Psychological Services


Interventions in the Preimpact Phase



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Interventions in the Preimpact Phase

Community
Between disasters it is important that links with communities and other services are maintained. Denial that disasters will happen is countered by pointing out the denial process and its reasons and providing information and education about preventive measures, training and exercises. Mandatory preventive measures such as compulsory fire alarms and exercises may be introduced.
These measures intensify as a disaster looms. Education and information become more specific and measures are taken for them to be effective. For instance, help may be given to provide information and warnings in simple language(s), making sure messages are not overwhelming and give people means to take action. Trusted communication networks, both formal and informal are identified and utilised. Rumours, and myths (such as it can’t happen twice) are countered with facts.
Advice may be given about evacuation, its benefits but also psychosocial consequences of separation from community and families. If evacuation is required, advice may be given as to what to take, such as family photos and videos, pets, favourite toys and family heirlooms.
Vulnerable institutions, groups and individuals should be identified and extra provisions made for them.
Psychological services may aid crystallisation of clear leadership, hierarchy of command and a network of rescue services with clearly identified roles,



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territories and channels of communication. Psychological service providers may help maintain high morale and preparedness.




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