Managing the Human Dimension of Crises : Caring for the Bereaved, Survivors and First Responders book cover
1st Edition

Managing the Human Dimension of Crises
Caring for the Bereaved, Survivors and First Responders

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 31, 2021
ISBN 9781138343887
March 31, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
256 Pages 47 B/W Illustrations

SAVE ~ $13.99
was $69.95
USD $55.96

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Managing the Human Dimension of Disasters provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date analysis on how individuals cope with tragedy and loss.

Throughout this book Kjell Brataas focuses on those affected by disaster, including the bereaved, survivors and first responders. In doing so Brataas gives voice to those who have suffered and been impacted by unimaginable trauma. Chapters provide guidance on memorializing tragedies, site visits, donation management, media relations, social media, grief counselling and human resilience. Noted experts recount stories and share their experience and knowledge of how they assisted victims following tragedies such as the Manchester Arena bombing, the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, terror attacks, several aircraft disasters, school shootings, the 9/11 attacks and the corona pandemic. Leaders of support groups formed after these tragedies, trauma therapists and psychologists from three continents, offer their experiences in dealing with victims and the aftermath of disaster. Readers will understand how psychological support is critical after a disaster and learn from those who deal with emergencies.

Brataas’ unmatched volume offers new understandings, recommendations, best practices, and benchmarks on how best to assist victims in the aftermath of disaster. A valuable resource for students, researchers, and practitioners.

Table of Contents


Part 1: The Post Disaster Time Frame

1. Immediate (first days)

2. Short term (first year)

3. Long term (following years)

Part 2: People

4. Directly affected

5. First responders

Part 3: Coping and recovery

6. Therapy and psychological first aid

Part 4: Planning for victim support

7. Planning and scenarios

8. Learning from COVID-19

View More



Kjell Brataas has been on the front lines of crisis communication during some of Norway’s most devastating crises. He has held important crisis management positions after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, the terrorist attacks in Oslo and on Utoya in 2011 and the corona pandemic in 2020. Brataas has practical experience working with private companies and Norwegian government ministries. He has spoken at crisis communication conferences around the world, including London, Toronto, Istanbul, Sydney and Denver, and he has lectured on crisis communication at the university level.


"This book doesn’t just provide a hands-on guide on how to respond to collective tragedy with care and compassion. Nor does it just offer readers a detailed understanding of the universal and complex human impacts of disaster. It highlights the fundamental connection between the two and the value of a truly humanitarian approach. A must read for anyone wishing to make a positive difference."

Anne Eyre, Specialist in psychosocial aspects of major incidents, emergency planning and disaster management and Vice-Chair of Disaster Action

"Following up his incredibly instructive book on Crisis Communication, Kjell Brataas provides essential advice on handling the emotional and psychological needs of survivors, as well as first responders, as they deal with an event, from right after on to years later. With insightful interviews, critical information about topics such as PTSD, school shootings, and planning, this valuable book also has a timely section on learning from the current COVID pandemic. Everyone who deals with disasters and crisis should own this book."

Bob Jensen, Senior Managing Director, Strat3 and former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

"The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) has recently declared top stop using the term Natural Disaster preferring to simply use Disaster arguing that Disasters only happen when they impact a community. Following that thought then surely the biggest impact is the emotional impact. This book is an important and timely exploration of the emotional effects on those impacted by disasters. Kjell writes with deep compassion and has woven many varying case studies to enweave the complexity of dealing with the human factors of disaster."

Peter Rekers, Crisis, Risk Emergency and Disaster Communications Practitioner and Educator

"I cannot imagine a more timely book written by an extremely knowledgeable expert in the field. How disasters affect people is not only relevant during Covid-19, it is also an important topic during natural disasters, school shootings and terror attacks. Kjell Brataas has years of experience writing about the topic, and he also played a key role in assisting the Norwegian government during the terror attacks in Norway in 2011. This wealth of knowledge is clearly demonstrated in a well written book that provides the reader with important insights into an under-researched area in Crisis Management, the human dimensions of disasters."

Daniel Laufer, Associate Professor of Marketing, Victoria University of Wellington

"Kjell Brataas clearly shows in this book that you can only do the right thing in the aftermath of disasters if you start your preparations well in advance. And make use of the experiences of victims (better: survivors) and first responders involved in other disasters. This book is an essential resource for everybody who has to draft or update planning for disasters. Events that nobody wants to happen but will happen anyway, without a doubt."

Victor Jammers, Director of Operations of the EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism

"Of all of the complexities involved in managing the consequences of disasters, none are as difficult as the emotional and behavioral impacts on victims, survivors, and responders to such events. Missing from many discussions of disaster management is the importance of the phase-specific and hazard-specific nature of our reactions to traumas and tragedies. Brataas has created an important and timely guide for planners and responders addressing the human toll of disasters."

Steven Crimando, Principal and Founder, Behavioral Science Applications LLC