Red Cross Disaster Recovery Officer - Paper Example

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Vanderbilt University
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The term crisis characterizes to a situation where persons or group of persons are affected by a single or multiple critical problems. Today, it is imperative to implement effective crisis interventions that can be employed in managing and averting the occurrence of various catastrophes. Additionally, crisis management is an important undertaking that should be executed by all organizations. It is also considered to be an integral part of an entitys risk management plan. This is a field trip report that summarizes the crisis management process that a Red Cross disaster management officer - Moses - undertook during a water-borne disease outbreak crisis.

Persons Background and Qualifications

Prior to being employed by Red Cross as a disaster recovery officer, Moses had taken a bachelor degree in food science. He completed the degree with a second upper division during his graduation. Additionally, one year later, he enrolled in a two-year Masters degree program in Dietetics. Moreover, after successfully completing the Masters program, Moses enrolled for a Ph.D. in nutritional research. Also, six months after completing his Ph.D., Moses was offered a one-year internship position with the United States Food and Drug Administration Agency (FDA). Additionally, after the internship, Moses worked as a junior lecturer at the New York University for two years.

Furthermore, it is not until two years ago when Moses enrolled for the disaster recovery officers position with the Red Cross organization. Additionally, the primary reason why Moses enrolled for this position was the attractive salary package. However, having participated in voluntary work for three years while in high school, Moses felt that working with Red Cross would help him assist persons affected by the food/water-related crisis. Additionally, Moses has a rich background in food science, and as such, he felt that he would offer an essential contribution to the Red Cross Foundation. Since then, Moses has functioned in Red Cross, and he took part in managing the water-borne disease outbreak crisis that occurred six months ago.

Duration That the Disaster Recovery Officer Has Been Involved in Crisis Intervention

Moses has been involved with the crisis interventions for a period of two years. This is also the period that he has worked with Red Cross. Additionally, Moses has participated in a total of four crises in four different regions in the nation. However, during the last recorded water-borne disease outbreak crisis, Moses was actively involved in it as a recovery officer for a period of six months. The crisis occurred due to heavy flooding that affected the Iztapalapa slum, which is situated in Mexico. Additionally, the flooding occurred following two months of heavy rainfall in the region.

Description of How the Disaster Recovery Officer Got into Crisis Intervention

Primarily, Moses got into his job as a disaster recovery officer through his job position with Red Cross. Having functioned as a lecturer at the University of New York for two years, Moses felt that the job position was not offering him enough financial compensation like he would have desired. As a result, he started employing for vacant job positions with various organizations in the United States, including Red Cross. Fortunately, he excelled in the interview that was conducted by the Red Cross human resource department and later secured his role as a crisis interventionist with the organization.

Changes in Crisis Intervention That Occurred in the Last Five Years

Although Moses has not worked with Red Cross for five years, he stated that he learned from regular personnel meetings that two major changes have occurred in the organization over the last five-year period. The first change is with respect to the type of equipment used in facilitating the disaster recovery process. In this case, modern technologies like the Internet and ultra-modern pathogen detection technologies have been incorporated into equipment used to detect the level of contamination facing the victims of a crisis in a location. Consequently, such improvements in the forms of equipment used by the Red Cross has helped in saving the lives of many crisis victims in the nation.

Additionally, Moses also stated that he evidenced a significant change in the methods of transporting the crisis victims from the disaster stricken areas to the nearest medical facilities. Initially, after the first aid medical assistance was administered to the patients at the site of crisis, ambulance automobiles were used to take victims to the nearest hospital. However, at times, lives were lost due to traffic encountered by the ambulances at the major highways in the nation. Nevertheless, today, the Red Cross through the support of the government and other humanitarian organizations, has acquired emergency response helicopters. Consequently, this has immensely improved the rate at which the crisis victims are taken to the medical institutions.

