Dear Oakland Community,

Have you ever wondered how prepared the Oakland community is for a disaster? As a community we might think everyone is prepared but in reality not everyone knows what steps to take to prepare for a disaster. In order for our community to be prepared we need to inform them and make sure they do the necessary procedures like create a first aid kit, have emergency contacts, and have a plan. Based on the research, Emergency preparedness is a public health issue because poverty affects how prepared people are.  

Firstly, emergency preparedness is a public health issue for low income families. This is true because after many disasters the community is hurt more. According to a report made by a nonprofit titled “WHEN DISASTER STRIKES: PROMISING PRACTICES” by MDCINC.org they stated, “Low-income families and communities often suffer disproportionately from disasters” (MDCINC.org). This shows low income families are in danger because they don’t have the right supplies that they need incase of an emergency. This means that we are at high risk because they don’t have the right knowledge on why we should be prepared for any disaster that could happen. It’s institutional oppression because the government is focusing on the people who are wealthy instead of the people who are struggling that are in need. This relates to the Covid-19 pandemic because it was a drastic change from one day to another that everyone had to be in shelter in place and jobs closed down. The community wasn’t prepared for this so that’s why the supplies went out so fast in stores because people were panicking and bought a surplus  without thinking of the rest of the people. This affects low income people more because they don’t have access to the materials that they need or the funds to buy a surplus. This issue has caused harm in the community because families  are wasting more money without having some sort of income coming in. 

Secondly, the class level affects preparedness for emergency because often those of working class or lower, are more exposed to risk. According to a report by an administration by SAMHSA stated, “ However, they note, other research (Vaughan, 1995; Greene, Perry, & Lindell, 1981) has found people of lower SES and working class people whose jobs involve exposure to risk— those with fewer resources, presumably, than those of higher SES and people of middle or other classes with greater access to resources—to be less cognizant of the risks associated with their work” (SAMHSA). This is saying that the people who aren’t higher class have low resources compared to the people who are upper class. This means that we need to help one another and make sure that no matter what class lower or high we are all prepared with the necessary resources. Therefore, lower classes are more exposed to high risks in emergencies. 

We created a survey and had 47 participants take it from different ages and places in the Bay Area. Additionally, more women than men took the survey. We wanted to see if there was any difference in what age group is more informed about emergency preparedness.

Graph #1: Level of Preparedness by Age

It shows that People who are older feel less prepared than younger people.

This argues that we should have a platform and knowledge about how to feel prepared for disasters. The colors represent how prepared people feel. Blue = least prepared and Orange = most prepared. 10-15 year olds feel the most prepared.

Graph #2: Information to learn more by gender

This graph asked people what they want to get more information on, by gender, and how to create a disaster kit. This argues that not many females or males know how to create one or what a disaster kit includes. We noticed that only men want to know more about emergency contacts and only females want to know about the Disaster Kit and Emergency Contact.

Graph #3 Information by Race

The graph shows that there are more Latino and Hispanic people that have a plan if there was to be a disaster and would know where to reunite with their family members unlike other races. This argues that other races should be having a conversation with their family members about a plan of where to reunite. It might also look this way because we surveyed more Latinos.

Based on our research the most effective way to improve emergency preparedness is to share information to people in our community so that people can be aware of the potential consequences of these disasters.  

Aim #1: Using Instagram to inform people

In order to start informing people we will do it virtually through Instagram which is an application well known and used. Our target will be teenagers and adults. We know this will be effective because people are always searching or scrolling through the application and if we have multiple people share it it will grab their attention. The first step we need to take is creating an instagram page that will be named “Emergency Preparedness”. Then, we will start posting information that shows how to create a first aid kit, information of emergency contacts, and tips on how to prepare for a disaster. Once our instagram page is prepared with information we would post it in our instagram pages and have our followers repost it so people can go and view our information. In order to know that our page is being helpful we will post an instagram story asking a question if the information provided was helpful or not. The only obstacle we will have would be targeting older people because Instagram is an application that is not really used by them. 

Aim #2: Create Poster to Spread around school & neighborhoods

Our second aim is to create posters to spread awareness in our community. This will be effective because we can add information and people could learn more about it and have a better view of what we are trying to inform them about. Our target is our whole community from different age groups to keep them informed since in the survey the majority of the people that felt prepared were young people and not adults. The first step would be to gather equipment to make posters which will need white paper, markers, and tape/stapler. The second step is to create different types of posters that would have information and also create posters that only have images for the people that like visual things. Lastly, it’s to post these posters in Life Academy and around our community. The only obstacle we think we will have is for people to actually take the time to look at the posters and inform themselves. 

Thank you Oakland for listening and reading about Emergency Preparedness. It is important because if there is ever to be a disaster people will find ways to stay safe. It is a social justice issue that preparedness is based on income people or more or less prepared. The City of Oakland needs to donate emergency supplies for emergencies and it would be a big step to have a kit at home and stay safe. #EmergencyPreparedness #StaySafe #BayArea

Jade & Ashley


Websites:

Mdcinc.org. 2020. [online] Available at: <https://www.mdcinc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/When-Disaster-Strikes-Promising-Practices-Low-Income-Families-and-Communities.pdf> [Accessed 7 May 2020].

Samhsa.gov. 2020. [online] Available at: <https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/dtac/srb-low-ses_2.pdf> [Accessed 7 May 2020].

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