 27 Feb. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

info4 Drought Quick links

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In general, drought is defined as an extended period – a season, a year, or several years – of deficient rainfall relative to the statistical multi-year average for a region. However, dozens of more specific drought definitions are used around the world that are defined according to the lack of rain over various time periods, or measured impacts such as reservoir levels or crop losses. Because of the various ways drought is measured, an objective drought definition has yet to be produced upon which everyone can agree[1].
Source: UNISDR
Drought can be defined according to meteorological, hydrological, and agricultural criteria[2].
– Meteorological.
Drought is usually based on long-term precipitation departures from normal, but there is no consensus regarding the threshold of the deficit or the minimum duration of the lack of precipitation that make a dry spell an official drought.
– Hydrological
Drought refers to deficiencies in surface and subsurface water supplies. It is measured as stream flow, and as lake, reservoir, and ground water levels.
– Agricultural
Drought occurs when there is insufficient soil moisture to meet the needs of a particular crop at a particular time. A deficit of rainfall over cropped areas during critical periods of the growth cycle can result in destroyed or underdeveloped crops with greatly depleted yields. Agricultural drought is typically evident after meteorological drought but before a hydrological drought.
Impacts are commonly referred to as direct or indirect. Reduced crop, rangeland, and forest productivity; increased fire hazard; reduced water levels; increased livestock and wildlife mortality rates; and damage to wildlife and fish habitat are a few examples of direct impacts. The consequences of these impacts illustrate indirect impacts. For example, a reduction in crop, rangeland, and forest productivity may result in reduced income for farmers and agribusiness, increased prices for food and timber, unemployment, reduced tax revenues because of reduced expenditures, increased crime, foreclosures on bank loans to farmers and businesses, migration, and disaster relief programs. Direct or primary impacts are usually biophysical. Conceptually speaking, the more removed the impact from the cause, the more complex the link to the cause. In fact, the web of impacts becomes so diffuse that it is very difficult to come up with financial estimates of damages. The impacts of drought can be categorized as economic, environmental, or social.
Many economic impacts occur in agriculture and related sectors, including forestry and fisheries, because of the reliance of these sectors on surface and subsurface water supplies. In addition to obvious losses in yields in crop and livestock production, drought is associated with increases in insect infestations, plant disease, and wind erosion. Droughts also bring increased problems with insects and diseases to forests and reduce growth. The incidence of forest and range fires increases substantially during extended droughts, which in turn places both human and wildlife populations at higher levels of risk[3].
See also an example of the effects of drought on the aquatic ecosystem in Australia and Colorado.
Emergency Action
In order to assess risk and respond to drought, a water supplier may wish to establish a local drought management team. Be sure to include people from all the relevant local water user groups on the team[4] (see more details on the link). A team may:
  • gather all the available drought information for your community,
  • identify information gaps,
  • target water management needs,
  • implement water conservation strategies,
  • provide support to local government in managing community water supplies, and
  • communicate with the public.
See also the action on responding to drought in pastoral areas of Ethiopia and the North Carolina emergency response plan.
The mitigation action identifies both the long and short term activities and actions that can be implemented to prevent and mitigate drought impacts. Such activities and actions are essential in the development of specific drought planning and response efforts. The operational component includes six aspects that need continuous feedback between them[5]:
  • Preparedness, early warning, monitoring systems.
  • Establishing priorities of water use.
  • Defining the conditions and the thresholds to declare drought levels.
  • Establishing the management objectives in each drought level.
  • Defining the actions.
  • Implementation of actions.
Monitoring and preparedness planning is the first essential step for moving from crisis to risk management in response to drought, and can be viewed as permanent measures to cope with drought events. The management actions related to agriculture and water supply systems are presented with a common conceptual framework based on the use of drought indices for evaluating the levels of drought risk (pre-alert, alert, and emergency), that allow linkages to be established between science (risk analysis) and policy (operational component).
See also drought mitigation policy in South Africa in Water Page and drought mitigation strategy for Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in India.
Further information
Several actions related to drought management plans:
1.    Drought contingency planning for pastoral livelihoods. (click here)
2.    Drought Contingency and Emergency Water Management Plan in Texas. (click here)
3.    Drought management guidelines in Mediterranean countries. (click here)
4.    Information about satellite observation and rainfall forecast to provide earlier warning of African drought by USGS.
above info4mation is from our friends at the UN


