Monday, April 11, 2016
I Hope This Was Useless
- Morbidly enough, the first week or so after the event is the “honeymoon.” That’s when sympathy is highest. It ends with the last funeral.
- Language matters. The college decided to refer to the victims as “the Umpqua Nine.” That number specifically excluded the killer, who also died.
- They called him the “killer,” rather than the “shooter.” Shooters could be hunters or target shooters. This was a killer.
- They had to designate an area on campus to keep the flowers, teddy bears, and various other tokens of sympathy that arrived.
- Before raising the flag from half-mast, they had a bagpipe ceremony to mark the occasion. You don’t want people to see a raised flag as a slap in the face.
- You don’t have access to a crime scene. That means employees couldn’t get their purses, car keys, or various other belongings for a week.
- Umpqua is on a quarter system, so it happened on the fourth day of class. It does financial aid reporting based on the fifth day. They needed help communicating with the Feds to get waivers.
- Statewide coordinating bodies of community college administrators -- yes, they exist -- can become valuable resources when the local administration is overwhelmed. They had to perform what Spilde called a “dance” of respecting the authority of the local leaders while still making sure that key decisions got made when they had to. And as Spilde noted, nobody is at their best in the wake of incredible trauma.
- Counselors were necessary for nearly everybody.
They talk about different phases of recovery which seemed to fit in with what you were talking about.
(Editing the bottom half of this page - http://www.allright.org.nz/our-research/)
The Heroic Phase
This is the first phase following any disaster – it's a time when adrenalin is running high and there's a massive focus on saving each other and property.
The Honeymoon Phase
This can extend from one week to several months after the disaster. It's a time when hope and optimism are at the forefront. There's a feeling that help will continue to be available and that things will return to normal soon. Typically there is a lot of help and emotional support available at this time and people feel very proud of surviving the event.
The Disillusionment Phase
This is the phase where reality sets in. People start to realise how long recovery is going to take and the red tape involved. The length and severity of this phase will depend on the extent of loss and the resources available but it can last several years.
Good news! This phase sees people gradually returning to their regular routines and life 'as normal'.
Their front page is worth looking at too.
It's winding down now although there are still big aftershocks every now and then.