244862 Community resilience and preparedness: City government engagement with consulates and NGOs to reach a wider audience

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Elisa Estrada, MPA , Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response, NYC DOHMH, New York, NY
The purpose of the study is to gain a better understanding of New York City's Haitian and Chilean communities' response to recent earthquakes in their countries, including how these communities organized themselves to provide relief for the victims. This study seeks to identify which strategies were successful and which were not, as well as determine facilitators and barriers to each community's response. Seven semi-structured interviews were held at the NGOs and consul general offices. The interviews included four main topics: role of the NGO/Consulate, success/barrier of response, best experience during the process, and possibilities and opportunities for local government involvement. Drawing on his experience as Consul General in London during the 2005 train bombings, the Chilean consul recalled being unable to obtain information about the victims because hospitals did not allow it to be released. He expressed concern that if this scenario happened in New York City, he would be similarly concerned about the dissemination of information about victims to their families, at home and abroad. NGOs and Consulates reported that there was a strong degree of cooperation among organizations and individuals offering assistance. When local government, NGOs, etc. work together to coordinate services and information is made available to communities, it lessens the hardships; miscommunication, delays, trauma and other distresses associated with disasters and hasten community recovery.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Explain why it is important for local governments, municipalities, or jurisdictions to engage consulates and area NGOs in preparing communities for emergencies. Demonstrate the effects that communities experience when accurate and appropriate information is not provided to them.

Keywords: Vulnerable Populations, Community Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I conducted the research via interviews with area consulates and NGOs.
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.