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Situation Reports

Situation Reports: Hurricane Sandy

 

GC – SUPERSTORM SANDY

Situational Report… START UP

November 6, 2012 Prepared by Mary Schoenfeldt

INCIDENT COMMAND STRUCTURE

Dan Casey, Mary Schoenfeldt, Kathy Figley

1. Initial Contact... October

2. Kathy began Facebook Updates

START UP CONTACTS AND ACTIVITIES

Kathy began FACEBOOK activity

Mary sent emails to say we were available and to ask our network on the East Coast to take care of themselves…

Hillary Hagar HSUS

Don Howell – ICISF

Anne Balboni - ICISF

Anne Culver – HSUS

Bill Bracken – 211

Kelli Backens –personal friend staying in Maryland

Dan was in communication with…

Kathy was in communication with…

FACEBOOK CONTACTS… Kathy got from someone about HMS BOUNTY ship capsize and crew loss... Christine GIZZI re: Rumson NJ

FOLLOW UP CONTACTS… Mary got email from Hillary Hagar, HSUS to connect her to Ann Chynoweth at HSUS Headquarters

GC Status Alerts and Member Requests

Pre Alert notice sent to all members… website updated and Facebook updated

Stand By Status Alert… messages sent to members that we may have need for teams to deploy by Monday, November 5... please report in your availability

Asked for Incident Command help

Ben Keyes, Regence University responded that he could put a team together to be ready when we needed them.

HSUS

Hillary Hagar email to introduce Mary and GC to Ann Chynweth

Ann Chynweth: 301-704-3756

Saturday, November 3 – Call with Ann Chynweth by Mary. Had two locations… NY and NJ… two shelters where they were doing Animal Sheltering, may transition to S&R and staffing a HOTLINE. Very chaotic right now. Will send an MOU and can have teams there mid-week for them.

Asked for logistical info and was sent an excel spreadsheet for staff at each shelter… 10 to 12 at each. Followed that up with an email asking for shelter locations and Points of Contact at each shelter,,, received a cc of an email Ann sent to other staff asking them to take care of this on Monday.

Sunday, November 4 – Based on previous day phone and paperwork assessment Mary determined that it was a smaller operation than originally thought… adjusted the team requirement down from 2 teams of 6 to 2 teams of 3 for 4 weeks. Prepared and sent an MOU based on those assessment

HMS BOUNTY

HMS BOUNTY… a re-creation of an old sailing ship… left NY harbor on Sunday to try to go around the storm and return to home base in Florida. Mary heard a report on Monday morning at the IAEM conference that Parent organization lost contact with them on Sunday night and Coast Guard did a search and rescue on Monday morning. One of the last contacts was that they were taking 10 foot waves over the ship and were capsizing. Coast Guard reported 10 rescued and 2 lost.

Through FACEBOOK page, Kathy was put in touch with Ivor

Ivor

Request from Ivor to provide Crisis Intervention services to the parent organization, families and crew of the HMS Bounty

More information that IVOR is the Dad of the Bounty Commander (who I believe was lost)

Dan told them we could provide trauma services to crew in their home towns once they got there

Asked Teresa DeShillo to coordinate but she couldn’t.

November 5… Mary called Diane Foyt but only played phone tag... not actually conversation

Ivor informed us that HMS Bounty returning to St. Petersburg Florida about November 5… could we make contact and provide group services there before everyone scattered.

Monday… November 5 Dan got names from Teresa of GC members in area and made contact to get that coordinated

TWO RIVERS NJ - RUMSON NJ

Jim Hempstead – Acting EM for Rumson and Sea Bright Borough OEM 732-241-4131 jim.

