Office for Victims of Crime - Justice for Victims. Justice for All
Justice for Victims. Justice for All
Helping Victims of Mass Violence & Terrorism: Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources

Tools

Compendium of Resources

Victim Assistance: Planning and Response

Community Resiliency

Social Relations That Generate and Sustain Solidarity After a Mass Tragedy

Hawdon and Ryan. 2011. Social Forces 89(4):1363–1384
This article reviews the relationships that generate and sustain solidarity in a community after an incident of mass violence. The authors used longitudinal data collected after the Virginia Tech massacre.

Restoring a Sense of Safety in the Aftermath of a Mass Shooting: Tips for Parents and Professionals

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress
This document discusses how to communicate effectively with children in the aftermath of a mass shooting, covers safety and security issues, and answers some common questions (e.g., “Why do these things happen?” “Will this happen again, and how do I keep my children safe?” “How does one plan for this type of emergency?”).

Aurora Strong Resilience Center, Colorado

The Aurora Strong Community Resilience Center raises public awareness about the common signs of posttraumatic stress, provides group counseling and health and wellness classes, and helps connect victims with community resources.

Resiliency Center of Newtown, Connecticut

The Resiliency Center of Newtown offers therapeutic services, holds community outreach events, provides training and additional services, and sponsors various groups (e.g., support groups).

Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation

The Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation operates the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, which honor the 168 lives lost in the terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building. The memorial and museum offer resources for educators, counselors, students, and others. The foundation also runs an annual marathon to help raise awareness and funds.

9/11 Memorial Fund

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum, which operate on the original site of the World Trade Center, stand as a tribute to the thousands of lives lost during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The museum offers educational resources for students, teachers, and others.

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Coroner/Medical Examiner

International Association of Coroners & Medical Examiners

This association offers educational seminars, conferences, and accreditation to its members, with the goal of “advancing the accurate determination of the cause and the manner of death through the utilization of science, medicine and the law.”

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Crime Victim Compensation

National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards

Crime victim compensation programs, which operate in every state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, offer financial assistance to victims of violent crime. Funds come from offender fees and fines and can be used to cover health and mental health care costs, funeral expenses, travel costs, lost wages, crime-scene cleanup, moving expenses, and other expenses that victims and their loved ones incur. Each state operates under its own law, but all compensation programs have much of the same basic criteria to determine eligibility for benefits, which generally include (a) reporting the crime to law enforcement and cooperating with authorities; (b) submitting a timely application; (c) having a cost or loss not covered by another benefit program; and (d) not having committed a criminal act that contributed to the crime. Maximum benefits average $25,000, with some states offering more and some states having lower limits. Additionally, lower caps within the maximum are common for some types of benefits, like funeral costs, counseling, or lost wages. Visit the association’s Web site for more information about the crime victim compensation process.

To apply for victim compensation, contact the program in the state where the crime occurred. There is no national or federal victim compensation program, except for U.S. residents who are victims of terrorism in foreign countries. The Program Directory links to state compensation programs and provides highlights on the benefits, requirements, and procedures of these programs, as well as contact information. Also see the General Information page for links to a Crime Victim Compensation Brochure that provides information about how these programs operate, basic information on crime victim compensation, a summary of state requirements and maximum benefits, and other pertinent information.

VOCA Victim Compensation Grant Program Guidelines

VOCA provides funds to states to compensate and assist victims of crime. These final program guidelines describe the administration and implementation of the VOCA victim compensation grant program, covering issues such as funding allocation, the application process, program requirements, financial requirements, monitoring, and suspension and termination of funding.

Texas Statute on Crime Victim Compensation

Texas’ statute on crime victim compensation covers an emergency reserve fund that may be used to compensate victims of an incident of mass violence or terrorism.

