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Disastershock Handbook

How to Cope with the Emotional Stress of a Major Disaster

Disastershock Handbook
Two versions below:

Microsoft Word Format

Adobe Acrobat Format

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Written By:
Brian Gerrard, Ph.D.
Emily Girault, Ph.D.
Valerie Appleton, Ed.D.
Suzanne Giraurdo, Ed.D.
Sue Shaffer, Ed.D.

This handbook is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Elizabeth Bigelow and Dr. Larry Palmatier who inspired us through their courage, love, and commitment to helping others.


This book is intended to help you and your family to cope with disastershock. Part 1 describes ten effective methods you and other adults can use to reduce stress. Part 2 describes stress reduction methods you can use with your children. Teachers and other adults working with children will also find Part 2 useful.

Exerpt from the Introduction

"All disasters, whether caused by earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, explosions, terrorist attacks, volcanoes, tidal waves, airplane or automobile accidents, train wrecks, murder, etc. have one thing in common: Disastershock. Disastershock is the emotional stress that adults and children experience following a disaster.

Those who are killed in a disaster, and their families, are obviously victims of a disaster. Yet the suffering of those who are indirectly affected by a disaster can also be enormous. Disastershock can continue to affect more vulnerable adults and children for up to years following the disaster. This book is intended to help you to reduce disaster-related stress in yourself and in your family members. it is a first-aid manual in disaster stress reduction."