Chelsey Perkins: The Role of the Community in Coping with Geophysical Hazards | Bouncing Back #22

In this episode, host Dina Sargeant is joined by Chelsey Perkins, an accomplished Emergency Management Professional with expertise in developing emergency management programs across various sectors

This episode explores the crucial role of community engagement in building resilience when facing natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. Join Dina Sargeant and Chelsey Perkins as they delve into the profound impact of community engagement on people’s ability to navigate the challenges posed by geophysical hazards. 

Meet Chelsey Perkins

Chelsey Perkins is a devoted wife and mother, driven by a deep passion for emergency management. Inspired by the aftermath of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in 2016, she pursued a master’s degree to help communities recover and prevent future tragedies.

With seven years of experience building emergency management programs, Chelsey has significantly impacted healthcare and public utilities. Currently working as a private consultant, she supports one of the largest public utility providers in the United States, contributing to the safety and resilience of communities nationwide.

About the episode

In this episode of Bouncing Back, Chelsey Perkins defines personal resilience as a crucial quality that helps individuals navigate and overcome challenging situations by being flexible and adaptable. She asserts that personal resilience does not mean being immune to stress or difficult circumstances. She gives natural disasters as an example that tests people’s fight or flight response.

Chelsey proceeds to explain how personal resilience plays a vital role in coping with the consequences of natural disasters. According to Chelsey, recovering from a natural disaster starts locally. Since external help may take time, people have a central role in safeguarding their families and communities and initiating recovery.

During the episode, Chelsey states that preparation for natural disasters depends on the location and the specific risks associated with the disaster. She uses the COVID-19 pandemic as an example that has taught people the importance of adapting to a new normal, being prepared for unforeseen challenges, and remaining flexible.

During the episode, Chelsey discusses how human error can worsen the consequences of natural disasters. She encourages improving resource sharing, prioritization, and funding allocation and enhancing infrastructure to be better prepared for natural disasters. Chelsey stresses how poor communication within a community can significantly impact various aspects of life.

Although it is impossible to prevent natural disasters, Chelsey assures that people can minimize their impact and risks. Throughout the episode, Chelsey emphasizes the vitality of collective resilience, community engagement, and networking during crises. However, she necessitates having time for relaxation.

Chelsey concludes by highlighting how being prepared promotes personal resilience and ensures that community resources are available to those who truly need them. She also emphasizes how community involvement and volunteering further strengthen resilience and build a supportive network.

In conclusion

Personal resilience is crucial for navigating and overcoming challenging situations, including natural disasters. It is also important to always be prepared, adaptable, and proactive to ensure safety and facilitate recovery from such disasters. Similarly, collective resilience and community engagement strengthen people’s ability to cope with and bounce back from different adversities.

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