Recent quotes:

How a Disaster Expert Prepares for the Worst | The New Yorker

“We’re going to be using a lot of ‘when’ today. I don’t use ‘if.’ I don’t touch wood too much,” Easthope said. “It is when, when these emergencies happen.” In spite of her experiences witnessing protocols fail or be subverted, Easthope still argues strongly for disaster and recovery plans. She has no time for people (normally male uniformed commanders) who believe they are dealing with something that no one has ever suffered through before. “Don’t go out there with ‘unique.’ Don’t go out there with ‘unprecedented.’ Don’t go out there with ‘This was a terrible incident we couldn’t have foreseen,’ ” she said. “You are walking plowed, furrowed fields that other people have walked, and they are there to guide and support you.”

How not to say the wrong thing - latimes

Draw a circle. This is the center ring. In it, put the name of the person at the center of the current trauma. For Katie's aneurysm, that's Katie. Now draw a larger circle around the first one. In that ring put the name of the person next closest to the trauma. In the case of Katie's aneurysm, that was Katie's husband, Pat. Repeat the process as many times as you need to. In each larger ring put the next closest people. Parents and children before more distant relatives. Intimate friends in smaller rings, less intimate friends in larger ones. When you are done you have a Kvetching Order. One of Susan's patients found it useful to tape it to her refrigerator. Here are the rules. The person in the center ring can say anything she wants to anyone, anywhere. She can kvetch and complain and whine and moan and curse the heavens and say, "Life is unfair" and "Why me?" That's the one payoff for being in the center ring. Everyone else can say those things too, but only to people in larger rings. When you are talking to a person in a ring smaller than yours, someone closer to the center of the crisis, the goal is to help. Listening is often more helpful than talking. But if you're going to open your mouth, ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support. If it isn't, don't say it. Don't, for example, give advice. People who are suffering from trauma don't need advice. They need comfort and support. So say, "I'm sorry" or "This must really be hard for you" or "Can I bring you a pot roast?" Don't say, "You should hear what happened to me" or "Here's what I would do if I were you." And don't say, "This is really bringing me down."