LOS ANGELES--()--Fires, wind storms, earthquakes, floods… when you live in Los Angeles County, you know emergencies do happen. While nobody can predict the next one, the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health (LAC DPH) wants everyone to be ready.
“It’s an important – potentially life-saving – first step”
Experience and research from recent disasters have shown that close-knit communities survive better than others during emergencies and recover more quickly afterward. Therefore, the LAC DPH currently is rolling out its Los Angeles County Community Disaster Preparedness (LACCDP) campaign throughout LA County, urging community members to “Know Your Neighbors. Plan Together. Be Ready.”
“It’s an important – potentially life-saving – first step,” asserts Dr. Alonzo Plough, Ph.D., M.P.H., Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “Regardless of the type of emergency you may face or where you live, it’s important to know your neighbors because: (1) emergency response teams may be delayed because they and their families may also be impacted; (2) your neighbors may be the first ones who can help; and (3) they know where you live and will have a better idea of what you might need.”
Roll out of the multi-lingual campaign (English, Spanish, Korean and Mandarin) is being supported by:
- A dedicated website - bereadyla.org
- Dedicated Facebook page
- Billboard advertising
- Radio commercials and public service announcements (PSAs)
- Television commercials
- Television and radio interviews
- A two-minute educational video on the bereadyla.org website
- Bus and bus shelter signage
- Distribution of informative brochures to community-based organizations
- A speaker’s bureau
- Also, community events are taking place across LA County at shopping malls and other popular, accessible community gathering places (visit bereadyla.org for calendar updates)
Key to the program’s implementation, LAC DPH is partnering with 16 diverse communities throughout the County to determine together which emergency preparedness approaches, strategies, materials and other resources will work best.
The project is a collaborative, grass-roots effort to engage community-based organizations to provide leadership that will improve community resilience – the ability of communities and the people who live there to prepare for, respond to and recover – in the event of emergencies and natural disasters. It is part of a three-year community engagement pilot program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched this year in response to a March 2011 directive from President Obama to embrace a community resilience approach.
For more information, visit bereadyla.org.
About the Department of Public Health
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health and the work we do, please visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/lapublichealth, or follow us on Twitter: LAPublicHealth.