Support for the Supporters: Caring for First Responders after Disaster
Tues. 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., Interlocken C
How do we ensure that those who care for survivors—the first responders, volunteers, and others caught up in the disaster aftermath—receive the proper health care and support that they need?
First responders, emergency managers, volunteers, and others have a tremendous responsibility to care for and protect individuals affected by disaster. This often requires long hours away from home, often in physically dangerous environments. In an era of more intense and frequent disasters, it also may mean working with larger numbers of community members who have experienced great loss, shock, and trauma—all of which can take a toll on the responders’ physical and mental wellbeing. Panelists will discuss the availability of physical and mental health resources for first responders, highlight gaps and challenges in offering these services, and recommend ways to improve support for those who support disaster survivors.