Disaster at Buffalo Creek. Loss of communality at Buffalo Creek


The survivors of the Buffalo Creek disaster suffered both individual and collective trauma, the latter being reflected in their loss of communality. Human relationships in this community had been derived from traditional bonds of kinship and neighborliness. When forced to give up these long-standing ties with familiar places and people, the survivors experienced demoralization, disorientation, and loss of connection. Stripped of the support they had received from their community, they became apathetic and seemed to have forgotten how to care for one another. This was apparently a community that was stronger than the sum of its parts, and these parts--the survivors of the Buffalo Creek flood--are now having great difficulty finding the personal resources to replace the energy and direction they had once found in their community.

Erikson, KT | 1976
In: Am J Psychiatry | 133 | 3 | Mar | 302-305
Placement code: 
Yzermans collectie