From our Disaster Preparedness Program coordinator Sheryl Gerety (firstname.lastname@example.org): a monthly, seasonally appropriate checklist page to help us tackle preparing for a disaster in manageable steps.
Looking at the arc of recovery from a major disaster, meeting our needs for food and shelter is a measurable and necessary achievement. Rebuilding our social groups and communities is a simultaneous effort, widening the space and membership of our recovery efforts. Disaster appears to affect us much as a death would, both as individuals and as members of groups.
In the article “Teaching about catastrophes while the world burns outside” Laird M. Easton has done some work in naming and discussing the challenges of these rebuilding efforts by taking a page out of history.
Our Episcopal foundation furnishes us with tools to work in community. Let us prepare to recognize and diminish negative responses to recovering from disaster, among them: denial, panic attacks, scapegoating, grieving.
What We Can Do:
- If we have not already done so, establish the regular practice of prayer, meditation, breathing exercises, physical fitness and healthy lifestyles, routinely taking time for self care.
- If we do not already have one, make plans for our churches to restore a regular schedule of worship, perhaps in partnership with other churches, synagogues and mosques.
- If we do not already use them, learn tools to counter scapegoating, recognizing that it occurs in the everyday world much as during a disaster recovery cycle.
- If we have little experience of it in our own lives, become sensitized to grief. Learn that it is possible for some of us to work with as well as through the state of mind grief becomes. Imagine how the experience of grief might help us to shape the new normal for the better.
What We Are Reading:
- “The Atonement and the Scapegoat” by Dr. Kenneth Mathews
- “On Using…The Inner Voice of Love” by spiritual director Steve Stutz