Category Archive: Disaster

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 -heather.leson@hotosm.org

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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

PDF DIRECT LINK: http://www.compassionfatigue.org/pages/lifestresstest.pdf

Professional Quality of Life Scale Test

PDF DIRECT LINK: http://www.proqol.org/uploads/ProQOL_5_English_Self-Score_3-2012.pdf

Compassion Fatigue Test

HTML ONLINE TEST: http://www.compassionfatigue.org/pages/cfassessment.html

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Do No Harm: Embracing Core Humanitarian Standards

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Introduction

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.

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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 -heather.leson@hotosm.org

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.

Conclusion

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.

 


 

References

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 www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213058614000060

 

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 www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352289514000083

 

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 www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199801153380307

 

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 www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352289514000022

 

SPHERE Project, The. (2012). Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response. Retrieved May 1, 2015, from http://www.spherehandbook.org/en/core-standard-6-aid-worker-performance

 

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

 

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.

 

Communications

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

 

Weather-Related

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.

 

Explanatory

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! (:

 

Chile Earthquake and Tsunami 4-1-2014

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Number of Deaths: 6 person(s)
Number of Injured: 3 person(s)
Number of Evacuated: 900000 person(s)

Situation: Chile has declared two northern regions hit by a 8.2 magnitude earthquake to be disaster areas. At least six people are known to have died and tens of thousands of people have been evacuated. The quake struck at 20:46 local time (23:46 GMT) about 86km (52 miles) north-west of the mining area of Iquique, the US Geological Survey said. Waves of up to 2.1m (6ft) have hit some areas and there have been power cuts, fires and landslides. Tens of aftershocks have been reported throughout the night, including a 6.2 tremor. The government said the declaration of a disaster in the regions of Tarapaca, Arica and Parinacota was aimed at “avoiding instances of looting and disorder”. President Michelle Bachelet said the country had “faced the emergency well” and called on those in affected regions “to keep calm and follow instructions from the authorities”. She is due to visit the affected areas later on Wednesday. Chilean TV broadcast pictures of traffic jams as people tried to head for safer areas. Officials said the dead included people who were crushed by collapsing walls or died of heart attacks. The interior minister also told Chilean TV that some 300 women inmates had escaped from a prison in Iquique. Officials later said that 26 of them had been recaptured. Authorities say they have re-established electricity supply in 50% of the affected areas. Iquique Governor Gonzalo Prieto told local media that in addition to those killed, several people had been seriously injured. While the government said it had no reports of significant damage to coastal areas, a number of homes were reported destroyed in Arica.rnrnFurther damage may not be known until dawn. The quake shook modern buildings in Peru and in Bolivia’s high altitude capital of La Paz – more than 470km (290 miles) from Iquique. The Chilean interior ministry told the BBC that one of the main roads outside Iquique was cut off because of hillside debris. Partial landslides have also taken place between the towns of Putre and General Lagos. The authorities are reported to have deployed a planeload of special forces to guard against looting. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (TWC) issued an initial warning for Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama. However, all warnings, watches and alerts were later lifted except for Chile and Peru. Tsunami watches – in which the danger of large waves is deemed to be less serious – had been in place for Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. “We have asked citizens to evacuate the entire coast,” Chilean home office minister Mahmud Aleuy said. Evacuations were also ordered in Peru, where waves 2m (6.5ft) above normal forced about 200 people to leave the seaside town of Boca del Rio near the Chilean border, police said.

 http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/site/?pageid=event_desc&edis_id=EQ-20140402-43216-CHL
[important]For more information on Tsunamis, Earthquakes and resources, see our information pages[/important]

.Tsunamis

Earthquakes

Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)

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[important](Author’s Note:  There is an updated post on Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) written 15 November, 2013. Please visit http://info4disasters.org/yolanda-update-resources/ and be informed of the most recent and up-to-date information.  Thank you!)[/important]

Typhoon Yolonda Gallery:

 

Super Typhoon Yolandai (internationally known as Haiyan), thought to be the largest typhoon of this year’s season, measures 600km in diameter, and at 4:40AM Philippine Standard Time, Yolanda made landfall over Guiuan, Eastern Samar.ii  PAGASAiii predicts that on Saturday morning, Typhoon Yolanda is expected to be 240km West Northwest of Coron, Palaan. It will be Saturday evening before Yolanda will be outside of PARiv. Maximum sustained winds are predicted to reach 235kph near the centre and have gusts up to 275kph, accompanied by an average of 10.0 – 30.0mm per hour within the 600 km diameter of the Super Typhoon.v

 