Laurie Volpe – Rumson Borough SD 609-731-8896 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Kathy received request through Christine Gizzi about a request from Rumson NJ OEM. An email was sent by Christine to a MR. DAY introducing him to GC. Mary followed up on Friday November 2 with another email to Mr. Day and to Christine. Christine emailed by on SATURDAY with a message to expect a call from JIM HEMSTEAD, OEM for Rumson Borough NJ. Mary called him.. He was the acting EM for both Rumson Borough and SEA BRIGHT Borough. Said they were two towns that were flooded and SEA BRIGHT was still unreachable and closed. His role was to “establish the infrastructure for Green Cross to come provide assistance’ to the community and specifically the schools. He requested GC assistance for the local SCHOOL systems that were closed this week but would open on Monday, November 13. Talked about our protocol of an agreement and he asked that I send that to him and he would get it to the City Administrator. He also said he would not be the Point of Contact for the schools but would get me one. I sent an email thanking him for his time and that I would send an MOU soon… his email bounced back several times.

Received phone call from LAURIE VOLPE, saying she would be the contact for at least one of the districts. Said there were several small districts and that they were a collaborative but independent. She was not in the affected area and hadn’t been there yet to know the damage. She would meet with her Superintendent (Mary somebody?) on Sunday. We talked about who GC should contact with and it seemed the best to do it through OEM but she would check with the Supt if should be directly with the school.

Send the MOU to both Laurie and to Jim Hemstead (she got me the right email) early Sunday morning.

Mary contacted Cheri Lovre to see if she was available to be on the team that might go to Rumson… Mary will lead the first team in. Cheri is available.

Received call from Laurie after her meeting with the SUPT and she was told to back away and not take on the coordination. Small independent districts with some in fighting. Her district wouldn’t sign an MOU.

Laurie also met with all the counselors and they had a plan… did some phone consultation of what should be in that plan and gave some guidance. They appear to have a decent plan for the reopening of school. Counselor’s team was going to be at the only public voting location the next day, Tuesday, November 6 and would talk with students and parents then to see how they were doing.

Laurie gave me the name of the CITY ADMINISTRATOR… TOM ROGERS... and said he was the one who should do the agreement with GC. I will send him a copy of the agreement and see where it goes.

SANFORD HOUSE

Organization posting on FEMA Preparedness Newsletter that they had resources for those affected… blankets, food, hugs, counseling if needed.

Mary contacted them with the thought they might be able to help with housing for our volunteers. Phone call with Sandy Kern... they are a Woman’s Shelter located in Michigan but they do have resources they might share with GC… They have the ability to rent a house to set up a shelter or maybe a staging area for us and lots of connections (they have worked directly with FEMA before and had the credibility to even get on the FEMA Preparedness newsletter) we left the conversation that we would partner if we could…. Once we know what we need… we will talk again.

Thoughts… can they partner with us to provide our GC services but through their organization and then they get FEMA reimbursement for it?

Sandy Kern: 313-293-9752

BEN KEYES TEAM

Ben’s team put on deployment status and ready to go on Tuesday morning to HSUS. They were asked to stand down but we would try to find a place for them to respond to. Ben worried about credibility if they didn’t go SOMEWHERE. Mary called HSUS to offer them at very little reimbursed costs but was put off.

New Storm coming into the affected area so concern about sending our GC team to a location with no mission or support.

Mary contacted Paul Jockimo... NY Fire Department to see if he knew of a need. Mary to provide short email to Paul outlining GC mission and services.

Dan contacted several people and late on Monday night... Mary was advised that Dan may have found him a mission

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Situation Report # 1

Thursday, November 11, 2012

Toms’ River NJ Area

DATE: November 8, 2012

Assignment hours 0800 to 1000 hours

Total Hours worked… 6 people times 14 hours… 84 total hours

Team Leader: Benjamin Keyes

Team Members: Laurena Kleckner, Merrill Reese, Benjamin Keyes, Jennifer Cotton, Remuel Williams

Local Contacts: Bob Sinott, Fire Chief, Silverton Fire District 732-255-1122, John Addalia, President, FD Association, 732-267-4264

Activities: Split into 2 teams of 3 Green Cross members each. One assigned in the community to go door to door and talk with people to distribute information on FEMA and Red Cross and to do Compassion Fatigue and Field Traumatology.

 

TOTAL Crisis Intervention and Compassion Fatigue Interactions… 180

Approximate length of each… 20 to 30 minutes

Community Conditions… standing outside or inside house standing… no place to sit… flood damage.

