WW10 June 22, 2016: The Orlando Tragedy: Another Reminder to Test Your Plan

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Here is your bi-monthly Wednesday Wisdom series from the Family Assistance
Foundation, reminding you that a fully-integrated approach for assisting survivors of
traumatic loss involves a balance of head and heart.

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“Wisdom is not wisdom if it is derived by books alone.”  
                                                                          Horace, Roman poet (65-8 BCE)
“The only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility:
humility is endless.”
                                                                          T.S. Elliot,British poet (1888-1965)

On Sunday, June 12, 2016, Americans awoke to the news of the early morning
mass shooting in the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and the horror of 49
deaths and 53 wounded.  Not unlike the bombings earlier this year at Brussels
Airport, and similar attacks in Paris, France, last fall, and other attacks around the
world, most of us felt powerless and helpless by these unimaginable events, which
threaten our sense of security and wellbeing. And we are greatly saddened by the
enormous losses.  Feelings of compassion and empathy spring forth from within us.

Those whose work involves responding to human suffering are humbled by it all.
In the wake of these losses, as shock begins to wane, we examine our roles and
responsibilities in light of how we can improve our own future responses. We strive
to know how we can integrate lessons learned from these events. In doing so,
we are moved from a sense of powerlessness toward a position of strength and
greater commitment to those we serve.

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“Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up.”
                                                                          Ronald Wright, Canadian Author

As the old saying goes, one is never ready for these shocking traumatic events,
but we can be prepared for much of it, for some components of emergency
response never change.
At the Foundation, we believe that one can never exercise the plan for a total
response too many times during a calendar year, but these events bring special
focus to the critical first few hours of your plan. Have you exercised your call
center recently? Have you tested your notification process for your team? Do all
of the key responders understand what they need to do first, when the news breaks?
These are not all, but a few, of the questions that the recent shootings and
bombings around the world cause us at the Foundation to encourage every
response leader to think about. For as we all know, it is never a case of “if” there
will be a response, but “when.” We hope that you will use these tragic events as
reminders of the need to be as prepared as possible for the unthinkable to strike
your workplace.

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Aviem & Family Assistance Foundation
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Alpharetta, GA 30022

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