Day 4: Critical Response Team & Wally

Due to the nature of this deployment, these blogposts have been on hold until they have been cleared for release.

This has been a super controlled and well organized disaster response as a whole. My teammates who have been on critical response deployments before, say that the response for man-made disasters seems to be more regulated overall than for natural disasters. Possibly in part due to the fact that local agencies and organizations are less likely to have staff or buildings of their own directly affected, so they are able to coordinate relief services on full capacity.

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This is our full team. Erin and I were the child life specialists on the team. Erin was able to arrive a day before me, and she stay for two days before she needed to return to work. We also have one early childhood mental health therapist, a social worker, and a physician, and all have been trained for working with kids post disaster.

We continue to have valuable interactions and opportunities and those interactions of course still need to handled with high confidentiality so I am unable to go into detail. I was hearing today how local organizations have been asking/offering to be allowed to provide services to the families, but at this stage, they are being turned away. That is not because they do not have something valuable to offer, but only because those needs are currently being met by the critical response teams of the various disaster organizations initiated by the Red Cross. If the Child Life Disaster Relief (CLDR) team has learned anything in the past 5 years, it is that the field of disaster relief relies heavily on its trusted “go-to” organizations that have proven their effectiveness over years and decades of providing consistent and reliable disaster relief services. We are grateful for our partnership with Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) to be able to join them in providing these critical services in the disaster’s immediate aftermath. However, once the critical response time period is over, those local organizations who are looking to help, will be needed more than ever in the Orlando community.

Now after all that, I need to introduce you to my new friend, Wally:

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Yeah. He’s with the FBI. No biggie.