Fire House… crowded and noisy

Holiday on the Bay Apartments… made contact with at least 30 residents to provide Psychological First Aid, Crisis Intervention and Compassion Fatigue services. Many residents saying Thank you and giving credit to the Fire Department for providing Green Cross services.

Stories:

 

1. Retired Fire Fighter may lose everything he owned. Staying with sister now. During the storm, he was wading in 4 feet of water in order to survive. Doesn’t see a way out of this situation. Too old to start over and doesn’t know what he’s going to do. GC team member talked to him about PTSD and ways to alleviate some of the current stress in order to get through each day.

2.  Nurse and her husband in the home cleaning up. Do the entire cleanup themselves. House is reeking of mold and mildew and they are having a hard time staying ahead with cleaning to stop the mildew growth. They have no insurance. She now has Pneumonia and it is being made worse with the conditions. She can’t sleep between the worry and the illness. GC team talked to her about both emotional and medical needs and urged her to seek help if either worsened.

3. Silverton Fire House is acting as the shelter for its volunteer firefighters and their families. Still without utility services but they feel safe being with one another. GC team is doing one on ones and also group diffusing to keep everyone going. Several Families are being provided with Crisis Intervention services.

4. 80 year old woman evacuated before the storm to be safe. When she returned, she found her house with 3 feet of water and everything gone. When GC team spoke with her, she was very confused about details and what she was doing. Said others were telling her to be thankful she was alive so she was feeling conflicted and alone. GC team listened and then talked about the process of grief… that it can’t be just told to go away. They told her to own her grief and let it be. She grabbed their hands and cried and thanked them!

5. African American woman lived in local apartments for 13 years. Had alienated her family by choosing to live in a predominately white area. Now has lost everything and is being told the apartment building is being condemned and she can’t come back. Her family is chiding her on Facebook with messages about being “uppity “and ‘getting what she deserved” “and maybe she will come down off her high horse now”. GC team talked to her about how even family isn’t always supportive and can be hurtful and it’s hard. Talked with her about just taking one step at a time and not trying to solve everything at one time.

 

GREEN CROSS ICS Activities

Assigned a Logistics Section.. looking for low or no cost lodging for team

Contacted Catholic Diocese, American Red Cross and others to no avail. Will continue looking.

Business Cards… discovered a problem with the 888 number listed on them, ordered new and advised team to cross out old and use 320-743-3639

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Situation Report # 2

Saturday, November 11, 2012

Toms’ River NJ Area

Specific Assignment: Silverton Volunteer Fire Department

Community of Toms River, NJ

DATE: November 10, 2012

Assignment hours 0800 to 1800 hours

Total Hours worked… 6 people times 10 hours… 60 total hours

Team Leader: Benjamin Keyes

Team Members: Laurena Kleckner, Merrill Reese, Benjamin Keyes, Jennifer Cotton, Remuel Williams

Local Contacts: Bob Sinott, Fire Chief, Silverton Fire District, John Addalia, President, FD Association,

· Activities: Split into 2 teams of Green Cross members… 4 people working in the community and 2 people working at the Silverton Fire Department. Each assigned to provide Compassion Fatigue and Field Traumatology services.

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· TOTAL Crisis Intervention and Compassion Fatigue Interactions… 55 individual and 4 small group diffusings and educational sessions.

o Approximate length of each… 20 to 30 minutes

o Community Conditions… standing outside or inside house standing… no place to sit… flood damage.

o Team Leader reported…. People are now entering the Disillusion stage and are starting to display and express anger and frustration with the conditions and the situation. Still no power and it’s still going to take several days (or weeks) to get power restored. If people are living in their homes while they are trying to clean up, they are living in an upstairs area... downstairs still unlivable

o Fire House… crowded and noisy

· Fire House team did a lengthy intense intervention with a 78 year old man who are crying and having a difficult time coming to grips with the reality of the situation. Was having difficulty talking and describing his situation or keeping his thoughts focused. Team did common crisis intervention work with him… listened, affirmed, reflective listening, refocused and gave educational insight and resources. After more than an hour, the man was stabilized enough to function and take the next necessary step towards his recovery. They will stay in touch with him to monitor and support.