[quote style=”1″]”YOLANDA”, after hitting Guiuan ( Eastern Samar), is expected to traverse the provinces of Biliran, the Northern tip of Cebu, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Romblon, Semirara Island, the Southern part of Mindoro then Busuanga and will exit the Philippine landmass (on Saturday early morning) towards the West Philippine Sea. Estimated rainfall amount is from 10.0 – 30.0 mm per hour (Heavy – Intense) within the 400 km diameter of the Typhoon. Sea travel is risky over the seaboards of Northern Luzon and over the eastern seaboard of Central

Luzon. Residents in low lying and mountainous areas under signal #4, #3 and #2 are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides. Likewise, those living in coastal areas under signal #4, #3 and #2 are alerted against storm surges which may reach up to 7-meter wave height. The public and the disaster risk reduction and management council concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 11 AM today. [/quote]

 PAGASA and JTWC Updates

PAGASA has issued images showing the predicted path of Yolanda. PAGASA has also provided hourly updates, bulletins, and warnings that can be accessed by visiting http://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/wb/tcupdate.shtml. The JTWCvi has also issued images of predicted path, satellite composites, and enhanced imagery. JTWC’s updates, forecast discussions, and warnings can be found at http://www.usno.navy.mil/JTWC/.

 PAGASA Signals

There are warnings. also known as signals that given to the public from PAGASA.  These warnings, or signals, are called Philippine Public Storm Warning Signals, and abbreviated as PSWS.vii  PSWS range from low to high intensity, as well as anticipated to sudden impact; the lowest of the warning signals is #1, and the highest of the signals is #4.viii To understand more about what each signal specifically means, visit http://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/genmet/psws.html#psws3. The current PSWS issued for the Philippines concerning Typhoon Yolanda can be accessed at http://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/wb/tcupdate.shtml or http://www.gov.ph/crisis-response/updates-typhoon-yolanda/.

 IFRC, Philippine Red Cross & Community Chapters

The Philippine Red Cross has been encouraging preparedness for Yolanda through social media accounts, community outreach, and through their web page. Their Chapters have been briefed and are now staged in their respective communities across the Philippines prepared to offer aid, and basic essentials. They issued their PRC Preparedness and Response Plan Re: Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) yesterday, giving a broad look at the measures they have taken to help. For more information and updates on what the Philippine Red Cross is currently doing you can visit their website at http://www.redcross.org.ph/, find them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, or subscribe to their You Tube Channel. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies issued an information bulletin on 7 November, 2013.

Earlier on Thursday, 7 November, the IFRC participated in a Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and cluster leads meeting on the preparedness for response to Typhoon Haiyan. The IFRC Country Representative and the global shelter cluster regional focal point for Asia Pacific– who is in the Philippines since 18 October 2013 supporting an ongoing activation relating to the Central Visayas earthquake– participated. In preparation, the emergency shelter cluster has placed a team on standby to join rapid multi-sector assessment teams that are likely to be deployed in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

Meanwhile, on Thursday afternoon, 7 November, the PRC and Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners with presence in the Philippines – Australian Red Cross, Finnish Red Cross, German Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Netherlands Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross – will have a meeting to define how they will best support the PRC in responding to potential humanitarian needs that will be wrought by the typhoon. In due course, partners will be updated on how the Movement components will coordinate possible interventions. —excerpt from IFRC Information Bulletin

[important]

Official Resources

Other Important Resources:

Government Yolanda Updates (Updated Regularly)

Philippine Red Cross Survival Tips

Update: Typhoon Yolanda highest predicted storm surge and tide

List of municipalities expected to be affected by 40-60 mm 3-hour accumulated rainfall

List of municipalities expected to be affected by 60-100 mm 3-hour accumulated rainfall

List of barangays with alluvial fans

[/important]

 

 Warning to the Public

dotc_secretary_jabayaThe Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) warns the public of individuals attempting to solicit favours using the name of DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Aguinaldo Abaya or representative/s of the Secretary or any of the Department’s officials. The DOTC advises the public to report any such request/s for favours/ transactions by the said individuals to the Office of the Secretary at Tel.Nos.724-6465/ 723-4698 or the Office of the Administrative Service Director at Tel. No.721-0800.

