Assignment: Culturally Effective Disaster Responses
Note: You are required to complete the Assignment by Day 3 of this week.
Effective crisis intervention requires an awareness and appreciation of the culture(s) in which survivors exist. This is especially true in the broad context of a natural disaster. When a natural disaster impacts a large area, social and cultural infrastructures (such as schools, places of worship, hospitals, and neighborhoods) may be destroyed, making it difficult for survivors to recover and local crisis workers to intervene. In response to natural disasters of such magnitude, crisis workers from nearby regions must familiarize themselves with local and cultural conventions prior to intervening.
For this Assignment, you will analyze cultural considerations related to the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Then, you will evaluate the cultural effectiveness of the response efforts in each.
To prepare for this Assignment:
- Consider the populations impacted by the Sri Lankan tsunami and Hurricane Katrina and the mental health risk factors associated with such populations.
- Reflect on crisis intervention strategies and/or skills employed by crisis workers responding to survivors of these two disasters.
- Think about the attributes of culturally effective crisis workers, culturally effective crisis intervention strategies, and cultural barriers that might impact disaster response. Also, consider how survivors’ cultural beliefs and backgrounds might impact how they respond to disasters.
- Conduct your own research on the populations impacted by the 2010 Haitian earthquake and the 2011 Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis, and consider how cultural beliefs might have impacted diagnosis and treatment of disaster-related psychological problems. Also, consider the crisis intervention strategies and/or skills employed by the disaster response workers and Community Support Officers.
- Identify crisis intervention strategies and/or skills employed by the 2004 Sri Lankan Community Support Officers, and the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, 2010 Haitian earthquake, and 2011 Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis workers. Then, think about cultural considerations related to responding to the diverse populations of survivors. Reflect on whether or not such crisis intervention strategies and/or skills met the needs of survivors and were culturally effective.
The Assignment: (1–2 pages)
- Analyze some of the cultural considerations faced by the crisis workers who responded to the Sri Lankan tsunami and Hurricane Katrina disasters.
- Explain why or why not you think the response efforts for the Sri Lankan tsunami and Hurricane Katrina disasters were effective or ineffective, and if possible compare or contrast them with the response efforts for the 2010 Haitian earthquake, and 2011 Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis. Provide specific examples of crisis strategies and/or skills employed in each disaster to support your explanation.
Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation.