Crisis Response Education and Resources

Access these resource areas for increasing knowledge, enhancing skills, and gaining experience in crisis response

On-line Education & Self-Study


"The Therapist" - Members of the Crisis Response Education and Resources Committee have published articles in the CAMFT professional journal on various crisis topics with recommendations for planning response services.  Select the following link to read the articles at the CAMFT Community.  



Literature & Media


  • Acosta, Judith, LCSW and Judith Simon Prager, PhD. The Worst is Over: Verbal First Aid to Calm, Relieve Pain, Promote Healing, and Save Lives. 2002

  • De Jong, Peter and Insoo Kim Berg. Interviewing for Solutions “Chapter 10 – Interviewing in Crisis Situations.” 2002

  • DeWolfe, Deborah J., PhD, MSPH. Mental Health Response to Mass Violence and Terrorism. 2004

  • DeWolfe, Deborah J., PhD, MSPH. Training Manual for Mental Health and Human Services Workers in Major Disasters. 2000

  • Dietz, Timothy W., BS. Scenes of Compassion: A Responder’s Guide for Dealing with Emergency Scene Emotional Crisis. 2001

  • Dyregrov, Atle. Psychological Debriefing: A Leader’s Guide for Small Group Crisis Intervention. 2003

  • Everly, George S., Jr., PhD and Jeffery T. Mitchell, PhD. Critical Incident Stress Debriefing: An Operations Manual for CISD, Defusing, and Other Group Crisis Intervention Services. 1993

  • Everly, George S., Jr., PhD and Jeffery T. Mitchell, PhD. Critical Incident Stress Management: A New Era and Standard of Care in Crisis Intervention. 1997

  • Farberow, Norman L. and Norma S. Gordon. Manual for Child Health Workers in Major Disasters.1981

  • Johnson, Kendall, PhD. Classroom Crisis: The Teacher’s Guide. 2004

  • Johnson, Kendall, PhD. School Crisis Management: A Hands-on Guide to Training Crisis Response Teams. 2000

  • Lee, Russell and Dan Casey, ed. Crisis and Trauma in Colleges and Universities. 2004

  • Lerner, Mark D., PhD and Raymond D. Shelton, PhD. Comprehensive Acute Traumatic Stress Management: Addressing the Emergent Psychological Needs of Individuals, Groups, and Organizations Before, During, and After a Traumatic Event. 2005

  • Myers, Diane, RN, MSN. Disaster Response and Recovery: A Handbook for Mental Health Professionals. 1994

  • Oriol, William. Psychosocial Issues for Older Adults in Disasters. 1999

  • Roberts, Albert R., ed. Crisis Intervention Handbook: Assessment, Treatment, and Research. 2000

  • Schoenfeldt, Mary. Picking up the Pieces: Responding to School Crisis. 1999


 Internet  Resources  


  1. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery program provides communities and responders with behavioral health resources that help them prepare, respond, and recover from disasters.
  2. SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline is a national hotline dedicated to providing year-round immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
  3. The Headington Institute strengthens humanitarian and emergency response organizations by promoting the wellbeing of their staff through self-care techniques, resources and support and promoting physical hardiness, emotional resilience, and spiritual vitality of humanitarian relief and emergency response personnel.
  4. The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC) has the latest information on childhood trauma, trauma-informed care, research, interventions and resources. 


 Social Media 


 Phone Apps


  1. SAMHSA’s Social Media and Disasters provides resources for public and private institutions and individual citizens to use social media to spread essential disaster-related messages to the masses in real time.

  2. Red Cross Mobile Apps for Natural Disaster: Emergency App, Hurricane App, Tornado App, Earthquake App, Flood App, Wildfire App.

  3. FEMA Mobile App: Prepare, Weather Alerts Disaster Resources, Disaster Reporter, Social Hub, FEMA Blog



  Free Trainings


1. The American Red Cross provides free Disaster Training for all volunteers. Trainings are both online and in-person depending on the course. Go to STEP 4 – The American Red Cross.  




 Fee Trainings 


1. The International Critical Incident Stress Foundation offers Regional Trainings throughout the United States, a World Congress on Stress, Trauma, and Coping every other year and lists local trainings by ICISF Approved Instructors.



 Helpful Handouts 


For Clinicians  

  1. Crisis Intervention: What is not Helpful
  2. Psychological First Aid: What to Do
  3. Tips for Talking with Children

For Chapters

  1. Crisis Response Guidelines and Suggestions for Chapters

For Clients

  1. Common Reactions to a Critical Incident
  2. Critical Incident Stress Information Sheet: Things to Try
  3. Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Other Traumatic Event
  4. Talking to Children about Hate Crimes and Anti-Semitism
  5.  The Psychological Impact of the Recent Shooting
  6. Tips for Parents on Media Coverage
  7. Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after the Recent Shooting
  8. Helping Young Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers
  9. Helping School-Age Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers
  10. Helping Teens with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers
  11. Helping Youth After Community Trauma: Tips for Educators
  12. After a Crisis: Helping Young Children Heal
  13. Guiding Adults in Talking to Children About Death and Attending Services


