Emergency Preparedness Project


An intervention to improve emergency preparedness awareness, knowledge, and practices among low-income Latino families.


Latino people and other minorities are less likely than the general public to feel prepared for an emergency situation or have an emergency preparedness plan.


Fiscal Year 2008


Several collaborating community agencies that serve Latinos such as Linkages to Learning and Montgomery Housing Partnership.  The interventions were conducted at a Community Center and an Elementary School.


Vías de la Salud Promotoras (health promoters) conducted three educational sessions:

  • Addressing “What is an emergency?” and steps for emergency preparedness.
  • Using a curriculum tailored specifically for this project and as a result of a formative research done in 2006.
  • Highlighting Advanced Practice Center for Public Health Emergency Preparedness messages and written materials.


  • Latino Health Initiative
  • Vías de la Salud Health Promoter Program
  • Advanced Practice Center for Public Health Emergency Preparedness (Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services)


Analysis of Risk Communication Strategies and Approaches with At-Risk Populations to Enhance Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.

Lisa S. Meredith, Lisa R. Shugarman, Anita Chandra, Stephanie L. Taylor, Stefanie Stern, Ellen Burke Beckjord, Andrew M. Parker, Terri Tanielian. WR-598-HHS. December 2008. Prepared for the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Rand Health Working Paper.

On page 25:C. Evaluation of Risk Communication Strategies Overview. The literature on evaluating emergency risk communications is “fraught with challenges” (Thomas, Vanderford, & Quinn, 2008). Our literature review and site visits revealed that evaluation studies of risk communication for at-risk populations were also limited. However, there were a few examples that stood out, including the Latino program in Montgomery County, Maryland, and other evaluations to map at-risk populations in California and Oklahoma.
Available at: http://www.rand.org/pubs/working_papers/WR598/

Carter-Pokras O, Zambrana RE, Mora SE, Aaby KA. Emergency preparedness: knowledge and perceptions of Latin American immigrants. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 2007 May;18(2):465-481.

Abstract:This paper describes the level of public emergency knowledge and perceptions of risks among Latin American immigrants, and their preferred and actual sources of emergency preparedness information (including warning signals). Five Latino community member focus groups, and one focus group of community health workers, were conducted in a suburban county of Washington D.C. (N=51). Participants came from 13 Latin American countries, and 64.7% immigrated during the previous five years. Participants had difficulty defining emergency and reported a wide range of perceived personal emergency risks: immigration problems; crime, personal insecurity, gangs; home/traffic accidents; home fires; environmental problems; and snipers. As in previous studies, few participants had received information on emergency preparedness, and most did not have an emergency plan. Findings regarding key messages and motivating factors can be used to develop clear, prioritized messages for communication regarding emergencies and emergency preparedness for Latin American immigrant communities in the U.S.
Available at: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/

Emergency Preparedness in the Latino Community: Training Manual for Promoters

National Resource Center on Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Culturally Diverse Communities
Center for Health Equality
School of Public Health
Drexel University
Available at: http://www.diversitypreparedness.org

Emergency Preparedness Curriculum

Available at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov

Promising Practices: Pandemic Preparedness Tools

Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy
University of Minnesota
(Part of a CDC/National Association of County Health Officials project.)
Available at: http://www.pandemicpractices.org/practices/resource.do?resource-id=347&state-id=24

For more information about the past Emergency Preparedness Project, call:

Viviana A. Ortiz
240-777-1807 phone
[email protected]

Advanced Practice Center
[email protected]