Helping Victims

There are many government agencies, voluntary agencies active in disaster (see VOAD page), non-profits and private sector organizations who are willing to help during and after a major emergency or disaster.  For the efficient and effective use of them, it is best to determine ahead of the event what they offer and how to make specific requests of them.

Some starter sites are these federal agencies: the National Institutes of Health, Center for Communicable Diseases, and other organizations. Plus the Red Cross has many resources; check their website for details.

A few examples:

From the NIH Resources for Coping With  Disasters

The Disaster Distress Helpline is a program of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and offers 24/7 confidential emotional support throughout all phases of natural and human-caused disasters. It provides info about distress risk factors, warning signs, and resources for coping following incidents of mass violence.

From CDC- Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event , for assisting children

From the American National Red Cross.

National Child Trauma Stress Network

From the National Child Trauma Stress Network – a variety of helpful resources, including this one on Psychological First Aid

Personal Preparedness: there are many resources available, not only online but via apps you can down for your smart phone.  The apps are especially useful for emergencies or  disasters with little or no advance notice and those with recurring events. For example: the Red Cross has available is a whole series of Apps for iOS or Android smart phones. They include First Aid, Tornado (and Severe Weather), Earthquakes, Flood, Wildfire, Hurricane, etc. Almost all are free and can be downloaded for smartphones or tablets from the respective App Stores.

They are extremely helpful and interactive. For example, the First Aid app can use your location to tell you where the closest hospital is located. Several of the apps can help you locate Red Cross shelters that are currently open. These are great tools for anyone, including, of course, the faith-based community.

And be sure to sign up for emergency alerts from your local office of emergency management.

Rev. 4/17

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