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Situation Report # 3

Sunday, November 12, 2012

Toms River NJ Area

SpSpecific Assignment: Silverton Volunteer Fire Department

Community of Toms River, NJ

DATE: November 10, 2012

 

Assignment hours 0800 to 1900 hours

Total Hours worked… 6 people times 11 hours… 66 total hours


Team Leader: Benjamin Keyes

Team Members: Laurena Kleckner, Merrill Reese, Benjamin Keyes, Jennifer Cotton, Remuel Williams

Local Contacts: Bob Sinott, Fire Chief, Silverton Fire District, John Addalia, President, FD Association

· Activities: Split into 2 teams of Green Cross members… 4 people working in the community and 2 people working at the Silverton Fire Department. Each assigned to provide Compassion Fatigue and Field Traumatology services.

· TOTAL Crisis Intervention and Compassion Fatigue Interactions…

o 27 in the morning and another 30 in the afternoon… for a total of 57 individual and small group diffusings and educational sessions.

o Approximate length of each… 20 to 30 minutes

o Community Conditions… cold, wet, no power, major destruction

o Team Leader reported…. People are angry and frustrated with the conditions and the situation. Still no power and it is still going to take several days (or weeks) to get power restored. If people are living in their homes while they are trying to clean up, they are living in an upstairs area... downstairs still unlivable

o Today is Sunday, more home owners in the area to check and work on cleaning up the damage.

o Fire House… crowded and noisy

Green Cross Community Team members are walking the area, making contact with people by introducing themselves as from Green Cross and telling them the Fire Department asked them to stop by and check on them to see how they are doing. People are surprised and appreciative that the Fire Department would be so thoughtful and that these volunteers came from far away to help. Once a conversation begins, Green Cross team just listens and provided Psychological First Aid, Crisis Intervention, Education and Resources. Green Cross team members getting lots of heartfelt thank you’s hugs and handshakes.

Green Cross Internal Compassion Fatigue Specialist Activities:

· Team leader is setting limits on the amount of hours the team is working

· Teams are always made up of at least 2 people working together

· Monday, team will work a shortened day and go to a movie

· Starting to plan transition to Team # 2 coming in Tuesday evening

 

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Situation Report # 4

Tuesday, November 12, 2012

Toms River NJ Area

Specific Assignment: Silverton Volunteer Fire Department

Community of Toms River, NJ

DATE: November12, 2012

Team One… Assignment hours 0800 to 2000 hours

Team Two… Assignment hours 1700 hours to 2000 hours

Total Hours worked Team One… 6 people times 12 hours… 72 hours

Total Hours worked Team Two… 3 people times 3 hours… 9 hours

TOTAL HOURS WORKED 81 hours

Team Leader: Benjamin Keyes

Team One Members: Laurena Kleckner, Merrill Reese, Benjamin Keyes, Jennifer Cotton, Remuel Williams

Team Two Members: Sherry Todd, Jennifer Cotton, Remuel Williams plus three others.

Local Contacts: Bob Sinott, Fire Chief, Silverton Fire District, John Addalia, President, FD Association,

· Activities: Split into 2 teams of Green Cross members… 4 people working in the community and 2 people working at the Silverton Fire Department. Each assigned to provide Compassion Fatigue and Field Traumatology services.

· WEATHER: Rain with predicted nasty cold coming in behind.

· Power has been restored to most places except the hardest hit

· Fire Department directing where the team is going. Begins each day at the Fire house for maps and briefings.

· Team is reporting that the community is extremely resilient… neighbors watching out for neighbors.

o Story… While talking with one resident, the team was told they should go check on an elderly neighbor down the street because they had seen him for a while. When they got there, they found an 80 year old man in serious medical condition, called Paramedics who provided the needed medical help.

o The phrase “You really need to check on So and So” is becoming common. By having our team there, it relieves the concern of neighbors for each other and allows them to stay focused on their own recovery.

