Listos Disaster Preparedness Training
Organized by: Laura Hernandez
Listos is a 12-hour course that provides basic disaster preparedness for some of the most vulnerable members of our communities, the non-English speaker. The core design of Listos is based on building relationships and working with employers with Spanish Speaking employees, in a non-emergency non-threating way. In doing so, we not only provide valuable disaster awareness information to Spanish speaking employees, but also develop familiarity with public services that are often available to often overlooked populations. The methodology drew from the best practices and lessons learned of other non-English speaking public education initiatives. The Listos program was developed in 2010 to address the cultural gap between vulnerable high-risk Spanish- speaking communities and traditional disaster preparedness outreach and educational programs. The Listos curriculum emphasizes targeted recruitment and Spanish-language presentations tailored to the specific cultural and linguistic needs of Latino communities. The mission of Listos is to provide Spanish-speaking populations with information about the importance of disaster readiness, doing so in a culturally appropriate manner that includes the sharing of preparedness skills and information with family and friends. By collaborating with trusted, pre-established community networks, the Listos program ensures that the Spanish-speaking population – a group of individuals who at times might hesitate to ask for help from First Responders due to language barriers and apprehensions on both sides – are introduced to emergency providers such as police officers and firefighters in a non-threatening, non-crisis setting and within the comfort of their own social networks. This experience serves as an opportunity for participants to not only learn crucial disaster preparedness skills but also to become responsible, engaged community members by involving themselves with additional preparedness efforts and supplementary trainings provided by their jurisdictions and local non-profit agencies, such as the American Red Cross.