Social Work: Responding to Disasters (Hurricane Sandy)

Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Here in North Carolina, we were spared much of the devastation that the storm has inflicted upon the Northeast; however, just because we escaped the worst does not mean we are not responsible for helping those who have lost so much as they rebuild their lives.In fact, as social workers we are particularly well equipped to respond to both the physical and psychological impact of these natural disasters.Thousands have lost power, are without their homes, transportation and food; others are struggling to make meaning of the trauma, or are dealing with grief associated with the loss of loved ones. And as I think about the incredible need in the aftermath of such events, I realize how versatile our MSW degrees are and how appropriate it is to have a response from the social work profession. Our students are so diverse, in language, culture, life experiences, etc., and have such great experience in both Macro (community outreach, creating programs, eliciting funds, etc.) and Direct Practice (counseling, crisis intervention, etc.), that many of them would serve as great boundary spanners. They would be able to coordinate care and provide therapy on disaster sites, while at the same time working with foundations on relief efforts to restore wellbeing and safety to the lives of all who are affected. In recent yeas social workers have been called to assist in major disaster relief efforts in Haiti (earthquake) and in New Orleans (Hurricane Katrina), and many of our faculty members were among those who responded. Hurricane Sandy is the next blow to our nation and its people, and I am sure that social work students and practicing professionals alike are standing ready to assist in anyway possible.


About Rayhaan Adams

Hey! My name is Rayhaan Adams. I'm a 2nd year MSW student in the full-time program. I'm originally from Cape Town, South Africa but have lived in Singapore, Germany, and now reside in Cary, only a few miles down the road. I attended UNC for undergrad, and can't see myself leaving anytime soon. My primary interests are at-risk youth and single parent families, as well as children and their families in the medical setting. If you don't see me around campus, I'm probably running, golfing, road-tripping, or hanging out with my family.
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