Compensation Protocol: A Guide to Responding to Mass-Casualty Incidents (First Printing)

National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards (2000)
This 37-page Mass-Casualty Protocol for Victim Compensation Programs is designed to provide a standard operating procedure for compensation programs to follow during a mass-casualty incident, which will promote cohesive relationships with all entities. By working with federal, state, and local organizations, compensation programs can help provide a network of services to victims of mass-casualty incidents in a compassionate and expeditious manner. This document provides a detailed outline for what to consider before, during, and after a crisis. It also contains robust appendixes on program guidelines/statutes; networking/resources; statistics; mass violence/terrorism; media management; and victim assistance resources.

Compensation Protocol: A Guide to Responding to Mass Casualty Incidents (Second Printing)

National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards (2004)
This 242-page manual is the product of the Mass Casualty Protocol project, which was funded by OVC. Overall, the manual examines the role of victim compensation programs during a mass casualty incident and describes a strategy for serving victims, survivors, allied victim professionals, and compensation program staff. The proposed mass casualty protocol provides suggestions for policies and actions before, during, and after a mass casualty event. For all three stages, the manual discusses procedures that pertain to involvement by disaster-related agencies; media and public awareness; training; donations, emergency-preparedness funds, and supplemental funding; mobilization; program logistics; program guidelines; staff stress; and standard operating procedures. One section of the manual outlines lessons learned from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This section focuses on how the following states applied lessons from these attacks: California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The next section of the manual focuses on how victim compensation issues have been addressed in Colorado in the 5 years subsequent to the killings at Columbine High School as well as changes in victim compensation schemes in the 9 years after the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City. Appendixes provide supplementary information on the work of OVC, networking, resources, and how to respond in providing victim compensation when mass casualties occur due to natural disasters.

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Criminal Justice System: Victim Support

The Criminal Justice Response to Support Victims of Acts of Terrorism

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2011)
This publication reviews international standards, victims’ rights in the criminal justice system at the national level, and ways to improve the criminal justice system’s response.

Madrid Memorandum on Good Practices for Assistance to Victims of Terrorism Immediately after the Attack and in Criminal Proceedings

Global Counterterrorism Forum
This document outlines 17 practices to follow when assisting victims of terrorism, including actions to take during the criminal justice process.

EU Directive on Victims of Crime

This EU Directive establishes minimum standards on the rights, support, and protection of victims of crime, including victims of incidents of terrorism.

Providing Services to Victims Viewing a Trial at Multiple Locations

OVC (2006)
This publication presents a protocol for providing standardized services to victims of mass violence and terrorism during the trial, sentencing, and other court proceedings. The protocol describes the importance of building a coalition to coordinate victim services, calls for the establishment of local Safe Havens where victim services can be uniformly delivered, and discusses issues to consider when services are limited, among other topics. The protocol also calls for the establishment of a media plan, the development of task forces, and the recruitment and management of volunteers. Guidance is offered for building a coalition, identifying community stakeholders, and drafting a mission, goal statement, and objectives for the coalition. Advice for locating, coordinating, and managing a local Safe Haven is presented, followed by a brief review of emotional support strategies for victims. In addition to the development of a coalition to guide the coordination of victim services, it is also necessary to establish several other types of task forces to address issues such as victim advocacy, mental health, spiritual needs, security, and the media. Advice is offered for developing these additional task forces and guidance is provided for recruiting, training, and working with volunteers. The rights of crime victims are reviewed and potential funding sources for providing Safe Haven assistance to victims are identified. The protocol was developed in response to the experiences of victims following the Oklahoma City bombings as well as the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. Following the mass violence, it became clear that a coordinated service protocol was necessary to ensure the uniform delivery of victim assistance services and the coordination of multiple CCTV sites for viewing the trial. Throughout the publication, examples from the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombings illustrate main points.

Criminal Justice System Flowchart

Bureau of Justice Statistics
This diagram illustrates the sequence of events in the criminal justice system.

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Crisis Response Planning

OVC Handbook for Coping After Terrorism: A Guide to Healing and Recovery

OVC (2001)
This handbook provides victims of terrorism with information based on the expertise of mental health, crisis counseling, and victim assistance professionals and is intended to help these victims understand their reactions to an act of terrorism or mass violence.

