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Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals have a limited ability to speak, read, write, or understand the English language. LEP populations include:
• Individuals who are fluent in languages other than English. • Individuals who have low literacy in English or any other native language. • Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and may or may not be fluent in American Sign Language. • Individuals with communication or speech related medical issues or disabilities.
April 4th, 2011 - A family huddles outside on the grass in Calexico, California after a 7.2 scale quake rocked the Baja California and San Diego County region.
SOURCE: Getty Images
A Vulnerable Population - Language and Literacy
During emergencies, individuals who are Limited English Proficient (LEP) are atrisk because their needs cannot be fully addressed by traditional service providers. The City of Inglewood faces significant risk for natural and manmade disasters. To help address the disparities and risks faced by LEP individuals, the City of Inglewood should consider creating lasting relationships with LEP communities through a Community Outreach Information Network (COIN) in order to establish trust, disseminate information, and identify organizations and individuals within these communities to serve as resources during an emergency. The City of Inglewood is at risk for a number of natural and manmade disasters. The NewportInglewood fault runs through the City of Inglewood, and Southern California has an 86% probability of experiencing a magnitude 7.0 or greater earthquake in the next 30 years. In addition to earthquakes, Inglewood is also at risk for events such as plane crashes, hazardous material release, pandemic flu, civil disorder, rolling blackouts, food or water contamination, terrorism, and temperature extremes. As a city located in central Los Angeles County, Inglewood must also be prepared for the ancillary impact of disasters occurring in other regions of Los Angeles, including fires and tsunamis, Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals have a limited ability to speak, read, write, or understand the English language. Over half of Inglewood's population of 100,000 residents over the age of five speak a language other than English at home (54.4%), and half of these residents (27.4%) do not speak English proficiently. Fortynine percent of Inglewood residents speak Spanish; half of these Spanishspeaking residents (25.4%) do not speak English proficiently. A 2004 study by United Way found that only 15% to 35% of Inglewood's population is level 3 literate (eg. reads English well enough to understand and use a bus schedule.) Cultural and linguistic communication challenges are major barriers for communicating with LEP communities and communities of color during emergencies. As a result, during a natural or manmade disaster, LEP individuals and communities face difficulty in accessing the standard resources offered during preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. LEP individuals and families who have low levels of income or low levels of education may not have the information necessary to prepare for and survive an emergency situation.
of Inglewood residents do not speak English proficiently
of Inglewood residents speak a language other than English at home.
SOURCE: 2010 American Community Survey
Marissa Lee ● University of California, Los Angeles ● Social Welfare 240A ● Policy Brief Assignment
an established and successful practice. When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005. Page 2 Vietnamese American mother Thao Tran comforts her baby in a Houston shelter after Hurricane Katrina. older adults) Many individuals and families span more than one of these categories. affected individuals that were not "atrisk" before the event may fall into one of these categories. For example. Los Angeles ● Social Welfare 240A ● Policy Brief Assignment . during. The COIN is a grassroots network of trusted leaders and community members who can assist in delivering information to atrisk populations before. despite the large numbers of impacted LEP Vietnamese residents. the CDC began to promote the concept of a Community Outreach Information Network (COIN). and after emergencies. or residents who are not English proficient enough to navigate English language government websites in order to find literature in the language they need. Many of Houston’s 15.000 Vietnamese American Hurricane Katrina refugees were Limited English Proficient (LEP). cognitive or sensory) Isolation (cultural. which does not always deliver accurate translations. Reliance on written literature also does not take into account Inglewood's low literacy rates. SOURCES: Associated Press. National Immigration Law Center Marissa Lee ● University of California. social) Age (minors. immigrants whose primary languages were neither English nor Spanish had little access to safety information. Given Inglewood's current budget constraints. Even at such a young age. Prior to Katrina. Sixty five to eightyfive percent of Inglewood residents cannot read English well enough to use a bus schedule. The City of Inglewood can use COIN. The City and the County distribute translated materials via the internet. with such a limited Spanish vocabulary. After a disaster. The official website for the City has translation options for Spanish and Chinese using the automated Google Translate service.9 scale earthquake in 1987 with his grandmother when he was four years old. Traditional methods of communication with a community fail to reach LEP individuals. I too understood that if disaster struck. but Grama didn’t speak English. geographic. on experiencing the Whittier Narrows 5. The City of Inglewood must take more steps to prepare these communities for emergencies. which poses a substantial barrier for residents who