Prior experience (same or similar event) can lead to cumulative emotions, leading to greater stress reactions
Intensity of disruption: the more intense the greater the psychological and physiological reactions may become
Perceived meaning of the event: the more catastrophic the more intense reaction
Emotional well-being and coping resources
Length of time elapsed - reality sinks in
“ I still get up at 5:30 to milk cows I no longer have. It is eerie. No sounds at all in the dale, nothing from sheep or cattle. Only the birds.” Paul Bolland, a farmer in the UK who lost 1,500 animals to foot and mouth disease in 2001
Allow silence - Silence gives the survivor time to reflect and become aware of feelings. Silence can prompt the survivor to elaborate.
Attend nonverbally - Eye contact, head nodding, caring facial expressions, and occasional "uh-huhs”.
Paraphrase - When you repeat portions of what the survivor has said, understanding, interest, and empathy are conveyed.
Reflect feelings - The survivor's tone of voice or nonverbal gestures may suggest anger, sadness, or fear. Possible responses are, "You sound angry, scared etc., does that fit for you?" This helps the survivor identify and articulate his or her emotions.
Allow expression of emotions - Expressing intense emotions through tears or angry venting is an important part of healing; it often helps the survivor work through feelings so that he or she can better engage in constructive problem-solving.
During an emergency or a disaster you will see and hear things that will be extremely unpleasant
Be alert to signs of trauma in yourself as well as in other team members, so that you can take steps to alleviate stress
Is everyone taking breaks and having quiet time?
Is everyone talking/communicating normally and frequently?
What can you do to help relieve the stress?
Emergency response teams should be trained to regularly evaluate levels of stress in themselves and each other and to understand the need for adequate rest and nutrition; they should also have access to mental health professionals who are knowledgeable in stress management
While Frans Hoffman, the author of this training course, provides the information in this presentation for free (as hand-outs) to anyone who attends a Disaster Animal Response Training (DART), he and his licensors retain copyright on all text and graphic images.
Text and graphic images are protected by worldwide copyright laws and treaty provisions. This means that YOU MAY NOT copy, reproduce, modify, publish, upload, post, or include this information in your training or documents, reuse the text or graphics, transmit or distribute the text or graphics to others without the express written permission of the author. The author reserves all other rights. Except as expressly provided herein, he does not grant any express or implied right to you under any patents, copyrights, trademarks or trade secret information.
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