 

[spoiler title=”Spoiler title” open=”0″ style=”1″][tweets username=”dost_pagasa” limit=”3″ style=”1″ show_time=”1″] [tweets username=”NDRRMC_OpCen” limit=”3″ style=”1″ show_time=”1″] [tweets username=”philredcross” limit=”3″ style=”1″ show_time=”1″] [tweets username=”govph” limit=”3″ style=”1″ show_time=”1″] [tweets username=”DOTCPhilippines” limit=”3″ style=”1″ show_time=”1″] [tweets username=”MMDA” limit=”3″ style=”1″ show_time=”1″][/spoiler]

 

Footnotes:

i Haiyan was locally named Yolanda after entering the Philippine area of responsibility.

ii As reported by the most recent update bulletins issued at 11PM local time on Thursday by the PAGASA.

iii PAGASA stands for the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration

iv PAR is the acronym for the Philippine Area of Responsibility, and Yolanda is predicted to be outside of PAR Saturday evening, when she is 934 km West Northwest of Coron, Palawan as stated by PAGASA.

v Refer to PAGASA weather bulletin: http://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/wb/tcupdate.shtml

vi JTWC is the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, hosted and maintained by the United States Navy.

vii PSWS represents the Philippine Public Storm Warning Signals

Relief Web updates

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ReliefWeb

Situation Reports / 15 Feb 2014

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – 09 Feb 2014
HIGHLIGHTS • The number of people from South Sudan seeking shelter in Sudan stands at some 24,700 as of 10 February, according to the Government of Sudan and humanitarian organisations. • The AU announced the resumption of negotiations between the Government of Sudan an d SPLM-N on the … Read more
European Commission Humanitarian Aid department – 13 Feb 2014
Messages clés – Suite à l’escalade de la violence intercommunautaire au début du mois de décembre 2013, le nombre de personnes déplacées internes (PDI s ) a dépassé les 714 000. Plus de 288 000 se trouvent dans la capitale, Bangui. 60% d’en tre elles sont des enfants. Plus de la moitié … Read more
European Commission Humanitarian Aid department – 13 Feb 2014
Key messages – Following the escalation of the inter-communal violence in the beginning of December 2013, the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Central African Republic has increased to more than 714 000. Over 288 000 are reported in the capital Bangui. Sixty percent of them are … Read more
World Food Programme – 15 Feb 2014
South Sudan was affected by poor macro-economic performance even before the breakout of the current crisis, showing declining per capita GDP, shortage of foreign reserves, deflation, and a high spread between official and informal exchange rates. Despite the improved harvest, the country will still … Read more
UN High Commissioner for Refugees – 31 Jan 2014
UNHCR operational highlights – The awareness campaign on the multi-year resettlement operation of Congolese refugees took place from January 22 to 28 in several communes of Bujumbura. The aim was to give all the information on this operation and to raise awareness about responsible behavior from … Read more
UN High Commissioner for Refugees – 31 Jan 2014
Faits marquants dans les opérations de l’UNHCR – La campagne de sensibilisation sur l’opération pluri-annuelle de réinstallation des réfugiés congolais s’est déroulée du 22 au 28 janvier dans plusieurs communes de la Mairie de Bujumbura. Le but était de donner toute l’information … Read more
Famine Early Warning System Network – 15 Feb 2014
Maize is the main staple crop in Tanzania. Rice and beans are also very important, the latter constituting the main source of protein for most low- and middle- income households. Dar es Salaam is the main consumer market in the country. Arusha is another important market and is linked with Kenya in … Read more
Famine Early Warning System Network – 15 Feb 2014
Maize, sorghum, wheat, and groundnuts are the most important food commodities in South Sudan. Sorghum, maize, and groundnuts are the staple foods for the poor in most rural areas. Maize flour and wheat (as bread) are more important for middle-income and rich households in urban areas. Sorghum and … Read more
Famine Early Warning System Network – 15 Feb 2014
Maize grain and maize meal are the most important food commodities and indicators of food security in Zambia. All of the markets represented — with the exception of Kitwe — are in provincial centers and thus provide a geographic representation. Chipata and Choma are both areas of high maize … Read more
Famine Early Warning System Network – 15 Feb 2014
Maize is the most widely consumed cereal by the rural poor. Sorghum is generally one of the cheapest cereals. Teff is also very important throughout the country. The most important markets for teff are the large cities including Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Mekele, and Dire Dawa. Addis Abada is the … Read more
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – 13 Feb 2014
**HIGHLIGHTS** – Humanitarian aid delivered, and civilians evacuated from the besieged Old City of Homs – Estimated hundreds of thousands displaced from eastern Aleppo City and rural areas. – Nine days of access to Yarmouk camp enables distribution of food, medicines and medical attention to … Read more
US Agency for International Development – 14 Feb 2014
**HIGHLIGHTS** – Approximately 707,400 people remain internally displaced in South Sudan as a result of hostilities that began on December 15. – U.N. Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos declared the current crisis in South Sudan a Level Three Emergency on February … Read more

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:
1-800-846-8517

Also you can call:

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

Samaritans Emotional Grief Support & Suicidal Hotline

877-870-4673

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

Other Resources:

Ready.gov 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]

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