may not have internet access. With the understanding that Inglewood has a large Spanish speaking population. we wouldn’t have been able to communicate. callers trying to reach FEMA via telephone were only given the choice of either English or Spanish. to reach out to LEP individuals and communities. COIN helps emergency preparedness planners reach out to and engage hardtoreach. atrisk groups. LEP residents of Inglewood also have access to the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response website. ” Introducing the COIN Model The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses the following descriptive categories to group "atrisk" populations: Economic Disadvantage Language and Literacy Medical Issues and Disability (physical. the City of Inglewood produces emergency preparedness fliers in both Spanish and English. mental. In response to Hurricane Katrina (2005) and the Pandemic and All Hands Preparedness Act (2006).“ Limitations to Current LEP Outreach Actions We weren’t hurt and our apartment was virtually untouched. the City does not specifically target LEP populations in emergency preparedness activities. which contains emergency preparedness literature in twelve different languages. Jorge Rivas. New Orleans was home to one of the largest concentrated communities of Vietnamese Americans in the U.S.
inhibiting individuals from seeking basic services • Marginalization or rejection from service providers unable to accommodate LEP language needs 2. organizations. These key contacts could include broadcast radio and media. Marissa Lee ● University of California. who the LEP populations would contact to confirm information received. and take action to do so. This database should be a living document that is continuously updated and expanded to best reflect available resources for LEP populations. and surveys and/or help the City of Inglewood directly survey members of LEP populations. Engage organizations and community leaders to join the COIN and establish clear procedures and policies for collaboration during emergencies. work. (The scope of the COIN can even be expanded to disseminate nonemergency public health messages!) These drills can be used to examine and mend gaps in message delivery. and nonprofits organizations. and during disasters. as well as unique communication needs and challenges faced by at risk populations. including community centers. during. community roundtables. These locales are focal points for disseminating information about emergencies.300 individuals. religious leaders. Identify and map trusted sources in LEP communities. trusted leaders. and congregate. it can be included in preparedness exercises and drills to test its capacity to disseminate information to LEP populations. Data can then be analyzed and used to identify appropriate and trusted messengers to deliver information before. Work with key contacts to discuss how the City of Inglewood should proceed in serving LEP populations before. after. and churches. Page 3 The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has created a children's picture book on disaster preparedness translated in 12 languages designed for parents to read with their children. Reach AtRisk Populations in the City of Inglewood Use community assessment techniques (surveys and focus groups) to learn about the best practices for reaching LEP communities in Inglewood. The COIN should determine the most and least trusted messengers of information during an emergency. shopping plazas. Identify and map places where LEP individuals gather. For example. With this information. Unique barriers and concerns faced by LEP individuals during an emergency situation: • Limited emergency education prior to event • Inability to understand or comply with warning information and evacuation orders • Difficulty communicating with first responders and relief service providers • Inability to understand directives from law enforcement personnel • Fear of law enforcement or immigration enforcement. The City should create a database of atrisk populations and credible key contacts. The Tomas Rivera Policy Institute and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California interviewed focus groups comprised of Latino and Asian residents of Southern California and found that households with children were more prepared for emergencies and in addition. the City can begin to identify existing overarching organizations. and after disasters. and media outlets. teachers. including formal and informal community leaders. including preferred translators. and the most preferred way for the information to be presented to LEP individuals. agencies. LEP direct service providers are experts at disseminating information to LEP populations. the City can note that the majority of LEP individuals in the City of Inglewood speak Spanish (26. Define AtRisk Populations in the City of Inglewood Leverage resources available in Inglewood to identify population categories at risk and the number of people at risk in Inglewood.Creating a COIN for the City of Inglewood 1. by referring to 2010 American Community Survey data. Los Angeles ● Social Welfare 240A ● Policy Brief Assignment . COIN members can participate in focus groups. Representatives from the City should establish relationships with and form a network of key contacts. received disasterpreparedness information from their children's schools. schools. the City of Inglewood can revise its communication plan to include tactics to reach LEP populations. Once the COIN is firmly established.) From there. and key contacts that can help connect the City to members of LEP groups. Locate AtRisk Populations in the City of Inglewood Use a Geographic Information System (GIS) to map atrisk populations to get a clear idea of where LEP individuals in Inglewood live. 3. This collaboration will build familiarity between the agencies and the City of Inglewood.
