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In order to be fully ready to give service to our communities in times of crises, we must have our personal and professional lives in order. We have to ask ourselves: “Do I have the aptitude demanded for dealing with highly charged emotional events? Is now the right time? Is my family ready and able to care for itself while I am occupied with this work? Can my place of business and finances withstand my absence as well?” It’s important to take a clear, realistic look at our current life situation, be honest with our assessment, judge the level of commitment we can make, and understand and accept the consequences of assuming such an obligation.
The Crisis Response Self-questionnaire is a good starting place to help decide if now is a suitable time. The Compassion Satisfaction and Fatigue (CSF) Test is another instrument that can be useful for self-analysis. Life is fluid so it can be beneficial to periodically use these tools to discover any changes in one’s circumstances. Of course, talking with family, friends, and professional colleagues can also give you another perspective and help in making a proper decision for yourself.
The Department of Homeland Security has developed Ready as a national public service campaign designed to empower individuals and communities prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. Ready offers the following documents among many others:
1. Make a Family Communications Plan
2. Build a Kit
3 Emergency Supply List
4. Evacuating Yourself and Your Family
CAMFT members can access the following documents to prepare a plan to meet their workplace obligations:
Will Writing and Office Preparedness
Preparation requires you to consider your family, social, and work life. When you are confident that your family is safe and well cared for and your work obligations are covered, you can focus all your attention on your crisis response duties and responsibilities.
Now that you have addressed your personal, family and work preparations, it's time to prepare yourself with proper crisis response training. Begin by selecting STEP 2 – Professional Development.