Responding to Victims of Terrorism and Mass Violence Crimes: Coordination and Collaboration Between American Red Cross Workers and Crime Victim Service Providers

OVC (2005)
This booklet provides information on how American Red Cross (ARC) staff and volunteers can better assist victims of terrorism and mass violence. It focuses on victims’ rights and needs, OVC resources, victim compensation and assistance, and key differences between the needs of victims of crime and victims of natural disasters. The booklet explains the complementary roles of ARC and OVC in responding to the needs of victims of terrorism and mass violence. The deceased, survivors, and bereaved family members may be eligible for both state and federal victim services and ARC disaster services. Although ARC disaster operations are activated based on the impact of a disaster rather than its cause, the services of OVC and state and local crime victim assistance programs are activated only when there is significant indication that a disaster has been caused by a criminal act. When both ARC and crime victim service agencies are involved in responding to victims of criminal acts that have a multitude of victims, planned coordination of each agency’s efforts means more effective and efficient service for victims.

First Response to Victims of Crime: A Guidebook for Law Enforcement Officers

OVC (2010)
This guidebook describes how law enforcement officers should respond to the needs of a wide range of victims. Sections cover basic guidelines, tips on responding to specific types of crime victims (e.g., younger and older victims, victims with disabilities), and tips on responding to specific types of victimization. This latter section includes a discussion of incidents of mass violence and terrorism. A companion DVD is available.

The Role of Crime-Scene Personnel When Responding to Scenes of Mass Disaster

Morgan. 2006. Evidence Technology Magazine 4(1)
This interview with Dr. John S. Morgan, retired National Institute of Justice Assistant Director for Science and Technology, covers the role that NIJ plays in the field of disaster response. Key points include: (1) NIJ’s funding of a panel to advise the New York Office of the Medical Examiner following 9/11; (2) the development of Mass Fatality Incidents: A Guide for Human Forensic Identification; (3) NIJ’s recommendation that all human remains, personal effects, and other items be considered as evidence when they are recovered; and (4) the importance of proper communication among all parts of local government.

State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training Program

The State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. The program is dedicated to providing critical training and resources to our Nation's law enforcement, who face the challenges presented by threats by terrorists or violent, criminal extremists. To help confront this threat, the SLATT Program provides specialized multiagency anti-terrorism detection, investigation, and interdiction training and related services to state, local, and tribal law enforcement and prosecution authorities.

Volunteers in Police Service

Volunteers can play a valuable role in supplementing disaster preparation, response, and recovery efforts. The Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) program helps law enforcement agencies integrate volunteers into their disaster response plans. The VIPS Web site links to publications, podcasts, and training opportunities, including a video highlighting how volunteers can help build law enforcement’s capacity to respond to natural disasters, public health crises, and other emergencies.

Neighborhood Emergency Help Center: A Mass Casualty Care Strategy for Biological Terrorism Incidents

U.S. Department of Defense (2001)
This paper describes the development, implementation, and operations of the Neighborhood Emergency Help Center concept, which was developed by the Biological Weapons Improved Response Program. NEHCs can be tailored to fill existing gaps in a community’s medical response to a biological terrorist attack. These temporary facilities provide rapid triage and distribute medications and self-help information. The paper covers scope of care, staffing, operational components, patient and information flow, and responsibility integration and interoperability.

Emergency Preparedness and Response

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This Web site links to public health resources for the general public and for professionals regarding various emergencies, including bioterrorism, mass casualty events, chemical and radiation incidents, and natural disasters.

Emergency Response Resources: Terrorism Response

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This Web page provides resources to help protect emergency responders in the event of a terrorist attack, including information on bloodborne infectious disease, chemical hazards, and anthrax.

