Recovering From a Disaster

The impact of a crisis or disaster can shake your workforce. Even if your organization has prepared ahead of time, a real-life experience can be traumatic and life-altering. The stress can take a significant toll on employee morale, health, and productivity. It is vital to include a blueprint on how to recover in your disaster plan in order for your organization to return to regular operations.

Psychological First-Aid

In order to ensure that your employees are granted a smooth transition into post-incident life, you must recognize the responsibility you have for maintaining the psychological health of your workforce. Your human resources department can play a significant role in the context of support in the event of an organizational crisis.

Human resources’ main concern in the aftermath of a crisis should be to provide psychological first aid to employees. Start by distributing written materials to employees that contain information about trauma and 24/7 contact information for Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counseling services.

Next, follow up with staff to assess if additional support might be needed. One type of support is a critical incident stress debriefing (CISD). CISD assists employees in the recovery process from traumatic events by providing support and information in a structured group that is facilitated by an experienced EAP professional.

Addressing the core issues of trauma is a key dynamic before, during, and after a crisis. At the heart of a Trauma-Informed approach is an understanding that a person who is in the midst of a traumatic event, or a person who has experienced trauma chronically, may not have access to all of the higher-level brain functions they normally might. This understanding allows you to recognize that crisis situations require the management of the behaviors of those involved in a much different manner than if those stresses are not present.

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