USGS Water Use
UNL Drought Monitor
UNL Drought Monitor Current Conditions
National Drought Mitigation Center
USDA Drought Reports
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
NOAA’s Drought Info



Dealing With Disasters

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[important]Dealing With Disasters[/important]

During disasters, it can be hard to know what to do, and how to deal with unimaginable tragedy, destruction and loss… this list has resources available on the Internet, for Adults, Adolescents, Children, with information on traumatic stress, stress in disasters, how to cope, how to talk to your family and children about a disaster.
Soon to be added, tips and resources to help pets, in field, international, and multilingual resources…

Red Cross: Searching for Family Members

During an emergency, letting your family know that you are safe can bring loved ones peace of mind. If you have a loved one in a disaster-affected area and are unable to contact them directly, please visit our Safe and Well service to see if your family member has registered. If no information is available, contact your local Red Cross chapter to request assistance.

Help for Military Families, Active Duty Service Members, Veterans

Find Your Local Red Cross Chapter by Zip Code

[important]Resources on the Web:[/important]

General & Adult Resources

Coping with Traumatic Stress Reactions -from VA Webpage

Fact Sheet on Stress- National Institute of Mental Health -Webpage, and PDF available
PTSD Meetup Groups- Search in your local area
Coping With Traumatic Events- SAMHSHA webpage   
Taking Care of You Coping Guidelines – From American Red Cross  
Red Cross Trauma & Emotional Support – all pdfs, all languages for download  
Trauma Information on Mental Health & Coping- Webpage 
Coping with Traumatic Stress 
Coping With Stress– CDC- Webpage

Adolescent & Children Resources for Parents

Helping Children Cope with Disaster (from FEMA)  
Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters: For Parents  (From National Institue of Health)
Where to Get Help for PTSD: General, Family, Military -National Center for PTSD
Helping Children Cope in Unsettling Times: Tips for Parents and Teachers– NASP
What Community Members Can Do: Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters- National Institute of Mental Health -Webpage, and PDF available

[important]National Help Hotlines For USA[/important]

Disaster Distress Helpline

“Feeling stressed? If you or someone you know has been affected by a disaster and needs immediate assistance, please call this toll-free number for information, support, and counseling. You will be connected to the nearest crisis center.”

1-800-985-5990 or
Text TalkWithUs to 66746

TTY for Deaf/Hearing Impaired:

Also you can call:

Samariteens Emotional Support Hotline (For Teens)    800-252-8336

Samaritans Emotional Grief Support & Suicidal Hotline


24 hours a day: 617-247-0220 and 508-875 4500

Other Resources: on Recovering from Disasters:

Recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process. Safety is a primary issue, as are mental and physical well-being. If assistance is available, knowing how to access it makes the process faster and less stressful. This section offers some general advice on steps to take after disaster strikes in order to begin getting your home, your community and your life back to normal.


[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]This originally started as a spreadsheet and I wanted to make the list more publicly available in wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings, and more recently, the Texas and Oklahoma Tornadoes this month… Tragedies and disasters can be stressful and anxiety provoking. We are all human, we are all breakable. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it, seek it out!

(Kelli Merritz) [/pullquote]

Relief Web Updates

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Situation Reports / 17 May 2013