Mass Casualty Management Systems: Strategies and Guidelines for Building Health Sector Capacity

World Health Organization (2007)
This report highlights the importance of having a mass casualty management system in place to be able to provide effective health-related responses (including mental health) in the event of an incident of mass violence, terrorism, or other disaster. The report is geared toward communities and countries that do not have adequate health emergency management plans in place. It covers planning for mass casualty management at the national, provincial or state, local, and health care facility level.

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Disaster Response

National Disaster Recovery Program Database

This database is a central location for emergency managers and planners and local, state, and tribal governments to view data on recovery programs from governments and from for-profit, nonprofit, and charitable organizations.

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Death Notification

Scientific Working Group for Medicolegal Death Investigation

This working group includes members from local, state, and federal agencies; research institutions; and organizations that support medicolegal death investigations and represents medical examiners, coroners, medicolegal death investigators, and the forensic community.

Tips From Survivors

National Organization of Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc.
This Web page provides suggestions from parents of murdered children regarding how death notifications can be handled.

Coroner and Death Notification

This document provides the coroner and death notification protocol for Jefferson County, Colorado.

Delivering the News With Compassion: The GRIEV_ING Death Notification Protocol

American College of Emergency Physicians (2005)
This Web page links to a training manual and PowerPoint presentation. The "GRIEV_ING" course teaches emergency medicine residents the important skill of notifying loved ones of a patient’s death.

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Donation Management (Funds, Goods, and Services)

The One Fund (Boston, Massachusetts)

The One Fund Boston raises money to help those families most affected by the tragic events that unfolded during the Boston Marathon bombings. This fund is now closed.

September 11th Victim Compensation Fund

This fund provides compensation for people who suffered physical harm or the representatives of people who were killed as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, or the debris removal efforts that took place after the attacks.

Oklahoma City Disaster Relief Fund

Since 1995, the Oklahoma City Disaster Relief Fund has provided services and financial assistance to many survivors and families of those directly affected by the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building.

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Emergency Planning Exercises/Drills

Conducting Exercises and Drills

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
This section of FEMA’s Multi-hazard Emergency Planning for Schools Toolkit links to various resources, such as the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program Toolkit, planning and evaluating exercises and drills, tabletop scenarios (e.g., fire and explosions, hazardous materials), and after-action reports.

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Emergency Funding

OVC Funding

The Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP) supports crisis, response, consequence management, criminal justice support, crime victim compensation, and training and technical assistance in the aftermath of an incident. The grant period for AEAP funding is up to 36 months, with the possibility of an extension of up to 12 months. Allowable expenses may be covered retroactively to the date of the incident; however, be aware that the project period may not align with the grant award date because the award may be made in a different fiscal year from the date of the incident. (Please note that, for Crime Victim Assistance, eligible applicants are limited to state victim assistance programs; public agencies, including federal, state, and local governments, and including federally recognized Indian tribal governments as determined by the Secretary of the Interior and published in the Federal Register; public institutions of higher education; and victim service and nongovernmental organizations. For Crime Victim Compensation, eligible applicants are limited to state crime victim compensation administrative agencies.) (Foreign governments and individuals are not eligible for AEAP funding.)

Other Federal Funding

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Family Assistance Center

Mass Fatality Incident Family Assistance Operations: Recommended Strategies for Local and State Agencies

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
NTSB and the FBI’s Office for Victim Assistance developed this guide for local and state agencies involved in the response to mass fatality events. It reviews the activities involved in setting up a family assistance center and offering services to the family members of victims and survivors of these events.

Supporting Victims of Terrorism

United Nations (2008)
This report summarizes the results of a symposium held to discuss how best to support victims of terrorism. It covers several key topics: giving victims a face and a voice; protecting their dignity; defending their legal rights; ensuring that their medical, mental health, and financial needs are met; building solidarity; improving media coverage; and keeping victims in mind when crafting counterterrorism efforts.

