Disaster Preparedness for Vulnerable Communities
Wildfires contributed the most damage in California – especially in 2018 when estimates of insured losses from the Camp Fire totaled $7 billion. Unfortunately, the events of disasters in California have been increasing, and it is a trend that is expected to continue. While many federal, state, and local agencies invest in resources for disaster readiness, the special needs of vulnerable populations during disasters are often disregarded. In the context of emergencies, vulnerable groups may include people with disabilities, pregnant women, children, older adults, certain members of ethnic minorities, and low-income households. Research by the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that emergency managers would benefit from more information on how to identify and help at-risk groups within their communities. Preparing for an emergency or a disaster is much simpler than you think. Additionally, these resources give guidance and support to fill the gaps in technology for people to stay connected and active. Doing small things starting today can ensure that you, your family, loved ones, and pets are safe and cared for when disaster strikes.
What Local Agencies Can Do
California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF)
Internet For All Program is a limited-time benefit for low-income consumers that will show up as a credit on your bill for High-Speed Home Internet and could pay for a computing device.
California Department of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Office (EPO)
The EPO coordinates overall planning and preparedness efforts for the CDPH.
Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
The EBB Program is now accepting applications and enrollments! Consumers can locate participating service providers in their area using the Companies Near Me tool. For more information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, visit USAC’s website or the FCC’s website.
Discount internet: If you are interested in obtaining EBB-funded internet and related benefits, apply here or call (888) 391-7249 / text (562) 372-6925 them.
Digital literacy course: Virtual digital skills course available 24 hours a day online for learners with little or no previous experience with computer use. Apply here or call them at (562) 283-8423 for more information.
Listos California Emergency Preparedness Campaign
Listos CA provides 100+ resources in over 20 languages of free online, print, texting, social media, and audio and video streaming resources to share and promote disaster preparedness in your home and community.