Developing a Disaster Preparedness Campaign Targeting Low-Income Latino Immigrants
Focus Group Results for Project PREP
Published In: Journal of Health Care For the Poor and Underserved, v. 20, no. 2, May 2009, p. 330-331
Low-income immigrant Latinos are particularly vulnerable to disasters because they are both ill-prepared and disproportionately affected. Disaster preparedness programs that are culturally appropriate must be developed and tested. To develop such a program, we conducted 12 focus groups with low-income immigrant Latinos to understand their perceptions and understanding of disaster preparedness, and facilitators and obstacles to it. Participants were concerned about remaining calm during an earthquake. Obstacles to storage of disaster supplies in a kit and developing a family communication plan were mentioned frequently. Misunderstandings were voiced about the proper quantity of water to store and about communication plans. Several focus groups spontaneously suggested small group discussions (platicas) as a way to learn about disaster preparedness. They wanted specific help with building their family communication plans. They rated promotoras de salud highly as potential teachers. Results will guide the development of a disaster preparedness program tailored to the needs of low-income Latino immigrants.