After viewing the video about the Cocoanut Grove survivors, explain how people are impacted by a crisis. How does this crisis affect them in terms of the short-term impact and long-term impact?

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Survivors of a disaster that results in massive casualties such as the 1942 Cocoanut Grove fire often suffer acute and chronic physical, emotional, and psychological effects.

In the case of this catastrophe, think about the effects of being in a building that rapidly filled with smoke and flames and the resulting acute damage that could occur to the lungs and airways from smoke inhalation. A survivor of such a traumatic and adrenalizing event might experience immense fatigue for days or weeks in the aftermath.

In the short (and long) term, one may be in a state of shock, disbelief, immense grief (especially for survivors who lost loved ones in the fire), and anger. Think about how survivors of the fire must have felt toward the club's owner and management, who were supposed to be responsible for following the safety codes of the building. After such a tragic and preventable disaster, many people would want answers and accountability from those in power.

As is clear with some survivors of the Cocoanut Grove fire, such a catastrophic event can result in life-long effects. Post-traumatic stress disorder could certainly develop in survivors of such a disaster. This can lead to (among other symptoms) experiencing hypervigilance, flashbacks, nightmares, depression, insomnia, anxiety, and dissociation. Imagine how difficult it could be feeling comfortable again in a crowded space, around sudden loud noises, around fire in general, or in an area with few exits.

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