Emergency Response PTSD, Climate Change Denial, and Resiliency: The New World Disorder

Author(s): Sara Wolf

Year: 2017


Curators and conservators have been wading through water for decades to rescue museum collections after natural and man-made disasters. The urge to "fix" things that have broken seems to be rooted in our DNA. Since 2003, I have had the opportunity not only to be a part of the emergency response community, but to witness the impact of these events on responders and collections. At the same time, there has been the development of an entire museum emergency response profession, a dramatic uptick in the commercial response field, and a piling-on of emergency response training. The disaster response culture also has spawned full academic programs, nearly endless analyses of motive, culture class, and emergency psychology that aim to improve our response future. Actual responses, however, appear to polarize around avoidance changes; tied to fears about climate change, or defensive actions founded on denial. In both cases, tending to be focused on "fixing," we have incorporated the idea of building resiliency into the architecture without considering threats from the wider external environment. This presentation seeks to resolve the natural tendencies of people to express either, "it won’t happen here (again)," versus the Chicken Little Syndrome.

Cite this Record

Emergency Response PTSD, Climate Change Denial, and Resiliency: The New World Disorder. Sara Wolf. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431104)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -80.815; min lat: 39.3 ; max long: -66.753; max lat: 47.398 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17161