Visit your local city’s web page (e.g., New York City’s web page is www.nyc.gov (Links to an external site.) and the city of Miami’s web page is www.miamigov.com (Links to an external site.)), state’s web page (e.g., www.texas.gov (Links to an external site.) or www.ca.gov (Links to an external site.)), and FEMA | Federal Emergency Management Agency (Links to an external site.).
Identify two resources offered by your city and two resources offered by FEMA to aid victims recovering from a terrorist attack or natural disaster, and analyze how these resources work and how victims can utilize and find these resources.
Evaluate how local, state, and federal agencies could better advertise and be more organized to provide meaningful mental health and trauma support to victims of disasters.
Local and Federal Disaster Resources
Local and Federal Disaster Resources
New York offers numerous resources to aid the recovery process for the victims of natural disasters and terror attacks. These resources include medical and counseling expenses and occupational or vocational rehabilitation. FEMA, on the other hand, provides immediate funds to construct short-term houses, repair damaged homes, and covers medical and dental services. The recovery process is usually sensitive and challenging time for survivors. Therefore, New York City has devised plans to administer and utilize these resources to ensure maximum benefit to the survivors. This paper seeks to analyze how these resources work, where they are located and how victims can them in the best way possible.
These resources are eligible for all citizens; victims do not necessarily have to be residents in New York. All members of the state are advised to visit the New York State Office of Victim Services to fill a claim to access immediate help. Once verified, survivors are introduced into the medical program to assess their physical and psychological status(Office for Victims of Crime). It is also a protocol for all family members to undergo therapy to understand the condition of a close relative having mental issues. For transparency and equal distribution of resources, members should follow the criteria stipulated by the New York office of the state Office of Victim Services.
The New York Office sensitizes the public through circular and advertisement to seek medical and counseling services for any person experiencing disaster stress in the community. They advise victims not to shy away from addressing the medical problems but to come and receive aid. Victims are encouraged to make maximum use of these resources by visiting the ovs.ny.gov online program to access a secure victim portal and fill an application form. However, if one is not in a position to visit the physical office access, various agencies or advocates can be contacted to offer administrative help. To ensure equitable distribution of resources to all counties, New York Office Victim Office provides public access to all funding and expenditure sent to disaster-stricken areas.
Access to a rehabilitation center or vocational center involves planning between the medical department and the psychiatrists on the field. Liaison between these two departments facilitates smooth transitions of survivors into the rehabilitation centers with ease. However, it is the mandate of the New York Office of Victim Services to ensure recuperation for the victims. Survivors in the rehabilitation are urged to reside in the centers until recovery or until the terror attacks or natural disasters seize. Doing these ensures maximum recovery and proper inauguration to society. Victims having mental or trauma problems are encouraged to visit the mobile clinics and campaigns to record their ailment with the deployed doctors to initiate the process of medical care.
FEMA works in close collaboration with the state Office for Victim service. However, FEMA offers immediate, on-site help urgently need by victims to foster quick recovery. FEMA does not necessarily employ a virtual verification system to determine the eligibility of victims to resources. The agency controls the flow of federal funds to the local and state agencies. Its main aim is to balance the systemic and orderly means of the local and state Government.These powers accord the agency the responsibility to distribute grants to set up temporary housing as well as the appropriate medical, dental care for the victims. These resources provide the much needed optimum medical and trauma care while other grants cater to the in-place shelter. FEMA is committed to providing relief before and after disasters. It abides by its mission, “A nation prepared.” The agency coordinates the Federal government role resource distribution to the victims (FEMA, 2019). FEMA is the medium through which physical and financial assistance flows from the national level to state and local governments. Therefore mobilization of resources has mostly facilitated the agency.
Evaluation of Local, state, and federal governments
Local, state, and federal governments play a pivotal role in the provision of medical aid to traumatized populations. It is, therefore, crucial for these agencies to adopt and implement apt models to deliver mental and trauma care. To do this, they have to identify the distinct symptoms for both terror and natural disaster victims. Survivors of disaster-stricken are highly likely to present different stress reaction disorders compared to victims of terror attacks. Meaningful health and trauma support system includes a disaster oriented, amalgamated, and freely linked substructure that connects the psychiatrist and the agencies. It is essential to point out that as much as competent and able mental health care professionals are deployed to post-crisis zones. Government agencies are still making decisions that impact the life situation of the victims (PMC, 2002).
Assessment of a victim’s mental state requires differences between groups of survivors. The evaluation can further be represented based on the physical impact of the catastrophe as direct or indirect. Primary survivors are those who were exposed to the traumatic event, while indirectly refers to a secondary survivor who is an immediate family member grieving the loss of a primary victim or close relative. Third-level survivors are the medical servicemen, clergymen, red cross officials, and mental health officers, while the fourth-level victims are the media, press reporters, and Government representatives. And lastly, grouped as fifth-level victims are the passive viewers and listeners of the devastating attacks who experience shock and distress on receiving the news. Government agencies should devise frameworks that recognize and meets the needs of every survivor affected by tragic events. Also, they should assign time frames according to the occurrence of the disaster to help in identifying the responses of survivors and the programs that are organized to help them. These time frames are either short term or long term threats. By identifying the post-traumatic response, the agencies can structure more detailed frameworks to meet the needs of every victim. Accordingly, local, state, and federal agencies need to prioritize to provide a preventive mental health program that seeks to curb the terror and natural disaster woes. The program involves setting up in-place shelter, vocational centers in the height of catastrophic events to mitigate family displacements and further destruction of the communities.
Conducting outreach programs aids in helping the victims’ to understand their change in behaviors, sleeping problems, unclear thinking, and come into terms with it to regain their natural balance. Information is provided to assure them that their reaction and response is normal due to the tragic events they have experienced. Disasters affect lives, destroy properties, and cause extreme loss. It is, therefore, crucial to administer preventive mental health services as a large population is at the risk of adverse psychological issues and trauma. A well-structured system should include details of the structural and physical aspects of the victims and survivors.
Communication between the three agencies also has a role to play in the devising and adopting meaningful mental and trauma support. Local, state and Federal Agencies should establish in-depth strategies to oversee disaster communication and issue management to relay information that can be used to make informed decisions. There should be highly useful links that connect the victims to Government agencies. However, the agencies should issue, circulars, and briefs to the masses to facilitate awareness of the programs and services in place to aid their recovery. Following these, victims in the disaster-stricken areas will mobilize themselves and cooperate with the efforts of the Government agencies. It is also imperative for the local, state, and federal agencies to identify the lines of authority from the local to the national levels. The victims want to know what are the measures taken in determining the next action in their recovery journey. Being on the know-how cultivates a positive behavior and general approval of the services being offered by the Government agencies. Creating proper mediums of distributing information will also eliminate the stigma associated with related mental cases and the physical separation of mental health disorders from medical services. Also, effective communication methods will increase awareness of the mental illness and facilitate more victims to seek medical attention before the condition deteriorates.
With a mutually inclusive system, the Local, state, and federal agencies and will match their advertisements and Organizations to suit the physical and physiological state of the victims.
FEMA. (2019). About the Agency. Retrieved November 6, 2019, from FEMA: https://www.fema.gov/about-agency
Office for Victims of Crime. (n.d.). Support for the Victims of the Terrorist Attack in New York City. Retrieved October 6, 2019, from Office for Victims of Crime: esources offered by your city and two resources offered by FEMA to aid victims recovering from a terrorist attack or natural disaster, and analyze how these resources work and how victims can utilize and find these resources.
PMC. (2002). Mental health services for victims of disasters. Official Journal of thr World Psychiatric Association, 149-152.