· TOTAL Crisis Intervention and Compassion Fatigue Interactions…

o 25 in the morning and another 30 in the afternoon… for a total of 50 individual and small group diffusings and educational sessions.

o Approximate length of each… 20 to 30 minutes

o Community Conditions… cold, wet, minimal power, major destruction

o Team Leader reported…. Community members are getting more and more frustrated with officials. But are banding together to take care of each other.

o Each day the team thinks they are in the most devastated area but then find that the next assignment is equally or more devastated.

o Green Cross Community Team members are walking the area, making contact with people by introducing themselves as from Green Cross and telling them the Fire Department asked them to stop by and check on them to see how they are doing. People are surprised and appreciative that the Fire Department would be so thoughtful and that these volunteers came from far away to help. Once a conversation begins, Green Cross team listens and provided Psychological First Aid, Crisis Intervention, Education and Resources.

Green Cross Internal Compassion Fatigue Specialist Activities:

· Team leader is setting limits on the amount of hours the team is working

· Teams are always made up of at least 2 people working together

· Team Two arrived Tuesday evening. Got orientation from Team One as far as assignments, key contacts, updates and Scope of Work.


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Situation Report # 5

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Toms River NJ Area

Specific Assignment: Silverton Volunteer Fire Department

Community of Toms River, NJ

DATE: November 14, 2012

Team Two… Assignment hours 0800 to 1700 hours

Total Hours worked Team Two… 6 people times 11 hours… 66 hours

Team Leader: SHERRY TODD,

Team Two Members: Sherry Todd, Jennifer Cotton, Remuel Williams and 3 others

Local Contacts: Bob Sinott, Fire Chief, Silverton Fire District, John Addalia, President, FD Association,

· Team Two met with Fire Chief and other key leaders.

· Became familiar with location and geography

· Activities: Split into 2 teams of Green Cross members… 4 people working in the community and 2 people working at the Silverton Fire Department. Each assigned to provide Compassion Fatigue and Field Traumatology services.

· WEATHER: Cold and wet

· Power has been restored to most places except the hardest hit

· Fire Department directing where the team is going. Begins each day at the Fire house for maps and briefings.

· Work is beginning to wind down. Team Leader talking with key leaders about where the need is next for Green Cross

· Team is reporting that the community is extremely resilient… neighbors watching out for neighbors.

o Story… Team members walking down a street checking on residents. Stopped at one house to find a homeowner without supplies to continue cleaning. Team was able to get them connected to local resources.

o Story.. most people living in the upstairs of their homes. Bottom floor is too wet, moldy and damaged to be livable. Families are beginning to settle in with the understanding this is going to take a very long time.

o The phrase “You really need to check on So and So” is becoming common. By having our team there, it relieves the concern of neighbors for each other and allows them to stay focused on their own recovery.

· TOTAL Crisis Intervention and Compassion Fatigue Interactions…

o 30 in the morning and another 30 in the afternoon… for a total of 60 individual and small group diffusings and educational sessions.

o Approximate length of each… 15 to 30 minutes

o Community Conditions… cold, wet, minimal power, major destruction

o Team Leader reported…. Community members are getting more and more frustrated with officials. But are banding together to take care of each other.

o Each day the team thinks they are in the most devastated area but then find that the next assignment is equally or more devastated.

o Green Cross Community Team members are walking the area, making contact with people by introducing themselves as from Green Cross and telling them the Fire Department asked them to stop by and check on them to see how they are doing. People are surprised and appreciative that the Fire Department would be so thoughtful and that these volunteers came from far away to help. Once a conversation begins, Green Cross team listens and provided Psychological First Aid, Crisis Intervention, Education and Resources.

Green Cross Internal Compassion Fatigue Specialist Activities:

· Team leader is setting limits on the amount of hours the team is working

· Teams are always made up of at least 2 people working together

 


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Situation Report # 6

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Toms River NJ Area

Specific Assignment: Silverton Volunteer Fire Department

Community of Toms River, NJ

DATE: November 15, 2012

Team Two… Assignment hours 0700 to 1700 hours

Total Hours worked Team Two… 6 people times 12 hours… 72 hours

Team Leader: SHERRY TODD,

Team Two Members: Sherry Todd, Jennifer Cotton, Remuel Williams and 3 others

Local Contacts: Bob Sinott, Fire Chief, Silverton Fire District, John Addalia, President, FD Association

· Work in Silverton and Toms River winding down. Local government transitioning from Response to Recovery phase.

