Disasters Throughout My High School And Undergraduate Career

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Disasters Journal Assignment Josephine Heil West Chester University SWG 577 Monday, August 3rd, 2015 The first day of class was very emotional and powerful. Prior to signing up for a social work in disasters course, I reflected on how little I learned about disasters throughout my high school and undergraduate career. I was unaware of the political and race aspects from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I am also extremely overwhelmed by the devastation and emptiness from the catastrophe. Individuals went weeks without being reunited with family members, shelter, and adequate amounts of food and water. Prior to viewing “When The Levees Broke”, I imagined everyone having the ability to evacuate in time and our federal…show more content…
During the first day of class, Professor Bean had our Social Work in Disasters class split up into several different groups. The groups were those who lived in another country, been in a disaster-suffered traumatic loss, worked in a rescue relief, and been a natural helper. I was a part of the natural helper group because of my one-week alternative break trip to the Dominican Republic. Prior to this trip, I was recently declared a social work major, and I was unaware of the various systems social workers work with. This trip taught me so much about how systems work together or for that matter, do not work together. I will never forget the home visits my alternative break group and I went on during our one-week stay. I did not even know it before that the people I met experienced individual and collective trauma. A vast majority of the people I met experienced individual trauma through murders of loved ones, house fires, and sexual abuse. I observed collective trauma through the individual’s experiences with floods, which caused members of the community to have no communication with one another for weeks. I am not sure if it relates, but I also concluded that the election of their new leader was a good example of collective trauma. The community felt hopeless, many people vanished or migrated to the United States and each person lost a close bond. The one
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