Providing Relief to Families After a Mass Fatality: Roles of the Medical Examiner's Office and the Family Assistance Center

OVC (2002)
This bulletin focuses on working with families of crime victims after a mass fatality and is offered to medical examiners and coroners for guidance. Experiences gained from mass-fatality incidents, including the Oklahoma City bombing, reinforce the need to impose the structure of a family assistance center on an otherwise chaotic event. In most cases, the response falls on the medical examiner or coroner who is local to the incident. In a mass fatality event, procedures must be established and followed to collect ante-mortem data, conduct death notifications, coordinate and manage many volunteers, determine fiscal responsibility for expenses, dispose of common tissue, establish victims’ suffering, implement security measures, and work with the media. The establishment of a family assistance center is necessary to facilitate the exchange of information and address the families’ needs. The effective operation of a family assistance center depends on many organizations and individuals working together as a team, the establishment of a chain of command, and the selection of a site that is acceptable to all the individuals and agencies that will be working there. Site selection considerations for the family assistance center include availability of the facility, its infrastructure, and its space and floor plan. In any mass fatality, it is extremely important to be humane and considerate when notifying next of kin after identification has been made. Decisions about how to accomplish this may differ in different mass-fatality events. When a mass-fatality event occurs, the community should already have in place a crisis response plan to effectively respond to the needs of victims and families. This document briefly summarizes the victim support tasks performed by NTSB, the American Red Cross, HHS, FEMA, and the U.S. Departments of State and Justice.

Federal Family Assistance Plan for Aviation Disasters

NTSB (2008)
This plan describes the responsibilities of air carriers and federal agencies in the event of an aviation disaster, covering how they must support victims and their families.

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Incident Command System

National Incident Management System

FEMA
This Web page describes FEMA’s National Incident Management System (NIMS), which can be used by jurisdictions at all levels and is applicable for many different incidents regardless of their complexity, size, or location. The Incident Command System (ICS)—a fundamental element of NIMS—is a standardized yet flexible on-scene, all-hazards approach that helps integrate facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications; enables a coordinated response; and establishes common processes for planning and managing resources. For more information on ICS, see FEMA’s Incident Command System Resources and ICS Resource Center Web pages.

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Joint Information Center

Joint Information Center Model

U.S. National Response Team
This Web page links to more information about the U.S. National Response Team’s Joint Information Center Model, which is a plan for communicating with the public when multiple organizations are collaborating during an emergency response.

Public Information Officer: Lessons Learned from a Major Event

This PowerPoint presentation reviews how public information officers helped victims and their families after the theater shooting that occurred in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012.

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Media Relations

Communicating Your Message: Media Tips & Tools

These media tips and tools are from OVC’s 2014 NCVRW Guide. Although they focus on promoting victims’ rights during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, many of the tips are useful for other purposes. The NCVRW guide is updated annually; check OVC’s Public Awareness Web page for up-to-date information about NCVRW, including the most current resource guide.

Memorandum of Understanding, Sample Template (Word document)

This sample template was developed by the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Needs Assessment of Event or Criminal Act

Needs Assessment Report Template

In the context of incidents of mass violence and terrorism, a needs assessment is a process of identifying and estimating specific needs, available resources, and estimated costs of meeting those needs, based on best available data and the literature on previous mass casualty events. This template includes an outline covering the topics that a needs assessment should address, such as the scope of the event, the specific needs of victims and survivors, and the resources that are necessary to address these needs in the short and long term.

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Notification Protocol

Providing Relief to Families After a Mass Fatality: Roles of the Medical Examiner's Office and the Family Assistance Center

