Effective crisis communication planning requires having accurate demographic information. What languages are spoken in a particular area? Where do the more vulnerable populations live? Who is responsible for making decisions?Effective communication strategies are typically rapid, accurate, and involve input from all those in decision-making positions. Understanding the cultural milieu and support systems may be challenging for responders from the area and even more so for responders from outside of the area. Overlay these obstacles with a technological inability to communicate inside or outside the region, and planning for communication before a crisis then takes on added importance. Additionally, without effective communication plans in place, disaster rumors and inaccurate or outdated information can in turn cause great chaos.Furthermore, vulnerable populations can prove to be the most challenging people to assist after a disaster. As evidenced in the 2010 Haiti earthquake, relief was not immediate because of the existing impoverished pre-disaster conditions. Facilities such as airstrips and roads were in questionable repair, so aid coming in was not readily accessible. Most Haitians are low-income, existing on two U.S. dollars per day, and only 50% of the population is literate and able to read directions in order to find locations for food and water. Factors such as these contributed to difficulties in assisting this vulnerable population in the aftermath of the disaster.To prepare for this Discussion:Review Chapter 2 in your course text, Crisis Intervention Strategies, paying particular attention to multicultural perspectives and considerations.Review the article, Psychological Assessment of Children in Disasters and Emergencies, and focus on the special issues related to assessing the needs of children and adolescents after a crisis. Also concentrate on the different psychological assessment tools that are appropriate for use with this population after a crisis.Review the article, Natural Disasters that Reveal Cracks in Our Social Foundation. Think about the ways in which a break down in services and communication can be avoided for the elderly population during crises like the 2003 France heat wave.Review the article, The Transformation of Traditional Mental Health Service Delivery in Multicultural Society in California, USA That Can Be Replicated Globally, paying particular attention to the necessity of mental health services as a top priority during crises.Review the article, Vulnerable Populations in an American Red Cross Shelter After Hurricane Katrina, and think about the ways in which the Model of Vulnerable Populations helps address crises wherein people suffer from multiple losses in their communities. Also think about appropriate mental health obligations that should be taken into consideration when working with vulnerable populations during and after a crisis.Review the article, Responding to Student or Teacher Death: Preplanning Crisis Intervention, and focus on the importance of communicating with parents and students, as well as fostering a grieving process that facilitates healing after a student or teacher death.Reflect on your Application Assignment from this week and think about the alternative communication systems and strategies that can be used when assisting individuals who have experienced a crisis. Also think about the ways in which to reach and communicate with vulnerable populations in these same situations.Choose one alternative communication system/strategy and one strategy for communicating with and reaching vulnerable populations that you described in your Application Assignment from this week.With these thoughts in mind:Post by Day 5 a brief description of the alternative communication system/strategy that you chose and one example of how it was used during/after a crisis. Then provide a brief description of the strategy for reaching and communicating with vulnerable populations that you chose and one example of how it was effectively used during/after a crisis
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