2 factsheets from Mental Health America: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/information/get-info/coping-with-disaster
http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/index.cfm?objectid=C7DF9618-1372-4D20-C807F41CB3E97654 Coping with Bereavement
CDC on disaster, terrorist attack, or other public health emergency http://www.bt.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/
http://blogs.hbr.org/kanter/2010/04/surprise-four-strategies-for-c.html Harvard prof. Rosabeth Moss Kanter's equation: MTBS = or < MTMD. MTBS is the mean time between surprises, which is shrinking. MTMD is the mean time to make a decision, which better be fast. Her 4 strategies are Backup; Communication; Collaboration; Values and principles. These tend to be more organizational than personal and emphasize planning ahead for "surprises."
Problems within an organization's changes
****** General purpose articles
UNDERSTANDING AND COPING WITH LIFE CHANGES“Change is inevitable; growth is optional.”—Bumper sticker, author unknown.http://www.mstherapist.com/resources/pdfs/services/LifeChange.pdf
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/consumer/10214.html (has a seasonal metaphor)
http://www.parkerphd.com/PDFs/Resilience_The_Ability_to_Bounce_Back.pdf (The elements that help are worth cultivating; unfortunately this repeatedly leads the reader into a therapeutic situation -- worthwhile if needed, but doesn't suggest ways to do it without therapy.)
In the earlier section of suggestions, Rabbi Harold Kushner's classic book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People was suggested to me. Currently Amazon lists it as 4 stars after 171 reader reviews. A lot of people have found this book useful.
Similarly I found the most help from books with a Biblical viewpoint. If you consider this a bias, so be it, but I've learned over the years when things are at crisis stage all around me, it's time to look up. (Remember that daughter with brain surgery among other severe problems?) The Bible's little book of Psalms is a great place to start. These "songs" often express great frustration mixed with praise for help from beyond the world around us.
Beyond Chaos: Stress Relief for the Working Woman by Sheila West includes setting up a special plan to reduce your stress and to understand stress so it can be positive. Her personal insights and focus on ways to accept chaos without letting it control or damage health earned Zig Ziglar's forward and, recently on the internet, he called it a classic and I agree. I also suggest it's not just for "the Working Woman" even though West's view came from that background.
Only after the worst of my own chaos was subsiding did I remember having read Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear by Max Lucado. It's a great book in many ways, including but also way beyond my specific situation. I recommend this for the variety of chapters touching on many types of problems and crises. The breadth of coverage doesn't negate how Publishers Weekly says its "precision speaks healing words that cut right to the heart." It's one of those books you find yourself also wanting to give to other people so they can appreciate it, too.
Like any "bibliomaniac", there's always more to read. Just found another interesting book on my shelf, When the Squeeze Is On; Growing Through Pressure by Martha Thatcher. Again checking Amazon's reviews, I'm intrigued by this book's breadth of topics and ways of coping with life's pressures through Biblical biographical studies. Unfortunately, while the book is available through Amazon, it's no longer in print, so it will be harder to obtain and I didn't find it MeLCat, Michigan's listing of books available within the state for interlibrary loan.
This concludes my First Aid Kit for the various problems that may interrupt life. I'm sure it won't resolve all problems, but I hope it helps. Stories, by their very nature, have problems that must be resolved. I look forward to researching whatever your storytelling program may need and helping your audiences see problems in a new way.
You may also find the conclusions reached on the anniversary of our disaster at When Disaster Strikes One Year Later worth checking.