color. or national origin under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act . and At-risk Populations in an Emergency. LEP populations qualify for the same anti-discrimination protection designated for race. Seattle Times During the next annual revision of the City of Inglewood AllHazards Mitigation Plan.diversitypreparedness. http://emergency. http://www. the City should: Revise the plan's Demographics section to recognize and include information on LEP populations in the City of Inglewood. and most importantly. including LEP. is vital during an emergency. Assign the creation of a COIN to the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.pdf National Resource Center on Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Culturally Diverse Communities. and CERT trained citizens that provided feedback to the All Hazards Mitigation Plan as a starting base for creating an expanded network for the Inglewood COIN.” was issued by President Bill Clinton in 2000. Tomas Rivera Policy Institute and Asian Pacific American Legal Center Report A joint project that examined LEP immigrant communities in Southern California. but view implementation as an interdepartmental task. These populations are not reached by Inglewood's current emergency preparedness education activities. Add the development of a Community Outreach Information Network as a mitigation measure. resources and models for improving and developing activities and programs for diverse communities. neighborhood groups.Communication strategies to reach LEP populations: • Short and concise messaging with low reading level • Use visual aids and large fonts to reinforce key messages • Provide materials translated in different languages • Identify preferred communication methods and develop messages accordingly • Identify preferred media sources and develop messages accordingly Concrete Next Steps for the City of Inglewood Unless the City of Inglewood takes specific steps to prepare for serving its Low English Proficiency populations. The COIN concept was developed to help communities like the City of Inglewood establish trusted channels of communication to mitigate communication barriers and strengthen local safety nets. the LEP demographic is not mentioned in the City of Inglewood All Hazards Mitigation Plan.healthpolicyinstitute. Communication mechanisms and message content must be determined before a disaster strikes. Even though the majority of Inglewood residents have low literacy and 1 out of 4 Inglewood residents are not fluent in English. http://demographics. tens of thousands of our residents could face disparities in the event of a major disaster.pdf Disaster Preparedness in Urban Immigrant Communities: Lessons Learned from Recent Catastrophic Events and Their Relevance to Latino and Asian Communities in Southern California. and Reach Special. save lives. Vulnerable. streamline emergency preparedness and disaster relief communications and services.gov/workbook/pdf/ph_workbookFINAL.cdc. Additional Resources Public Health Workbook to Define. which primarily focus on written. Leverage the Local Advisory Task Force. long term high priority. online resources. Center for Public Health Readiness & Communication at the Drexel University School of Public Health A clearinghouse for information on emergency preparedness on engaging and integrating culturally diverse communities. 65% of people injured during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake did not speak fluent English SOURCE: CDC Prevention Study.pdf . business and professional communities.org/ Guidance for Integrating Culturally Diverse Communities into Planning for and Responding to Emergencies: A Toolkit. including interviews and focus groups.org/wpcontent/uploads/2008/07/disasterreport_final.apalc. Creating a COIN for the City of Inglewood will help ensure Inglewood meets Title VI requirements of the Civil Rights Act. National Consensus Panel on Emergency Preparedness and Cultural Diversity Practical strategies. Rather than relying on the creation of new infrastructure to reach LEP populations. the COIN models strengthens and connects existing services to reach LEP populations. Executive Order 13166 "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency. CDC Provides an overview of the Community Outreach Information Network model and comprehensive guide on how to form one. The CDC has recognized that communicating with atrisk populations. Locate. identified as an ongoing.org/files/OMHDiversityPreparednessToolkit. http://www.
