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Unit 7 Disaster Psychology - UNIT I COURSE OVERVIEW AND INTRODUCTION

By Emily Henderson,2014-05-07 17:58
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Unit 7 Disaster Psychology - UNIT I COURSE OVERVIEW AND INTRODUCTION

    UNIT 7: DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY

In this unit you will learn about:

? Disaster Psychology: The psychological impact of a disaster on rescuers and victims, and

    how to provide “psychological first aid.”

? Caring for Yourself, Your Buddy, and Victims: Steps one can take individually and as

    part of a CERT before, immediately following, and after a disaster.

    COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM

    UNIT 7: DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY

    UNIT 7: DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY OBJECTIVES At the conclusion of this unit, the participants should be able to:

    ? Describe the post-disaster emotional environment.

    ? Describe the steps that rescuers can take to relieve their own stressors

    and those of disaster survivors.

SCOPE The scope of this unit will include:

    ? Introduction and Unit Overview.

    ? Dealing with Survivors’ Trauma.

    ? Dealing with CERT Members’ Stress.

    ? Unit Summary.

ESTIMATED 45 minutes

    COMPLETION TIME

    TRAINING METHODS The Lead Instructor will begin this unit by welcoming the participants to Unit

    7: Disaster Psychology, and will introduce the instructors for the session.

    The Instructor will then present a brief overview of this session.

    Next, the Instructor will explain the importance of having an understanding

    of the disaster and post-disaster emotional environment and the impact that

    the emotional crisis may have on CERT members as well as victims. The

    Instructor will present the psychological and physiological symptoms that

    victims and rescue personnel may exhibit and provide some suggestions

    for how CERT members can help survivors cope with disaster trauma and

    control their own stress.

    RESOURCES ? Community Emergency Response Team Instructor Guide REQUIRED ? Community Emergency Response Team Participant Handbook

    ? Visuals 7.1 through 7.15

    EQUIPMENT The following additional equipment is required for this unit:

    ? A computer with PowerPoint software

    ? Computer projector and screen

CERT TRAINING: INSTRUCTOR GUIDE PAGE 7-1

    COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM

    UNIT 7: DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY

OTES A suggested time plan for this unit is as follows: N

    Introduction and Unit Overview ....................................................5 minutes

    Dealing with Survivors’ Trauma.................................................. 15 minutes

    Dealing with CERT Members’ Stress ......................................... 20 minutes

    Unit Summary .............................................................................5 minutes

    Total Time: 45 minutes

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The information from this unit has been provided by Victor Welzant, Psy.D.

    and George Everly, Jr., Ph.D. of the International Critical Incident Stress

    Foundation; and Joanne Tortorici Luna, Ph.D., California State University,

    Long Beach, and Culver City, California CERT. The Federal Emergency

    Management Agency wishes to thank them for their assistance.

    PAGE 7-2 CERT TRAINING: INSTRUCTOR GUIDE

    COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM

    UNIT 7: DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY

    UNIT 7: DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY

     INTRODUCTION AND UNIT OVERVIEW INTRODUCE Introduce the instructors for this unit and ask any new UNIT instructors to briefly describe their experience with disaster psychology.

    Stress the need for CERT members to prepare themselves for

    their role during and following a disaster by learning about the

    possible impact of disaster on them and others, emotionally and

    physically. This knowledge will help CERT members

    understand and manage their reactions to the event and to work

    better with others.

INSTRUCTORS Remind the group that they recently learned about NOTE team organization. Point out that team organization concepts can help them both

    operationally and psychologically. Working

    together and looking out for each other is an

    important aspect of successful teams.

     Tell the group that this unit will address techniques for managing

    one’s personal situation so that the needs of the victims and

    those of CERT team members can be met.

    CERT TRAINING: INSTRUCTOR GUIDE PAGE 7-3

    COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM

    UNIT 7: DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY

     INTRODUCTION AND UNIT OVERVIEW (CONTINUED) VISUAL 7.1

    Unit Objectives 1. Describe the disaster and post-disaster

    emotional environment.

    2. Describe the steps that rescuers can take to

    relieve their own stress and those of disaster

    survivors.

    Visual 7.1 Tell the participants that at the end of this unit, they should be

    able to:

    ? Describe the disaster and post-disaster emotional

    environment.

    ? Describe the steps that rescuers can take to relieve their

    own stress and those of disaster survivors.

