228497 Emergency Manager's Tool Kit: Meeting the Needs of Latino Communities

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Susannah Senerchia, BA , Institute for Hispanic Health, National Council of La Raza, Washington, DC
Maria Rosa, PhD, DrPH , Institute for Hispanic Health, National Council of La Raza, Washington, DC
Charles Kamasaki , Institute for Hispanic Health, National Council of La Raza, Washington, DC
The effects of natural and man-made disasters in recent years have exposed deficiencies in the emergency preparedness and response system in dealing with Hispanic communities. Preparedness and response efforts have been hampered by the inability of government and disaster relief agencies to provide information and services in Spanish, a lack of understanding about relief eligibility guidelines by employees and volunteers, and the reluctance of immigrants to seek services. While emergency managers are charged with developing strategies to serve all populations, they have received little guidance on how to approach and work with the vulnerable immigrant community. Given the growth of the Latino community, this lack of a comprehensive strategy to address the special needs of this population undermines preparedness and relief efforts and poses a public health risk. To address this, the National Council of La Raza's (NCLR) Institute for Hispanic Health (IHH) developed a tool kit for emergency managers. The tool kit was informed by a comprehensive literature review; four focus group discussions with Latino immigrants in New Orleans, Louisiana and Orlando, Florida; eight interviews with emergency managers and Latino stakeholders; and an advisory committee comprising national and local disaster preparedness and relief experts. Findings from this formative research were used to develop a manual and accompanying CD-ROM, Emergency Managers Tool Kit: Meeting the Needs of Latino Communities. The tool kit aims to provide emergency managers with resources and information to address the needs of Hispanics in the preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation phases of a disaster.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe Latinos’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding emergency disasters. 2. Identify the unique needs and barriers faced by the Latino community in the context of emergency preparedness and response efforts. 3. Discuss strategies to help emergency managers effectively engage Latino communities in the disaster preparedness and response system.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work on planning and implementing health promotion and disease prevention programs with Latinos.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.