OVC (2002)
This bulletin focuses on working with families of crime victims after a mass fatality and is offered to medical examiners and coroners for guidance. Experiences gained from mass-fatality incidents, including the Oklahoma City bombing, reinforce the need to impose the structure of a family assistance center on an otherwise chaotic event. In most cases, the response falls on the medical examiner or coroner who is local to the incident. In a mass fatality event, procedures must be established and followed to collect ante-mortem data, conduct death notifications, coordinate and manage many volunteers, determine fiscal responsibility for expenses, dispose of common tissue, establish victims’ suffering, implement security measures, and work with the media. The establishment of a family assistance center is necessary to facilitate the exchange of information and address the families’ needs. The effective operation of a family assistance center depends on many organizations and individuals working together as a team, the establishment of a chain of command, and the selection of a site that is acceptable to all the individuals and agencies that will be working there. Site selection considerations for the family assistance center include availability of the facility, its infrastructure, and its space and floor plan. In any mass fatality, it is extremely important to be humane and considerate when notifying next of kin after identification has been made. Decisions about how to accomplish this may differ in different mass-fatality events. When a mass-fatality event occurs, the community should already have in place a crisis response plan to effectively respond to the needs of victims and families. This document briefly summarizes the victim support tasks performed by NTSB, the American Red Cross, HHS, FEMA, and the U.S. Departments of State and Justice.

NCMEC Disaster Response: Unaccompanied Minors Registry and National Emergency Child Locator Center

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's (NCMEC) disaster response efforts include a registry and a call center to help displaced children find their way back home after a disaster. The Unaccompanied Minors Registry allows emergency management agencies, law enforcement, shelter staff, hospital employees, and others to report minors in their care during disasters. The National Emergency Child Locator Center is a call center that is activated in the event of a national disaster to help with family reunification.

Mass Fatality Incidents: A Guide for Human Forensic Identification

NIJ (2005)
This guide assists jurisdictions in creating and reviewing mass fatality plans, specifically in the area of forensic victim identification. The guide covers initial response considerations; arrival at the scene; processing the scene; identification of human remains; disposition of human remains, personal effects, and records; and other issues (e.g., reimbursement, stress management).

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Personal Effects Management

Mass Fatality Incidents: A Guide for Human Forensic Identification

NIJ (2005)
This guide assists jurisdictions in creating and reviewing mass fatality plans, specifically in the area of forensic victim identification. The guide covers initial response considerations; arrival at the scene; processing the scene; identification of human remains; disposition of human remains, personal effects, and records; and other issues (e.g., reimbursement, stress management).

Personal Effects Best Practices

NTSB
This quick reference guide lists suggested protocols for police and public safety personnel to implement in the event of a transportation accident.

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School Crisis Planning and Response

School Crisis Guide: Help and Healing in a Time of Crisis

National Education Association (2007)
This guide describes how schools can prepare for emergencies, respond effectively as a crisis unfolds, and help students and staff recover after a crisis. A PDF version is also available.

How Schools Respond to Traumatic Events: Debriefing Interventions and Beyond

Williams. 2006. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma 12(1-2):57–81
School systems face various crises, including student suicides, teacher deaths, mass shootings, and terrorism. This article highlights how schools can respond to these crises and includes suggestions for classroom interventions, group exercises, and homework assignments.

School Crisis Response Initiative

OVC (2003)
This bulletin describes an initiative that promotes training for school personnel and community members so that they may respond more effectively to the emotional and mental health needs of children in crisis. It covers the initiative’s background and includes guidelines for developing school crisis response teams and plans, providing mental health services, and training crisis team members, among other activities.

Preventing School Shootings: A Summary of a U.S. Secret Service Safe School Initiative Report

NIJ (2002)
With a view toward developing prevention policies, this article summarizes research findings on the characteristics of school shooters. For example, youth planning an attack often tell at least one person beforehand and obtain weapons in advance—usually from their own or a relative’s home. In addition, most attackers know how to use guns and have access to them, are often encouraged by other students, have been bullied in the past, and have behaved in ways that caused concern.

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Social Media

Social Media in Emergency Management

FEMA
This online training course covers the use of social media in emergency response plans. The course is intended for state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency managers and their staff.

Expert Round Table on Social Media and Risk Communication During Times of Crisis: Strategic Challenges and Opportunities

American Public Health Association and Booz Allen Hamilton (2009)
This report outlines best practices, common pitfalls, and next steps for using social media to improve emergency communications.

