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Archive for April, 2013

Coping with the disaster

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

The NN/LM NER’s thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by yesterday’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon. Our deepest sympathies to those who lost loved ones in this tragedy. We exhibited at the Boston Marathon Expo at the Hynes Convention Center this weekend and were inspired by the hundreds of runners we talked with at the booth. This tragedy is unfathomable, and we are in shock. We appreciate the outpouring of support from our friends throughout the country and the world.

The National Library of Medicine hosts many disaster information resources. If you are looking for a missing loved one, the NLM has activated the Lost Person Finder. Both People Locator and the ReUnite app are being updated, and LPF exchanges data with Google’s Person Finder.

The Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) includes resources to help cope with disasters, violence and traumatic events. This site includes resources for mental health and emotional response to traumatic events, intervention and treatment, and resources to help emergency responders, healthcare workers and volunteers manage traumatic incident stress. There are resources for professionals, teachers, parents and others working with children. This page includes multi-language resources in Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. DIMRC includes a resource with information on mass casualties. The DIMRC listserv and Twitter feed is a way to stay up-to-date with disaster related information resources.

The MedlinePlus, Coping with Disasters page, includes information to help survivors of mass violence recover from disasters.

The American Red Cross recommends the following to recover emotionally from a disaster:

  • Take care of your safety. Find a safe place to stay and make sure your physical health needs and those of your family are addressed. Seek medical attention if necessary.
  • Limit your exposure to the sights and sounds of disaster, especially on television, the radio and in the newspapers.
  • Eat healthy. During times of stress, it is important that you maintain a balanced diet and drink plenty of water.
  • Get some rest. With so much to do, it may be difficult to have enough time to rest or get adequate sleep. Giving your body and mind a break can boost your ability to cope with the stress you may be experiencing.
  • Stay connected with family and friends. Giving and getting support is one of the most important things you can do.
  • Try to do something as a family that you have all enjoyed in the past.
  • Be patient with yourself and with those around you. Recognize that everyone is stressed and may need some time to put their feelings and thoughts in order. That includes you!
  • Set priorities. Tackle tasks in small steps.
  • Gather information about assistance and resources that will help you and your family members meet your disaster-related needs.
  • Stay positive. Remind yourself of how you’ve successfully gotten through difficult times in the past. Reach out when you need support, and help others when they need it.

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