The Missing Piece: The Unresearched Factor in Disaster Preparedness
In the areas of disaster preparedness, considerable thought is given to everything from the expected things like emergency resources, medical training, and risk management to the more seemingly removed areas of architecture and engineering. In the areas of disaster relief and recovery, considerable thought is given to the individual, social and cultural costs of the effects of disaster. Importance is rightly attributed to counselling, psychological intervention and appropriate emotional care of the disaster victim. One area that has not received due attention is the pre-paration of people.
Little attention is being paid to the necessity and efficacy of inner resources and spiritual strength as a substantial means of handling, coping with and recovering from both the psychological and physical effects of disaster.
It is proposed that these inner strengths can be learned and practised in times of peace to become a part of the arsenal of techniques available for people to call on in times of disaster.
This would essentially mean that people would survive the experience of disaster with considerably less personal trauma. They could then be a resource to others and so the related costs both economic and social which are multiple would be substantially reduced.
Loved ones can die, material possessions can be lost, health can be compromised but these inner strengths endure.
Tamasin Ramsay (Australia)
Centre for the Study of Health and Society
University of Melbourne
Tamasin was born in Melbourne and grew up in 1970’s Australia. A paramedic by profession, Tamasin has a profound interest in peoples and cultures. This has led her to the study of Medical Anthropology as a graduate student at the University of Melbourne. Having explored eastern spiritual practices as well as working in the hard science environment of pre-hospital emergency medicine, Tamasin is preparing to research the largely unexplored domain of spiritual disaster preparedness.
(30 min Paper Presentation, English)