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Trauma-Informed Care

National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint

This technical assistance center promotes the inclusion of trauma-informed practices in programs and services and the exclusion of practices that involve seclusion and restraints. Trauma-informed care recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role that trauma plays in people’s lives.

Trauma Informed Care

National Council for Behavioral Health
This Web page describes how people with behavioral health issues (e.g., substance abuse, mental health problems) often have a history of trauma and provides links to resources on trauma-informed care and trauma management.

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Victim Identification

Victim Identification List Template

This sample spreadsheet can be used to capture victim information in response to an event of mass violence or terrorism.

Mass Fatality Incidents: A Guide for Human Forensic Identification

NIJ (2005)
This guide assists jurisdictions in creating and reviewing mass fatality plans, specifically in the area of forensic victim identification. The guide covers initial response considerations; arrival at the scene; processing the scene; identification of human remains; disposition of human remains, personal effects, and records; and other issues (e.g., reimbursement, stress management).

Lessons Learned From 9/11:  DNA Identification in Mass Fatality Incidents

NIJ (2006)
This report discusses the integration of DNA identification into a mass fatality disaster plan, including how to establish laboratory policies and procedures, assess the magnitude of the identification effort, identify samples, create a laboratory management plan, and establish proper lines of communication.  

Enhancing Scene Processing Protocols to Improve Victim Identification and Field Detection of Human Remains in Mass Fatality Scenes

NIJ-sponsored (2012)
This paper provides protocols to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of forensic processing (location, documentation, and recovery) of large-scale crime scenes, specifically those resulting from mass fatality incidents.

Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule

HHS
This Web site summarizes key elements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy rule, including who is covered, what information is protected, and how protected health information can be used and disclosed.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches age 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level.

Sample Victim Liaison Job Description

This sample job description is based on one created in response to the Boston Marathon bombing. Victim liaisons’ roles may vary depending on the nature and scope of the incident, but generally they provide victims, family members, and groups with the psychosocial support needed in the aftermath of mass violence or terrorism. Services include advising family caregivers, providing education and counseling, making referrals, creating treatment and recovery plans, and following clients’ progress.

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Volunteer Management

American Red Cross

American Red Cross volunteers provide compassionate care in five critical areas: disaster relief; support for members of the military and their families; blood collection, processing, and distribution; health and safety education and training; and international relief and development.

Managing Spontaneous Volunteers in Times of Disaster: The Synergy of Structure and Good Intentions

FEMA
This publication offers a basis for developing a national strategy on working with unaffiliated, often spontaneous, volunteers. It is an outgrowth of an earlier publication, Preventing a Disaster Within the Disaster, which outlined the challenges involved in working with unaffiliated volunteers and offered recommendations on how to develop a national strategy.

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters

This organization serves the volunteer-based organizations that respond to disasters, allowing them to share knowledge and resources during preparation, response, and recovery efforts.

Preventing a Disaster Within the Disaster: The Effective Use and Management of Unaffiliated Volunteers

Points of Light Foundation
This report addresses disaster volunteer management and provides recommendations for engaging volunteers more effectively in times of disaster.

Strategies for Managing Volunteers during Incident Response: A Systems Approach

Fernandez, Barbera, and Van Dorp. 2006. Homeland Security Affairs 2(3)
This article describes how to plan for and manage spontaneous volunteers, using a systems-based approach.

Top 15 Things to Know When Managing Volunteers in Times of Disaster

HandsOn Network
This list outlines the basic steps involved in managing volunteers during a disaster.

Volunteers in Police Service

Volunteers can play a valuable role in supplementing disaster preparation, response, and recovery efforts. The Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) program helps law enforcement agencies integrate volunteers into their disaster response plans. The VIPS Web site links to publications, podcasts, and training opportunities, including a video highlighting how volunteers can help build law enforcement’s capacity to respond to natural disasters, public health crises, and other emergencies.

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August 2015   •   NCJ 248647
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