UN High Commissioner for Refugees – 17 May 2013
Highlights • On 16 May 2013, AFAD – the Disaster and Emergency Management Agency of Government of Turkey announced that the total number of Syrians registered and accommodated in 17 camps in 8 provinces has increased to 194,425 including 336 Syrians receiving medical treatment in hospitals. • … Read more
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – 15 May 2013
**Faits saillants:** * Des mouvements forcés de population continuent au sud-est du Territoire de Punia suite à l’activisme des groupes armés. * Le PAM cible environ 10 000 personnes pour les distributions générales de vivres en mai et juin dans le Territoire de Pangi. * Accès … Read more
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – 17 May 2013
After making landfall in Bangladesh and moving forward to the northeast away from Myanmar, Tropical Cyclone Mahasen weakened and dissipated on 17 May. Relevant storm tracking sites stopped tracking the weather system once it moved over northern Bangladesh early on 17 May. As of midday today, the … Read more
Government of Bangladesh – 17 May 2013
It covers the period from: Thu, 16 May 2013 : 2130 to Thu, 17 May 2013 : 1700 Hazards 1. Cyclone 2. Storm Surge 3. Landslide Affected Areas: Chittagong, Noakhali, Borguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Pirozpur, Laxmipur, Satkhira Read more
IFRC – 17 May 2013
**The situation** According to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), the depression formed in the Bay of Bengal has turned into cyclonic storm Mahasen on 12 May 2013. On 15 May 18:00hr, the cyclonic storm has moved over west central Bay and adjoining east central Bay moved slightly … Read more
IFRC – 17 May 2013
CHF 300,794 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) in delivering immediate assistance to some 6,500 beneficiaries. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged. Summary: After heavy rains that lasted for six … Read more
UN High Commissioner for Refugees – 17 May 2013
Operation Highlights Somalia is the country generating the third highest number of refugees in the world, after Afghanistan and Iraq. UNHCR leads protection and emergency relief interventions targeting 700,000 IDPs out of a total IDP population estimated at 1.1 million and over 2,300 refugees in … Read more
UN High Commissioner for Refugees – 12 May 2013
**Political and Security South-central:** On 6 May, Al Shabab fighters ambushed the Raskambooni police base in Dobley town. The armed clashes lasted more than half an hour and one Raskambooni soldier died during the attack and three others were seriously injured. Two days later, the militants … Read more
Government of Pakistan – 11 May 2013
Highlights Epidemiological week no. 19 (5 to 11 May 2013) • Measles: This week a total of 37 alerts investigated. 403 measles cases were reporting from 17 districts. Vitamin‐A drops provided to all the suspects and district health teams took action to improve vaccination in affected areas. … Read more
UN Development Programme – 17 May 2013
**GENERAL TRENDS** NATURAL HAZARDS There is high probability of mudflows and floods in Vakhsh, Kafirnigan, Varzob, Shirkent, Karatag, Yakhsy and Kizilsu river basins during May. WEATHER In May temperature will be up to 1°C below long-term averages across most of the country. Precipitation is … Read more
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – 13 May 2013
Key issues ● Israeli forces injure around 60 Palestinians in protests and clashes across the West Bank. Three Israeli forces individuals also injured. ● Israeli forces demolish 16 residential and livelihood structures, displacing 14 people and affecting over 80 others. ● One Palestinian man … Read more
Food and Agriculture Organization – 16 May 2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT – Wheat production forecast to recover from 2012 – Record 2013 maize harvest – Higher maize exports in marketing year 2013/14 Read more
Food and Agriculture Organization – 16 May 2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT – Maize production in 2013 to reach new records – Wheat production expected to recover in 2013 – Exports of maize could decline in marketing year 2013/14 – Domestic prices of maize, rice, and wheat are declining Read more
Food and Agriculture Organization – 30 Apr 2013
(Extract) Strong biosecurity measures needed to contain bird flu Implementing strong biosecurity measures coupled with good hygiene are required to contain the spread of the H7N9 strain of avian influenza virus, Hiroyuki Konuma, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Regional Representative … Read more
Government of Pakistan – 04 May 2013
Highlights Epidemiological week no. 18 (28 Apr to 4 May 2013) • Measles: This week a total of 91 alerts investigated. 425 measles cases were reporting from 23 dis‐ tricts. Vitamin‐A drops provided to all the suspects and district health teams took action to improve vac‐ cination in … Read more
IFRC – 16 May 2013
GLIDE n° EP-2013-000059-CAF Summary: CHF 126,352 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the National Society in delivering immediate assistance to some 124,176 direct beneficiaries and 884,000 indirect beneficiaries. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF … Read more
US Agency for International Development – 16 May 2013
HIGHLIGHTS – Prolonged dry weather has triggered significant drought in northern Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) – A U.S. Government (USG) preliminary damage assessment team is scheduled to begin assessments of drought-affected areas in the coming days – To date, USAID has responded with … Read more
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – 17 May 2013
HIGHLIGHTS – Shelter still faces major gaps in Bopha-affected areas – Issues of governance, justice, transition and security tackled in Mindanao – Early Recovery assists in clearing 75 km of debris from farms – MAM and SAM rates are addressed in MindanaoRead more
UN High Commissioner for Refugees – 16 May 2013
Highlights • No new official figures have been announced by the Government of Turkey on 15 May 2013, therefore the total number of Syrians registered and accommodated in 17 camps in 8 provinces remained the same at 193,767, including 364 who are under medical treatment in the hospitals. This is … Read more
World Health Organization – 13 May 2013
Résumé * Recrudescence des cas de rougeole dans l’arrière-pays dans la Nana Mamberé (nord –ouest RCA) * Le Paludisme dans les formations sanitaires appuyées par les ONGs: L’accès limité aux structures sanitaires et l’absence de fonctionnement du système de surveillance intégrée … Read more
UN Children’s Fund – 08 May 2013
Headlines – In post-coup Central African Republic insecurity persists, seven weeks after the Seleka rebel alliance seized power in a military coup in the capital Bangui. – The security situation remains highly volatile as looting and violence continues in the capital and in the interior of the … Read more
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Situation Reports / 16 Apr 2013

