Navigating Uncharted Territory
Disasters, whether perpetrated by nature or humans, test our preparedness, adaptability, and ability to think and act quickly to a stressful situation. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, it is wise to take a few minutes and consider your own situation.
Does your workplace regularly discuss (and practice) responses to various disasters? Reading about the experiences and responses in the Boston hospitals or with the Texas fertilizer plant explosion should renew our commitment to having these conversations and making emergency disaster response a "part of our heathcare delivery culture". Take lessons from the military, collaborative efforts such as FEMA & the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the Disaster Medical Response Program for the Duke region.
Last, but not least, remember to involve your family and other loved ones in your personal disaster planning process. Having supplies on hand, a meeting place, and plans for any pets are just some of the many considerations. Take a look at NC Health Info's guide on Preparedness. While there are many unknowns, everyone knows that hurricane season is quickly approaching. Taking an hour or two to gather supplies and make a plan could make all the difference.
"So in the immediate aftermath of this event, we will feel disoriented and disturbed. But we also know that we will continue to survive and thrive as a community and that we will not let our way of life be fundamentally altered." (from Duke Today article - The Psychology of Terror Can Be Resisted) "Boston took a punch on Monday — two of them, actually — that left it staggering for a bit. Flesh proved vulnerable, as flesh is wont to do, but the spirit merely trembled before recasting itself into something stronger than any bomb or rage." (NYT op-ed - Messing with the Wrong City)
Let's honor those who have lost so much in Boston by making a disaster plan as well as reminding loved ones to do the same.