Discussion of Whether the Crisis Intervention Has Changed and to What Degree

Additionally, from Moses responses, he believed that the level of Crisis intervention at the Red Cross organization has changed. This is because the organization has a faster response rate to the sites of crisis than they were five years ago. Moreover, the Red Cross foundation has managed to save a larger number of persons affected by crises in the nation than it did five years ago. Furthermore, the recovery rate of persons residing in the affected regions has increased tremendously, as compared to the same rate five years ago. As such, Moses believes that the level of crisis intervention by Red Cross in the nation has increased to a remarkably high degree.

Lessons Learned from the Disaster Recovery Officer That Can Be Used as Advice for Students Studying Disaster Recovery and Crisis Management

According to Moses, three primary crisis management lessons can be employed to teach other students. The first lesson should be to define the crisis. In this case, the leader of the Red Cross disaster recovery team should start by ascertaining the nature of the crisis. This is imperative in order to offer essential guidelines to his/her team members responsible for handling the prevailing crisis. The second lesson that can be learned about crisis management is the importance of effective leadership by the team leaders when handling a crisis. In this case, a good leader should coordinate all the efforts of his team effectively in order to ensure that an effective disaster recovery outcome has been attained.

Additionally, the third lesson attained from the field trip research is that it is important for a person to carry out an active threat intelligence research. This should be performed before or at the time a crisis occurs. Moreover, this process entails executing thorough research pertaining the causes of the crisis at an identified disaster location site. This should be executed based on the information available to the disaster management team at the moment. Consequently, having sufficient information about the crisis from such a research allows the disaster recovery personnel to make essential decisions on how to manage the identified crisis.

Brief Overview of What the Textbook Says About Crisis Intervention and a Comparison with the Disaster Recovery Officers Experience

In light of the textbook lessons acquired, crisis intervention should be considered to be an intricate process that should be executed in a series of steps. In this case, the six steps model of a crisis intervention should include defining the crisis, ensuring client safety, providing support to the affected persons, examining alternatives, making plans and lastly making a commitment. From the report gathered from the disaster recovery officer, it is evident that his experiences while functioning at the Red Cross organization validate what has been learned in the textbook about crisis intervention. Additionally, Moses confirmed that the Red Cross organization strongly emphasizes that its disaster recovery personnel should use the six steps when crisis intervention. Moreover, the Red Cross trains the six functions of crisis intervention to all personnel working in their crisis management department several times a year.

Discussion on Whether the Disaster Recovery Officers Experience Adds Anything to Lessons Learned from the Course Materials

From the field report, several lessons could be learned about crisis intervention that was not offered in the course materials. First, the intervention to be administered by the recovery officers varies depending on the type and severity of the crisis. For instance, persons who have severe wounds following a natural crisis like an earthquake or tsunami cannot be offered equal recovery measures with persons suffering from mild stomach pains due to food/water-contamination poisoning. Additionally, in cases of different crisis, the assigned disaster recovery personnel are trained in determining the level and type of interventions that they should offer to the affected population.

Additionally, the course materials did not outline when crisis counseling should be employed, and in which forms of crisis. However, from the responses attained from the disaster recovery officer, it is evident that crisis counseling should be offered to all the persons affected by various forms of crisis. Moreover, from Moses report, crisis counseling must be administered to the affected persons to aid them to restore equilibrium in their biopsychosocial functioning. Moses also stated that counseling all persons affected by a crisis, irrespective of the nature of the crisis aids in minimizing the possible long term risks of them developing psychological trauma.


In conclusion, a crisis defines a situation where persons or group of persons are affected by a single or multiple critical problems. Additionally, it is imperative to implement effective crisis management interventions that can be employed to control the nature and severity of an occurring crisis. For this reason, it is an important undertaking that must be executed by all organizations, such as the Red Cross, which are responsible for helping all persons affected by various forms of crisis. Additionally, from the featured field trip report, it is evident that the disaster recovery personnel must be well educated. Additionally, they must be trained on how to employ the six steps of crisis interventions in executing their roles. These steps include defining the crisis, ensuring client safety, providing support to the affected persons, examining alternatives, making plans and lastly making a commitment.

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