Government of Peru – 16 Apr 2013
I. ANTECEDENTES Desde el 29 de marzo del 2013, se idenficó agrietamientos y deslizamientos en la calle principal de la localidad de Kelcaybamba, en dirección al río Ocobamba, distrito de Ocobamba, provincia de La Convención. La Municipalidad Distrital de Ocobamba, evacuó a 21 familias en … Read more
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – 16 Apr 2013
**Iran** An earthquake registering 7.8 on the Richter scale occurred in Sistan and Baluchestan Province in South-eastern in Iran, near the city of Khash (86 Km), 78 Km from the border with Pakistan, on 16 April 2013 at 10:44:13 UTC (03:44:13 PM at epicentre). There are so far no official reports … Read more
International Organization for Migration – 15 Apr 2013
**Highlights** * Rapid Response Fund projects meet urgent humanitarian needs in Jonglei State 2 * Humanitarian access limited by security constraints and taxation issues 3 * Hygiene and sanitation promotion efforts focused on villages affected by the hepatitis E outbreak in * Upper Nile State 4 Read more
Famine Early Warning System Network – 16 Apr 2013
*Gu 2013 rains continue in many parts of the country* Light to moderate rains were reported in most parts of the country (Figure 1). However, rains between April 1 and 10 were less intense compared to late March. Nevertheless, recent rains have partially filled rural water catchments, and they are … Read more
Government of Kenya – 31 Mar 2013
1. HIGHLIGHTS ON RAINFALL AND TEMPERATURE Rainfall activities continued to increase both in intensity and space in most stations countrywide. Marsabit station in the Eastern Region recorded the highest rainfall amount of 265.6mm which was a great increase compared to 135.3mm received in Voi station … Read more
UN High Commissioner for Refugees – 14 Apr 2013
1) Political and Security South-central: The week’s activities were overshadowed by two terror incidents in Mogadishu (14 April), targeted at the Court house as well as a Turkish convoy moving between the Peace Hotel and Km4. Approximately 30 people were killed in the incidents as the Al … Read more
UN High Commissioner for Refugees – 14 Apr 2013
1) Political and Security The number of security incidents remains high in Banadir district, and the general situation is deemed unpredictable. On 14 April Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the complex attack including multiple VBIEDs, PBIEDs and a hostage situation targeted at the High Court … Read more
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – 16 Apr 2013
**Faits saillants** – Affrontements à Mpeti (Territoire de Walikale) depuis début avril : mouvements de populations vers Kalembe (Masisi) – Le PAM et ses partenaires distribuent des vivres à plus de 260 000 personnes déplacées – Près de 700 000 personnes risquent de ne plus accéder aux … Read more
Iranian Red Crescent – 16 Apr 2013
This bulletin is being issued for information, and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS), has determined that external assistance is not required at this moment, and is therefore not seeking funding or other assistance from donors … Read more
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – 16 Apr 2013
**HIGHLIGHTS** – Humanitarian situation is rapidly worsening in Central African Republic – Despite good harvest in 2012, high prices reduce access to food for most vulnerable households – 10.3 million people remain food insecure across the Sahel – While Côte d’Ivoire transitions to … Read more
Afrique Verte – 16 Apr 2013
Mensuel d’information sur le prix des céréales : Niger – Mali – Burkina Faso **Commentaire général:** Début avril, la tendance générale des prix est à la hausse principalement pour les céréales sèches. Seul le marché d’Agadez a enregistré une légère baisse sur le riz (-2%). Les … Read more
