Learning Preparedness in Spanish

On May 29, our Red Cross region hosted its first Latino Leadership Summit. Held at Urban Ventures in Minneapolis, the summit brought together local Red Cross leaders and Latino community representatives for a conversation about emergency preparedness. Eleven people representing Latino groups, businesses or service organizations attended. They learned more about the importance of being prepared before disasters happen as well as Red Cross services and programs. They offered, in return, insights into how the Red Cross can do a better job sharing its preparedness message with Spanish-speaking communities and helping them become more disaster resilient in Minnesota.

Here are some highlights:

Victoria Krook, a K-12 educator in Brooklyn Center, says that reaching families one-on-one is best. Winter, she says, is a major emergency issue to address: "Parents don't know frostbite, how quickly it can happen."

Victoria Krook (above), a K-12 educator in Brooklyn Center, says that reaching Latino families one-on-one is best. Winter, she says, is a major emergency issue to address in Latino communities: “Parents don’t know frostbite, how quickly it can happen.”

Maria Arboleda, a program coordinator in higher education, says that many people have resources to be prepared, but that "if we want get this education out to communities, then we need more Spanish speakers and more people from the communities."

Maria Arboleda (above center), a program coordinator in higher education, says that many Latino families have resources to be prepared for disasters, but that “if we want to get this education out to communities, then we need more Spanish speakers and more people from the communities.”

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“Every mom is a first responder,” says Arturo Lopez (above left), a cadet in law enforcement training. Lopez says that building trust, reaching children and training women are keys to sharing preparedness messages with Latino families.

Our Latino community partners left the summit with fresh enthusiasm and concrete action steps for preparing and preventing emergencies at home and work. Our Red Cross action plan includes helping them reach their goals and building on our new shared energy.

Story and photos by Lynette Nyman/American Red Cross

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