    PAGE 7-4 CERT TRAINING: INSTRUCTOR GUIDE

    COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM

    UNIT 7: DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY

     TEAM WELL-BEING

     Introduce this section by telling the participants that, during a disaster, they may see and hear things that will be extremely

    unpleasant.

    VISUAL 7.2

    Vicarious Trauma

    The process of change in the rescuer resulting from

    empathic engagement with survivors

    Visual 7.2 Explain that vicarious trauma is the process of change in the

    rescuer resulting from empathic engagement with survivors.

    Explain that it is an “occupational hazard” for helpers.

    Warn the participants against overidentifying with the survivors.

    Caution them against taking on the survivors’ feelings as their

    own. Advise the group that taking ownership of others’

    problems will compound their own stress and affect the CERT’s

    overall effectiveness.

     Caution the participants to be alert to signs of disaster trauma in themselves, as well as in disaster victims, so that they can take

    steps to alleviate stress.

    CERT TRAINING: INSTRUCTOR GUIDE PAGE 7-5

    COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM

    UNIT 7: DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY

     TEAM WELL-BEING (CONTINUED)

    VISUAL 7.3

    Possible Psychological Symptoms ? Irritability, anger

    ? Self-blame, blaming others

    ? Isolation, withdrawal

    ? Fear of recurrence

    ? Feeling stunned, numb, or overwhelmed

    ? Feeling helpless

    ? Mood swings

    ? Sadness, depression, grief

    ? Denial

    ? Concentration, memory problems

    ? Relationship conflicts/marital discord

     Visual 7.3

    Give examples of the types of psychological and physiological

    responses that may be observed in rescuers after a disaster.

    Psychological symptoms may include:

? Irritability or anger.

    ? Self-blame or the blaming of others.

? Isolation and withdrawal.

? Fear of recurrence.

    ? Feeling stunned, numb, or overwhelmed.

? Feeling helpless.

? Mood swings.

? Sadness, depression, and grief.

? Denial.

    ? Concentration and memory problems.

    ? Relationship conflicts/marital discord.

    PAGE 7-6 CERT TRAINING: INSTRUCTOR GUIDE

    COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM

    UNIT 7: DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY

     TEAM WELL-BEING (CONTINUED)

    VISUAL 7.4

    Possible Physiological Symptoms ? Loss of appetite

    ? Headaches, chest pain

    ? Diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea

    ? Hyperactivity

    ? Increase in alcohol or drug consumption

    ? Nightmares

    ? Inability to sleep

    ? Fatigue, low energy

     Visual 7.4

     Physiological symptoms may include:

    ? Loss of appetite.

    ? Headaches or chest pain.

    ? Diarrhea, stomach pain, or nausea.

    ? Hyperactivity.

    ? Increase in alcohol or drug consumption.

    ? Nightmares.

    ? The inability to sleep.

    ? Fatigue or low energy.

    CERT TRAINING: INSTRUCTOR GUIDE PAGE 7-7

    COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM

    UNIT 7: DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY

     TEAM WELL-BEING (CONTINUED)

    VISUAL 7.5

    Team Well-Being CERT team leaders should:

    ? Provide pre-disaster stress management training.

    ? Brief personnel before response.

    ? Emphasize teamwork.

    ? Encourage breaks.

    ? Provide for proper nutrition.

    ? Rotate.

    ? Phase out workers gradually.

    ? Conduct a brief discussion.

    ? Arrange for a post-event debriefing.

    Visual 7.5 Explain that there are steps that CERT team leaders can take to reduce the stress on rescue workers before, during, and after an

    incident:

    ? Provide pre-disaster stress management training to all

    CERT personnel.

    ? Brief CERT personnel before the effort begins on what they

    can expect to see and what they can expect in terms of

    emotional response in the survivors and themselves.

? Emphasize that the CERT is a team. Sharing the workload

    and emotional load can help defuse pent-up emotions.

    ? Encourage rescuers to rest and re-group so that they can

    avoid becoming overtired.

? Direct rescuers to take breaks away from the incident area,

    to get relief from the stressors of the effort.

    ? Encourage rescuers to eat properly and maintain fluid intake

    throughout the operation. Explain that they should drink

    water or other electrolyte-replacing fluids, and avoid drinks

    with caffeine or refined sugar.

    ? Rotate teams for breaks or new duties (i.e., from high-stress

    to low-stress jobs). Team members can talk with each other

    about their experiences. This is very important for their

    psychological health.

    PAGE 7-8 CERT TRAINING: INSTRUCTOR GUIDE

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