Communicating risk effectively before, during, and after a disaster saves lives. Unfortunately, limited-English communities often do not receive timely and culturally appropriate information in a language that they understand to adequately protect themselves.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, I produced a video public service announcement with the Vietnamese Health Board – Ban Y Tế Cộng Đồng to educate the Vietnamese community living in America about the importance of staying home when possible, how to wear a mask, how to hand wash, and how to care for multiple generations. The video is streaming daily in community health clinics around the Puget Sound and is available on the Vietnamese Health Board – Ban Y Tế Cộng Đồng YouTube channel.
In collaboration with the City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and my colleagues, Sonja Unrau, Anglea Pietschmann, Ellis Jones, Elyse Rickard, and I identified strategies to institutionalize the Community Safety Ambassadors program – a program designed to provide emergency management education and skills to limited-English proficiency to non-English, refugee, and immigrant, and other marginalized communities. We authored a report titled, Communicating emergency preparedness in limited-English communities: A toolkit for Community Safety Ambassadors. It was adopted by OEM in 2018.