People can also reduce the impact of disasters (protect against floods, build a house or move it out of harm's way, and secure objects that could come loose in an earthquake) and sometimes avoid danger altogether. When people experience a disaster, they can experience a variety of reactions, many of which are natural responses to difficult situations. Most people show resilience after a disaster. Resilience is the ability to recover, cope with adversity and endure difficult situations.
Fortunately, resiliency in disaster recovery is normal, not extraordinary, and people demonstrate this capacity regularly. Using supportive resources to address stress and other difficulties is a critical component of resilience. That's why it's so important to spend time planning and preparation long before a disaster occurs. A comprehensive and well-documented emergency preparedness plan is essential for all organizations to ensure that they are prepared to address any potential incident, from natural disasters to violent threats.
The SAMHSA Behavioral Health Disaster Response mobile app is designed to help disaster responders ensure that resources are accessible to first responders. The goal of disaster preparedness is to reduce the impact of disasters on vulnerable populations, prepare an organization for an influx of activity, and design a coordinated plan that reduces the waste of resources, time and effort. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does include some important considerations for disaster planning. If you follow your disaster plan, your nonprofit organization may be able to get back up and running quickly and start providing services to populations affected by the disaster.
While it may seem difficult or time-consuming to plan for the unexpected, this apparent inconvenience is much better than finding your organization in a disaster situation, unable to help and serve your community. Preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters and traumatic events is essential to the behavioral health of individuals and communities alike. It's also common for people to show signs of stress after being exposed to a disaster, so it's important to monitor the physical and emotional health of those affected, as well as those who respond to the needs of others. The SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) supports SAMHSA's efforts to prepare states, territories, and tribes to provide an effective behavioral health response to disasters.