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Hurricane Katrina is one of only a handful of catastrophic events that will never be overlooked. The result impacts of this storm were very damaging, and most people were still in shock months to years later. This event is close to being as tragic as the heartbreaking event of 9/11.
Hurricane Katrina was classified as a level 3 storm with winds being around 127 mph. This storm hit landfall on August 29th, 2005 and evaluated total damage to cost around $160 billion. Emergency relief operations used most the federal aid of the United States.
Years later, the population is still not at the same amount as it once was before people were displaced during this natural disaster approx. 200,000 individuals’ lives were uprooted. This hurricane was far from the norm of what the crisis counselors were used to from previous catastrophic events. Most hurricanes are tracked now with the advanced technology. The widespread of the hurricane, nobody could have guessed Katrina could be 93,000 square miles in the same Category level 3 for all the miles it had passed through. After this disaster there were 231 fatalities listed, but still by February of 2006 there were still 2,096 people reported missing.
The Red Cross is “an international philanthropic organization, formed in consequence of the Geneva Convention of 1864, to care for the sick and wounded in war, secure neutrality of nurses, hospitals, etc., and help relieve suffering caused by pestilence, floods, fires, and other calamities.” The Red Cross was criticized during the helping process of the victims and any one harmed or threatened by this dangerous hurricane. Even the Red Cross was shocked by the huge tragic aftermath of this hurricane just as the government officials had been. Nobody expected it to be as widespread as it was. They were not prepared, and they are not to blame for this. The Red Cross was the crisis counselors on call in this tragic situation. They were out to the rescue and hired on thousands more volunteers to handle this event. Complaints being made suggested that phone lines were constantly busy, relief centers were not in reach or hard to find for the groups affected, assistance wasn’t adequate. In this event Red Cross did take the remarks and negative comments about their response team to possibly make themselves better for the future.
Communication skills is number one to me in order to be a good crisis counselor. The parts that go along with this are being able to remind the people reaching out for help and getting the help they need that they are brave and courageous for doing so. Being able to validate with the client that it’s understandable that their stress from a certain disaster that just happened that they personally experienced. Another skill that goes hand in hand with being a crisis counselor is to have empathy. People going through this situation don’t need sympathy they need support and empathy. Someone to support them through the process of getting back on their feet again after possibly losing everything.
Ethically the crisis workers need to be able to be able to decision make on their own if it’s something that the code of ethics can’t resolve on them. They need to behave ethically on their own and make responsible choices. All parties of the disaster need to be considered when coming up with a servicing plan including the first responders, families and individuals directly affected by the disaster so anyone in the communities. In such situations crisis workers need to be aware of their biases and go in knowing so they can help in the best possible way. I personally see no possible biases in a hurricane situation as this is uncontrollable event. Crisis workers can be trained using the ethical model but when out in the field the problem is that this is not practical. They can’t pause and ask themselves what the decision model suggests. They need to be trained to make their best judgment in time sensitive situations.
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