· Green Cross has gotten a request from the Mayor of Sea Bright to assist his community. GC Headquarters advised Team Leader this may be the next assignment.

· Activities: Split into 2 teams of Green Cross members… 6 people working in the community

· WEATHER: Cold and wet

· Power has been restored to most places except the hardest hit

· Fire Department directing where the team is going. Begins each day at the Fire house for maps and briefings.

· Work is beginning to wind down. Team Leader talking with key leaders about where the need is next for Green Cross

· Team was sent to help in island area… Team Leader sent the following text to IC (Mary S) mid day on Thursday… “We cannot go to the islands per police order. The residents are only allowed on island to collect items. They have a bus taking them over there for two hour spots. I tried to get us near the busses and they wouldn’t let us anywhere near that operation. (IC comments… most likely an appropriate crowd management and security decision) The chief and lieutenant say Silverton is in recovery, they are no longer letting people shelter or eat here.”

· IC talked with Team Lead about next steps. Team Lead will attend a meeting on Monday being held by the Monmouth County Long Term Recovery Taskforce to report GC activity and to coordinate next possible assignments.

· TOTAL Crisis Intervention and Compassion Fatigue Interactions…

o 15 in the morning and another 15 in the afternoon… for a total of 30 individual and small group diffusings and educational sessions.

o Approximate length of each… 15 to 30 minutes

o Community Conditions… cold, wet, minimal power, major destruction, frustration

o Team Leader reported…. Community members are getting more and more frustrated with officials. But are banding together to take care of each other.

o Team beginning to transition to a Standby mode awaiting next assignment.

Green Cross Internal Compassion Fatigue Specialist Activities:

· Team leader is setting limits on the amount of hours the team is working

· Teams are always made up of at least 2 people working together

· Team preparing to Stand Down for now.


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Situation Report # 7

Thursday, November 18, 2012

Toms River NJ Area

Assignment:

FEMA Office, Toms River, NJ

Team:

Sherry Todd (Team Leader)

Lemuel Williams

Jenner Cotton

Nicole DiLella

Randall Rhodes

Tabitha Sierra

Local Contact:

FEMA Disaster Recovery Coordinator (DRC), Toms River, NJ

FEMA Individual Assistance Applicant Service Coordinator (IAAS), Toms River, NJ

Weather: cold

Facts:

-Team is preparing to return home as last day of working at the FEMA office is tomorrow.

-DRC and IAAS of Tom’s River FEMA Office are interested in coordinating with Green Cross to have another Green Cross team provide services.

-TL facilitated contact between IC and DRC.

-IC notified TL that DRC referred IC to FEMA headquarters to speak with the FEMA supervisors who had been at the Toms’ River FEMA office yesterday.

-As it was a Sunday evening, the traffic at the FEMA office was slower than normal so the Team stopped work at the FEMA Office at 6pm in order to have time for self-care.

Activities:

-Team split 3/3 with 3 members intervening with distressed residents at FEMA office and 3 members providing crisis intervention to residents in the community.

-FEMA Office

.team leader checked in with DRC & IAAS.

.City limits access to the Barrier Islands, which means that quite a few residents saw their homes for the first time today and were completely overwhelmed. One resident reported that when she arrived at her address, she found that her house had been bulldozed by the city and she had not even been allowed to remove any of her belongings. Those residents whose houses are still standing are only allowed to take out 2 suitcases worth of belongings.

.One resident was distraught and had numerous stressors in addition to the loss of her home. She was too distressed to complete the paperwork. FEMA worker requested intervention by the team. Thought Field Therapy (TFT) was used and significant sx reduction was evident by her ability to continue the application process. SUD level went from a 7 to a 1.

.One team member led a process group for the FEMA workers allowing them to vent their frustrations.

