Integrating racially and ethnically diverse communities into planning for disasters: the California experience.

Abstract:

OBJECTIVES:Racially/ethnically diverse communities suffer a disproportionate burden of adverse outcomes before, during and after a disaster. Using California as a locus of study, we sought to identify challenges and barriers to meeting the preparedness needs of these communities and highlight promising strategies, gaps in programs, and future priorities. METHODS:We conducted a literature review, environmental scan of organizational Web sites providing preparedness materials for diverse communities, and key informant interviews with public health and emergency management professionals. RESULTS:We identified individual-level barriers to preparing diverse communities such as socioeconomic status, trust, culture, and language, as well as institutional-level barriers faced by organizations such as inadequate support for culturally/linguistically appropriate initiatives. Current programs to address these barriers include language assistance services, community engagement strategies, cross-sector collaboration, and community assessments. Enhancing public-private partnerships, increasing flexibility in allocating funds and improving organizational capacity for diversity initiatives were all identified as additional areas of programmatic need. CONCLUSIONS:Our study suggests at least four intervention priorities for California and across the United States: engaging diverse communities in all aspects of emergency planning, implementation, and evaluation; mitigating fear and stigma; building organizational cultural competence; and enhancing coordination of information and resources. In addition, this study provides a methodological model for other states seeking to assess their capacity to integrate diverse communities into preparedness planning and response.

authors

Andrulis DP,Siddiqui NJ,Purtle JP

doi

10.1001/dmp.2011.72

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2011-10-01 00:00:00

pages

227-34

issue

3

eissn

1935-7893

issn

1938-744X

pii

5/3/227

journal_volume

5

pub_type

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