Saturday, August 1, 2020

Finding Comfort During Hard Times: A Guide to Healing After Disaster, Violence, and Other Community Trauma

Finding Comfort During Hard Times: A Guide to Healing After Disaster, Violence, and Other Community Trauma
Author Earl Johnson
File Size: 850 KB
Print Length: 184 pages
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 
Publication Date: March 24, 2020
Sold by: Services LLC

Finding Comfort is a book about easing grief and trauma after unimaginable horrors – mass shootings, catastrophic natural disasters and terrorist acts. Personal recollections of responding to tragedy, combined with a practical application, Earl Johnson offers readers the tools they need to seek support and offer it to those in need. The book walks through the life-cycle of disaster care from the first hours and days to the years that follow.

Having been a care provider in a variety of events, Johnson shares valuable wisdom from those who have worked in the worst situations. Whether you’re a first responder, a care professional, a victim of a disaster, a family member, or following a disaster on television or social media, Finding Comfort gives readers guidance and support. Readers don’t have to wait for tragedy. this work helps one be prepared through examples and practical suggestions. This book is a ready resource to both those in need looking for help and to those wishing to provide it.

My Review

Disasters share much in common and all disaster plans have a philosophical basis for public safety. 

Many of us have been through the usual fire and tornado drills where we'd either line up in a single file and evacuate the building or we'd gather in the lowest possible level,  crouching down and protecting our head from flying debris.

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11,  there was an increased need to create and rehearse many catastrophic disaster scenarios using imagined events. Nowadays, it is pretty commonplace to participate in active shooter training and hostage rescue practices. 

Johnson points out how various drills prepare us for supporting one another during times of uncertainty. He takes a look at the unimaginable and gives us the components for making a disaster plan and building emergency preparedness kits. 

Responders are trained to remain focused during intense situations while offering intuitive and compassionate mental and spiritual healthcare.  Responders are not spared from feeling emotional and physical tension, instead, they must utilize coping skills to reduce burnout and secondary traumatic stress.  

In closing,  this is a well-written book that makes us aware we all can provide humanitarian efforts by applying comfort and mercy in a variety of uncertain circumstances.

I received this book through the generosity of Salvatore Casto/Publicity Assistant with Media Connect/ A Division of Finn Partners

About Earl Johnson:
Earl Johnson was one of the founders of the Spiritual Care Division of the American Red Cross. For 10 years, Earl recruited, trained, and deployed credentialed healthcare chaplains to mass fatality events. His responsibilities included preparedness and response to every domestic mass fatality incident since the weeks after 9/11, including transportation incidents, natural disasters, and criminal acts, as well as being a liaison to faith community disaster response organizations. As an expert in the field of disaster spiritual care Johnson was also involved in the development of the curriculum and support materials for military families “Coping With Deployment” and a contributor to the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD) resource guide, “Light Our Way: A Guide for Spiritual Care in Times of Disaster”.  Earl has been featured as an expert in his field on CNN’s “State of the Union” and MSNBC to discuss the industry of disaster preparedness and the life-cycle of disaster care from the first hours and days to the years that follow. Earl is currently semi-retired.

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