. The moral of the FEMA workers appeared to be higher tonight than it has been for the two previous nights. On previous occasions, workers were quiet, some were tearful, others had vacant stares, and all seemed to have low energy. Tonight, they were joking and laughing with each other and with the Team.

-Community:

.Community team focused on the neighborhoods closest to the shore

.team continued providing crisis interventions

.team encountered an elderly gentleman who was struggling to move a log out of his yard. As two team members removed the log, the other team member intervened with the resident. Resident admitted that he was angry with the insurance company because he felt they were ignoring his need. He was disillusioned and frustrated. Team provided crisis intervention and psychoeducation. By the time the team left, resident was able to identify positive experiences such as how the community had come together. Resident was smiling when he said, “I really appreciate you guys coming by.”

.Team met a resident who is a 911 operator who was experiencing compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatization. She reported that she had lost the ability to empathize with others, was struggling to sleep, and was depressed. Team provided crisis intervention. Resident then admitted that she thought she was crazy, so team gave psychoeducation about stress reactions. She was smiling and laughing with team by the time they left.

Story:

Anna, a darling 65yr old resident of Toms River, NJ, came to the United States from Sicily, Italy when she was 15yrs old. She is a spunky little lady with a big heart, Italian accent, and spitfire personality. Anna is a regular at the FEMA office, she checks in daily (often multiple times a day!) and every FEMA worker from the security guard to the head of the DRC knows her by name. Anna had a beautiful little house in the community that sustained significant damage. Now, three weeks later, she is still without heat and her house smells from the mold and mildew. Unfortunately, Anna did not have flood insurance and was also denied substantial FEMA assistance to cover the cost of the required repairs. Various members of the team, including myself, spent time daily with Anna over the past few days doing crisis interventions, wellness checks, and psychoeducation. To show her appreciation, Anna made keychains for several members of the team. Today marked an important turning point for Anna, FEMA, and the Green Cross. Once a FEMA worker discovered that a mistake had been made in Anna's original damage appraisal, the worker brought Anna to me and requested that I assist her in writing a letter of appeal for her case to be reviewed. Due to her language barrier and her inability to comprehend the intricacies of her complicated issue, Anna was simply unable to understand how to proceed in the process. At the FEMA worker's humble request, I had the privileged opportunity of drafting a letter with Anna to appeal for her case to be reviewed. The gratefulness for this simple act was evident in both Anna and the FEMA worker as it marks the advancement of Anna's ability to move forward in the recovery process in the aftermath of this disaster. This is just one of the stories that demonstrates several important aspects of the work the Green Cross has been privileged to do in the past couple weeks. We have been sources of hope, encouragement, and relief to both the affected residents and the hard workers of FEMA. My work with Anna allowed me to act as both an advocate for her and a support to FEMA's tireless workers. The work the Green Cross has done has seemed simple at times. However, it is truly humbling and amazing to see the radical boost in morale for both the residents and the FEMA workers by the presence and actions of Green Cross workers. Green Cross is a powerful organization with a unique role and unparalleled scope of service. I am humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to serve in this capacity and represent an organization that plays an important, distinctive role in the recovery process for those affected by disaster.

Total Interactions:

-55 individuals interventions (crisis intervention & psychoeducational sessions)

-9 interventions with FEMA workers

-3 referrals to other agencies

-6 follow-ups

-2 group sessions

-length of interventions ranged from 15 min to 1 hour

Compassion Fatigue Specialist

-TL setting limit on number of hours worked

-Breaks provided as needed

-members stay in groups of 2 or 3

Tabitha A. Sierra, M.A.

Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Psychology

Adjunct Professor, School of Psychology and Counseling

Adjunct Professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Director, Hope for Military Couples

Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA


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Alert Status

Alert Status

Green Cross has been requested to deploy immediately to work on the floods in Washington State!!!!

If you are available for immediate deployment, please contact greencrosshq@regent.edu with your information.

We will be deploying one or more Crisis Response teams immediately, and a contact with the local AOC.



Green Cross is in full deployment mode now, and will remain so until requested to stand down.

Animal Care Workers

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