APA Hurricane Katrina Relief
response to Hurricane Katrina, the American Psychological
Association (APA) will take a number of steps designed to
achieve the following goals:
- Provide assistance to victims of the
storm through gifts to charitable and relief organizations
targeting recovery efforts in the affected areas.
- Provide financial assistance in the
form of dues relief to APA members whose homes and/or
livelihoods have been affected by the storm.
- Work to ensure that cultural
competency skills training is part of the mental health
response to disaster-relief efforts.
- Help the psychology academic and
training communities recover from the storm.
- Help foster information exchange
within the psychology community.
- Educate the public and policymakers
about trauma, trauma recovery, and the role of
Specifically, APA will do the following:
financial assistance to victims of the storm through gifts to
charitable and relief organizations targeting recovery and
rebuilding efforts in the affected areas
APA will donate $50,000 to each of the
following organizations - the Red Cross, the Bush-Clinton
Katrina Recovery Fund, and Habitat for Humanity. These donations
will be earmarked for Katrina recovery efforts.
APA will publicize these contributions and
encourage members to make their own contributions to these
organizations or others doing recovery work in the affected
financial assistance in the form of dues relief to APA members
whose homes and or livelihoods have been
affected by the storm
One-Year Dues and Assessment Exemption:
Provide a one-year dues and practice assessment exemption for
all members and affiliates who live and/or work within the
affected areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama (as
determined by the U.S. Post Office's designation of zip code
areas where mail delivery is currently impossible as a result of
storm damage/or by FEMA disaster designations). With the dues
statements that will go out later this month, a cover letter
will be included to members in the affected areas informing them
that they are automatically being given a hardship waiver to
their 2006 dues.
the psychology academic and training communities recover from
A) One-Year Fees Exemption: Offer a
one-year accreditation and sponsor approval fees exemption for
academic/institutional sponsors of accredited programs and for
CE sponsors in the storm effected areas.
B) Electronic Product Licensing
Extension: Allow a 4-month free contract extension on all
leases and licenses to colleges and universities where the
impact and damage are so bad that they will not be opening for
classes for 2-4 months. Estimated costs are approximately
C) Grants to Psychology
Departments/Training: Establish a $50,000 fund to assist
psychology education and training departments/institutions in
the replacement of destroyed materials or other needs associated
with the hurricane. Departments can apply for grants up to
programs to add to and complement the number of psychologists
with training to work in disaster-response situations and work
to ensure that cultural competency skills training is part of
the mental health response to disaster-relief efforts.
A) Facilitation of Ongoing Mental Health
Efforts: Continue to encourage members to volunteer with Red
Cross/APA Disaster Response Network and SAMHSA mental health
efforts by placing relevant links on our Web site. Provide other
relevant links when they become available. Create and supply
information materials to other community leaders and members who
will have direct and informal contact with storm victims such as
teachers, ministers, hairdressers and police officers. These
materials will include information on loss, traumatic stress,
dislocation and resilience.
B) Grants to State Psychological
Associations: Establish a $50,000 fund to allow state
associations to apply for grants for activities related to
mental health training and services related to Hurricane
Katrina. Funds could also be used to meet other state
association needs related to the hurricane. Each grant could be
up to $5,000.
C) Emergency Task Force on Multicultural
Training: This would be a nine member task force (four
representatives from the ethic minority associations and five
other members appointed by the APA President). It will begin
its work quickly utilizing face-to-face meetings and web and
telephone communications to make recommendations to the Board
about ways APA and the ethnic minority psychological
associations could help ensure culturally competent services to
victims and their families.
foster information exchange within the psychology community
Clearinghouse of Resources for
Psychologists in Need: Provide support for Division 31
(State, Provincial, and Territorial Associations) and CESPPA in
their effort to create a Web-based clearinghouse of resources
needed and resources available through each of the 50 state
the public about trauma, and trauma recovery, and the role of
A) Outreach to Media Organizations:
In addition to our ongoing efforts to respond to media requests,
we can proactively contact media outlets to offer experts on the
mental health aspects of the hurricane aftermath. In particular,
we can reach out to national
programs such as Dr. Phil (who has already consulted APA staff)
and Oprah to assist in shows that might take this focus.
B) Use APA.Org as a national public
education tool: Materials about trauma and trauma recovery
have been posted on the site and will be updated as appropriate.
APA.org as an information response has been publicized through
press releases and in national publications.
C) Outreach to Policymakers and Federal
Agencies: Facilitate and provide
input on legislative and agency activities related to Hurricane
relief efforts to promote the application of psychological
to ensure the inclusion of a mental health perspective.
Contribution to Hurricane Relief Efforts
The cost of the aforementioned activities
in terms of donations and forgone revenue will be approximately
$465,000 for APA. This does not include considerable in-kind
contributions from staff efforts.
Steps by APA
APA recognizes that the consequences of
hurricane Katrina are still unfolding and will be doing so for
some time. Therefore, the association will continue to monitor
developments and stands ready to provide additional relief
assistance as appropriate in the future.
APA Office of Public Affairs
The American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242