Thinking about my past experiences with flooding in Alberta, and how we used the attached graphic to help create our Recovery plans. Not to mention the move from the “Honeymoon” Phase into “Disillusionment” as I listen to the coverage on television and the accolades being given in all directions. Yes, every disaster is different, but we are still social beings and as emergency managers we know what to expect next in the Fraser Valley;

Every disaster is different – both for responders and survivors. But research and case studies have shown a rather predictable psychosocial outcome. This graphic developed by Zunin/Meyers, has been cited by various researchers to illustrate the phases that may be experienced after a disaster. The “y” axis showing the highs and lows of emotions, and the “x” axis identifying time.

As the fires enveloped Fort McMurray the impact was swift and massive effectively challenging residents and responders to react heroically which they did, and in most cases still are. We are currently witnessing the “Honeymoon” phase that signifies community cohesion as Albertans and Canadians rally to maintain some sort of normalcy for the survivors. Inevitably, there will be a move into “Disillusionment” and the long road to recovery will begin.

One thing is for certain: Fort Mac Will Fight Back.

For more detailed research and theory on the Zunin/Meyers Graph see;

Training Manual For Mental Health and Human Service Workers in Major Disasters by Deborah J. DeWolfe, Ph.D., M.S.P.H.

Forewarned and Forearmed The Calgary Emergency Management Agency and the 2013 Flood by The Conference Board of Canada

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