Before you read Sally Kestin’s excellent and scary South Florida-Sentinel article on the FEMA-funded Project HOPE you should put together a preparedness kit—no, not duct tape, flashlight and bottled water:
I recommend a box of tissues (to wipe away the tears of laughter), paper towels (to clean up the coffee-spit), something to bite on (Gumby?) for the teeth-gnashing, and a bottle of Bourbon. Here’s why:
$22.6 million is being spent on 450 “counselors” to help Wilma and Katrina hurricane victims cope with psychological trauma.
The trouble is that most of the “counselors” are utterly unqualified and with FEMA itself preventing them from actually finding those they are supposed to be helping, time and money is being spent on therapy for the “counselors” themselves!
It’s unclear whether the “stress management” efforts are the same for the hurricane victims as they are for the “counselors”, but here’s an example:
Hand out a diagram of a piece of Swiss cheese and have each person write three things in three of the holes that they can do right now and have control over. (i.e. read tonight to their kids, take a bubble bath tonight, get a massage tomorrow, etc.)."
Call me crazy but I think that kind of activity and advice would increase stress, not reduce it. In fact I’m getting totally stressed-out by this right now. Maybe I should get some counseling myself.