Psychological Services


Assessments in the Preimpact Phase



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Assessments in the Preimpact Phase

Community
Assess the culture, groupings, information networks, strength and disaster preparedness of institutions and leaders. Examine community demographics and past history with disasters. Review whether current information and warnings are dispersed in a credible manner and whether consequent preparations are congruent with the likely danger or whether people are acting on denial, rumours and myths.
Assess capacities and needs for support, especially of vulnerable institutions such as retirement villages, hospitals and schools and vulnerable groups such as the ill, frail, old, marginalised and non-English speaking.
Families
Assess family structure and culture.

Is the family prepared, does it have contingency plans?

Is the family prepared especially for its vulnerable members?

Does the family need education, training, slotting into community and communication networks?

Are there imminent needs for evacuation, of whom and what will be the cost in potential separation stresses?
Adults
Assess personal strengths (such as training, previous experience),
vulnerabilities (such as physical and psychological illnesses, social isolation),
and insight into the needs of the incipient situation.

Do denial or inappropriate beliefs prevent appropriate action?



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Children
Assess the child’s maturity and capacities to understand safety precautions.

Assess suitability of protective networks (including at school) prepared for the child should the child be evacuated.



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