Creating a Culture of Readiness in Black and African American Communities

New Nat-Preparedness-Month_Blog_Week-2For the second year in a row, the national Ready Campaign is continuing its efforts to reach historically underserved communities for National Preparedness Month. This year’s feature is a call to action for the Black and African American communities.

Climate disasters are on the rise and African Americans are among the most vulnerable groups who are least likely to be prepared when the unexpected occurs.

As a result, African Americans who struggle to cover day-to-day expenses have difficulty preparing before a disaster or an emergency strike

Studies also show that racial disparities in the United States affect the way Black and African American communities prepare, or do not prepare. These communities lack confidence in both their ability to sufficiently prepare given their limited resources and in the government’s ability to make up for where these groups fall short or assist following a disaster.

Together, we can move closer to ensuring a level playing field and that disaster preparedness is equitably achieved by all. Providing adequate support for African Americans to build more resilient communities requires a deliberate and collaborative approach, such as:

African American communities. Don’t wait. Take steps to plan ahead and protect your family and the legacy you have built. Make an emergency plan, build an emergency kit, and sign up for emergency alerts to easily access resources before, during, and after a disaster. Check out your local emergency management office or for resources to assist you. Prioritize seeking additional resources if needed before disaster strikes.

Faith-based groups and disaster relief organizations. Renew focus on preparedness and meeting Black and African American communities where they are. Continue to advocate for equitable solutions that break barriers and improve access to resources.

Emergency management and government officials. Key industry leaders should seek the best ways to reach African Americans; review and study current research showing the gaps in preparedness or conduct a community survey to better understand the gaps; meet with community leaders to best address the issues; and commit to carrying out those plans. Focus on culturally competent strategies to reach vulnerable groups and create policies and programs that offer aid and promote resiliency.