September is National Emergency Preparedness month. When preparing for an emergency, it is important to be sure that hard-to-reach populations, who may have special emergency preparedness needs, are addressed. Public Health recently produced a preparedness video using sign language for the hearing impaired in order to connect them to emergency preparedness information and resources .
The video invites them to explore the emergency preparedness webpage that includes links to other resources. It also encourages them to volunteer for emergency preparedness exercises and drills. It’s important to participate in preparedness drills to help Public Health create realistic plans that fit their needs .
“It is important to reach out to hard-to-reach populations and the agencies who serve them to ensure that emergency preparedness and response planning efforts address their various access and functional needs that maybe impacted during a local emergency or disaster,” says Cynthia Johnston, Health Program Coordinator for Public Health. “The deaf and hard of hearing community is very active in bringing their concerns about information-sharing during a disaster as well as alert and notification issues to the attention of emergency planners in Sacramento.”
Videos are just one way to connect with hard-to-reach populations; Public Health also produces preparedness guides in several different languages, and the is organizing Functional Assessment Services Teams (FAST) to quickly assess people with functional needs during an emergency. Check out the Emergency Preparedness American Sign-Language video on the Sacramento County Public Health YouTube page.