Start by Taking a Breath - February 19, 2021

Many of you may be familiar with the A, B, C, D, E approach. It is a helpful guide to starting with the most critical items first and then working down to the important, but less urgent items.

Posted
February 26, 2021
Graphic of head with talk bubble above

Start by Taking a Breath - February 19, 2021

Many of you may be familiar with the A, B, C, D, E approach. It is a helpful guide to starting with the most critical items first and then working down to the important, but less urgent items.

Posted
February 26, 2021

You can't pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.

JFS Friends – 

In medical environments where I spent most of my career we are all taught to triage – many of you may be familiar with the A, B, C, D, E approach. It is a helpful guide to starting with the most critical items first and then working down to the important, but less urgent items.

In taking care of patient emergencies in a medical setting the A,B,C,D and E stand for:

  • Airway
  • Breathing
  • Circulation
  • Disability
  • Dehydration
  • Exposure

As we are all starting down the path of helping ourselves, our families, friends and communities return to normal it is important that we pace ourselves and remember to tackle things in order of priority so that we do not get overwhelmed. Just like in a medical emergency a doctor or nurse may put off addressing minor cuts and bruises until a stable airway is established and breathing and circulation are addressed, we need to make sure we are tackling first things first. In our situation the following A, B,C,D and E priority list may be a helpful tool:

A: Adequate Housing – start by making sure that you and the ones you care about have a safe place to stay

B: Breaks – It is easy to get caught up by all the needs that are around us but it is important to take breaks, get adequate rest and keep ourselves healthy.

C: Check-In & Check-Up – when our adrenaline is running high we may not notice how stressed we are, or even that we are injured or sick. Take time to check-in with those who know you best and have them give you honest feedback about how you seem to them – especially those who were not personally impacted by the storm. If those closest to you are worried about you – go get a checkup from your doctor or a mental health provider.

D: Documentation – events like the storm create the need for paperwork. Start documenting your losses and any damage to your home. You may want to check with your insurance company about what is needed to file a claim so that you don’t miss out on an opportunity to be reimbursed for anything that is covered by your homeowners or renters insurance

E: Establish a Routine – the road to full recovery to pre-storm conditions may take some time but living with uncertainty is stressful so work on establishing a routine. Routines provide a sense of safety and comfort and help reduce anxiety.

I am so proud of all of our staff. Each of you have done a remarkable job keeping the needs of our clients and the community in mind as we each had to also deal with our own personal situations at the same time. We now need to help each other restore as normal a routine as possible and preserve our strength for the work ahead by tackling things in order of priority so that we do not get overwhelmed.

If you are not sure about the priorities here at work and are feeling overwhelmed, please reach out to someone on our leadership team so that we can help you make smart choices about where to spend your time and resources so that we can continue to meet the needs of our clients and the community.

Take care,
Carl Josehart's signature

Carl E. Josehart, MSW (he/him/his)

Chief Operating Officer

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