Volunteer Opportunities


American Red Cross provides relief when disasters strike for those affected by residential fires, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, transportation accidents, terrorist attacks, mudslides and other man-made and natural disasters. See STEP 4 American Red Cross



California Disaster Healthcare VolunteersCalifornia Disaster Healthcare Volunteers (DHV) is part of a nationwide, government lead, locally administered effort to recruit, train and deploy volunteers to assist in the event of disaster impacting the public health or health systems. This includes Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and the Emergency System for the Advanced Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP). Mental health professionals and others who are interested can find additional information and sign up to volunteer at the Disaster Healthcare Volunteer’s Resource Page.  


icisf Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Teams are local groups of emergency responders, community volunteers, and mental health professionals who have organized to provide CISM services. The International Critical Incident Stress Foundation maintains an Emergency Hot Line to refer individuals, organizations, and communities in need to more than 200 active CISM Teams world-wide.


The Los Angeles Mayor's Crisis Response TeamThe Los Angeles Mayor’s Crisis Response Team (CRT) was established in 1998 to assist the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) in crisis situations. The CRT responds to homicides, suicides, death notification assistance, domestic violence support, officer involved shootings, infant deaths, and serious traffic collisions. With over 250 screened and highly-trained volunteers, the CRT works in collaboration with many city, county, and community-based organizations. Members of the Mental Health arm of the Crisis Response Team have found this work to be profoundly meaningful and rewarding, and invaluable in gaining crisis intervention and trauma experience. The program continues to grow in efficacy, efficiency and the esteem with which it is held by law enforcement and fire agencies. Interested parties should contact the CRT Program Manager and Mental Health Specialist, Mandy Pifer, LMFT to discuss further.


The Medical Reserve Corps

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. The MRC network comprises 996 community-based units and over 200,000 volunteers located throughout the United States and its territories. MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals, as well as other community members without healthcare backgrounds. MRC units engage these volunteers to strengthen public health, improve emergency response capabilities and build community resiliency. They prepare for and respond to natural disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, and floods, as well as other emergencies affecting public health, such as disease outbreaks.

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Program is the national office of the MRC and is housed within the Office of Emergency Management's (OEM) Partner Readiness and Emergency Programs (PREP) Division, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Visit the website to volunteer or partner with your local MRC.


The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army was founded in 1865 as an Evangelical Christian Mission in London, England by William and Catherine Booth. The name was later changed to The Salvation Army in 1878 to match its adopted quasi-military style and outlook. The Salvation Army began operations in the United States in 1880.

The Salvation Army is a faith-based organization that welcomes your volunteerism regardless of your personal beliefs. This international relief organization provides physical, emotional, and spiritual care for survivors of local, national, and international disasters. It is typically one of the first organizations on the ground in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and virtually the last out - long after other organizations have ended their relief operations. Depending upon the incident and your own life circumstances you can volunteer for a few days or several weeks. The Salvation Army relies upon trained disaster workers to coordinate emergency relief operations and deliver fast, efficient service to disaster survivors. To volunteer register at the closest Division Headquarters and enroll in the National Disaster Training Program.

Paid Opportunities

R3 ContinuumR3 Continuum (Ready, Respond, Recover) offers services to ensure that organizations are ready for major disruptive events, able to respond successfully to these events (including workplace or threat of violence incidents), and equipped to accelerate employee recovery and return to work outcomes. R3 has a nationwide network of clinicians and consultants who daily help  people to lead productive, meaningful lives.  Being a network member provides you with the opportunity to diversify your practice while earning supplemental income with a flexible schedule. We provide all network members with ongoing training, tools, support, and feedback. 


Disaster Medical Assistance TeamDisaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) is a group of professional and para-professional medical personnel designed to provide medical care during a disaster or other event. Local DMATs recruit personnel for specific vacancies, plan for training opportunities, and coordinate the deployment of the teams. DMATs are designed to be a rapid-response element to supplement local medical care until other Federal or contract resources can be mobilized, or the situation is resolved. DMATs deploy to disaster sites with sufficient supplies and equipment to sustain themselves for a period of 72 hours while providing medical care at a fixed or temporary medical care site. The personnel are activated for a period of two weeks. DMATs are principally a community resource available to support local, regional, and State requirements. However, as a National resource they can be federalized. DMAT personnel are required to maintain appropriate certifications and licensure within their discipline. When personnel are activated as Federal employees, licensure and certification is recognized by all States. Additionally, DMAT personnel are paid while serving as intermittent federal employees and have the protection of the Federal Tort Claims Act in which the Federal Government becomes the defendant in the event of a malpractice claim. You can locate area teams with mental health units at Disaster Medical Services.


Resilience to Recovery

Resilience to Recovery offers crisis response consulting and readiness training to corporations, non-profits and government agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area. We offer direct critical incident response and recovery services to organizations dealing with traumatic events. We help your organization prepare by training your staff to be ready for the moment crisis strikes.