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – 31 Mar 2013
FAITS SAILLANTS – Entre 7000 et 8000 déplacés à la suite des attaques dans le Département de Blolequin – Lancement de l’analyse des besoins humanitaires résiduels en phase de transition – Lutte contre le VIH à Bouaké – Portrait d’une ONG nationale participant au processus de transition Read more
World Food Programme – 16 Apr 2013
This monthly bulletin is published based on market data from different sources and aims to alert on latest developments. Based on consumption patterns in Afghanistan, it includes data of wheat and wheat flour; Terms of Trade between daily casual labor wage and wheat (Kg) as well as ToT for one year … Read more
World Food Programme – 31 Mar 2013
– Rainfall deficiencies in the early and late monsoon seasons have impacted key crop harvests and resulted in water shortages in various parts of the Dry Zone. – Yenangyaung and Chauk are amongst the hardest hit townships, with reports of groundnut, sesame and pigeon pea failures and multiple … Read more
Food and Agriculture Organization – 15 Apr 2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT – Favourable production prospects for the 2013 maize crop – Cereal imports expected to decrease in 2012/13 (October/September) – Maize and bean prices lower than a year earlier Read more
Food and Agriculture Organization – 15 Apr 2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT – Rice production is forecast to increase in 2013 – Cereal imports to remain high in 2012/13 (July/June) – Food security of population affected by hurricane Sandy remains difficult Read more
US Department of State – 11 Mar 2013
**Summary** Founded on January 13, 2012, the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) helps the Secretary improve the effectiveness and coherence of the U.S. government’s response tooverseas crises.With the hard work of our staff, the efforts of State’s … Read more
Famine Early Warning System Network – 30 Mar 2013
**KEY MESSAGES** – In West Africa, staple food prices remained stable or continued to decrease in February due to the availability of supplies from recent harvests across most of the Sahel, imports, and off-season crops. Millet and sorghum supplies declined in structurally-deficit areas … Read more
Government of Peru – 15 Apr 2013
HECHOS: El 19 de marzo de 2013 a las 20:00 hrs. aproximadamente, a consecuencia de las precipitaciones pluviales, se registró un deslizamiento afectando viviendas, instituciones educativas y vías de comunicación en la localidad de Antacalla, distrito de Andamarca, provincia Concepción. … Read more
Famine Early Warning System Network – 11 Apr 2013
**PROJECTED FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS FOR OCTOBER 2013** This brief summarizes FEWS NET’s most forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food assistance needs in FEWS NET coverage countries. The projected size of each country’s acutely food insecure population is compared to last year … Read more
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – 15 Apr 2013
DESTACADOS: – COLOMBIA: Primera temporada de lluvias deja al menos 70,000 personas afectadas. – PERÚ: Temporada estacional de lluvias ha dejado más de 176,000 personas afectadas. – ALC: Epidemia de Roya del Café provoca pérdida de 441 mil empleos. Read more
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – 15 Apr 2013
HIGHLIGHTS: – COLOMBIA: First rainy season affects at least 70,000 people. – PERU: The rainy season affects more than 176,000 people. – LAC: The coffee rust epidemic causes losses of more than 441,000 jobs in Central America. Read more

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