Community readiness for emergency challenges: psychological perspective
It is substantiated the necessity to develop a holistic system to ensure the psychological security of the community.
It is emphasized that children and school youth suffer a lot from catastrophic events, that is caused not only because of lack of experience (knowledge, skills, response skills in emergencies) but also because of the age peculiarities of their psyche (low stress resistance, which leads to stress and post-stress disorders due to inability to cope with a stressful situation).
It is argued that psychologists in the education system should be involved in the process of creating a safe environment in the community.
The «readiness of the collective subject of action» category is defined as 1) a set of qualities and knowledge of collective subjects (groups, teams, associations, state institutions) that allow them to interact effectively in a crisis, extreme or emergency conditions in solving common problems; 2) providing objective conditions for establishing and maintaining constructive interaction in the current situation.
It is shown that readiness system consists of five vectors: 1) the ability of relevant government agencies and structures to provide the necessary conditions for the society's functioning, and their ability to organize the lives of citizens in a way that minimizes the probability of emergencies; 2) the ability of government agencies to effectively organize the process of preparation for action in case of emergencies, the processes of monitoring and overcoming the consequences of emergencies; 3) the ability of state bodies and structures to provide medical, psychological and humanitarian assistance to victims of the emergency both straight in the emergency, and after the destructive factors performance; 4) the ability of the subjects to perform their professional duties in an emergency; 5) the ability of the emergency situation subjects to constructively/effectively solve various problems.
There are highlighted the organizational and psychological dimensions of readiness; there are proposed four groups of tasks that should be solved to psychologically ensure the readiness formation.
It is proposed the system of principles to involve psychologists who belong to various public or professional community organizations, and psychologists who work in the education system, to help victims of emergencies.
Such system consists of 1) the principle of partnership, 2) the principle of openness, 3) the principle of voluntariness, 4) the principle of fair motivation, 5) the principle of the need to increase competence, 6) the principle of territoriality, 7) the principle of responsibility.