Website: http://www.pdf 10.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview. Rivas..lacity. and atrisk populations in an emergency. locate.lacounty. Retrieved from http://emergency. County of Los Angeles emergency survival guide. Los Angeles. Public health workbook to define. Retrieved from http://community.gov/workbook 11.census.apalc.html 12. K.healthpolicyinstitute. Retrieved from http://publichealth.cdc. LA emergencies and threats. & Purtle. (n.T.org/EmergencyCheckList/LAEmergenciesThreats/index.htm 9.56/disaster_assistance/disaster planningrelief20081028. (2011).) Cyber Crime Low Risk Plane Crash: (flyover zone for LAX) Water Contamination Hazardous Material Release (Inglewood is located near wastewater plants. Colorlines.ca.) Invasion (foreign or alien) High Impact Low Impact Fire Severe Weather and Flooding Hurricane Tornado (last hit Inglewood in 2004) Tsunami Terrorist Attack Landslides . Language Spoken at Home: Inglewood.pdf 3. U. Quake safety in many languagesSeattle picked to debut readiness workshop for nonEnglish speakers.0 or greater earthquake in southern California over the next 30 years.S.com/archive/?date=19960118&slug=2309513 5. S. Crisis Services. City of Inglewood all hazards mitigation plan. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health: National Consensus Panel on Emergency Preparedness and Cultural Diversity.). P. J. (2010). May 20). ArgonzaGomez. Retrieved from County of Los Angeles Office of Emergency Management website: http://lacoa. Addressing the needs of immigrants and limited English communities in disaster planning.. I. 2011.87.pdf 8. etc. vulnerable.pdf 7.com/archives/2009/05/what_disaster_could_look_like_1.org/wpcontent/uploads/2008/07/disaster report_final. California High Risk Earthquake: (NewportInglewood Fault. Listeria.nwsource. Mad Cow. and reach special.174. (1996. (2009.References 1.org/PDF/EmergencySurvivalGuideLowRes.xhtml?pid=ACS_10_1YR_S1601&prodType=ta ble Risk Matrix for Inglewood. Seattle Times. etc.bt. B. 86% probability of 7. Matthew. Immigrants' Rights Update.pdf 4. Literacy @ Work the LA Workforce Literary Project Summary Report.seattletimes.htm 6. Retrieved from http://140. (2010). T. What disaster could look like in southern California. B. Colon. Andrulis. U. County of Los Angeles Public Health. J. A. Blazer. J. from http://factfinder2.) Landslide (connected to Earthquakes) Public Health (eg: Pandemic Flu) Civil Disorder/Riots Terrorism Extreme Heat Rolling Blackouts Food Contamination (Hepatitis.gov/eprp/lingual. Siddiqui.gov/docs/approved_lhmps_under_2008_fema_guidance/City_of_Inglewood_All_Ha zards_Mitigation_Plan__FINAL. 22(8). Census Bureau. J. A. & Murphy..d. & Kelly. (2004) Website: http://www. Retrieved from http://colorlines. (2007) Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website: http://www. CA: United Way Los Angeles. (2011). Retrieved from California Emergency Management Agency website: http://hazardmitigation.unitedwayla.org/files/OMHDiversityPreparednessToolkit. Guidance for integrating culturally diverse communities into planning for and responding to emergencies: A toolkit. (2008) Disaster preparedness in urban immigrant communities: Lessons learned from recent catastrophic events and their relevance to Latino and Asian communities in Southern California. N. (2008).org/getinformed/news/Documents/literacyatworkexecsum. P. Emergency preparedness and response program: Preparedness campaign multilingual assistance. (2011). January 18). Retrieved from The Tomas Rivera Policy Institute website: http://demographics. D.pdf 2.. CA Retrieved November 1st.calema.
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