Peer Listening: Building resilience in communities affected by human-caused disasters

Community Corner

By Lisa Matlock, Outreach Coordinator

Until 2010, the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill was the largest oil spill disaster in U.S. waters. That March, people around the world turned on the news to see our devastated wildlife and beaches. No one doubted that the environment of Prince William Sound and other downstream areas were hurt. What was not apparent to almost everyone was the short and long term damage to the people in the region’s communities.

Residents of Cordova attend the premier Peer Listener Training in Cordova in the early 2000s.

Technological disasters, such as an oil or chemical spill, a nuclear accident, or a large building fire or collapse, affect communities differently than natural disasters. A technological disaster is caused by humans, and there is a person or persons who can be blamed for the incident. Natural disasters have no one to blame. Natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes, can often be predicted and prepared for. Technological disasters are often unexpected.

After the Exxon Valdez spill, the council funded research on how technological disasters affect people living in the area compared to natural disasters.

Read morePeer Listening: Building resilience in communities affected by human-caused disasters

Peer Listener Trainer Workshop

The council is hosting a Peer Listener Trainer Workshop to train peer listener trainers in Alaska communities. This workshop is geared towards counselors, wellness coordinators, medical professionals, social service professionals, and other related fields.

Read more about the Peer Listener program: Coping with Technological Disasters

Workshop details

When? Thursday, September 29th and Friday, September 30th, 2016
Where? BP Energy Center at 900 E Benson Blvd., Anchorage, AK (MAP)
Presenter: Dr. Keith Nicholls of the Coastal Resource & Resiliency Center

Read morePeer Listener Trainer Workshop

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