The County Voice

Stanislaus County’s Latino Emergency Summit Opens Doors

This summit was presented by the Latino Emergency Council, a partnership between Stanislaus County, the Hispanic Leadership Council and El Concilio Council for the Spanish Speaking.  Stanislaus County is being honored with a 2012 CSAC Challenge Award for its role in establishing the Council.

_______________

Emergencies happen every day in local communities.

Hazardous materials releases, utility failures, natural disasters, fire and law enforcement activities are only some of the things that can turn a community upside down.

Being well-prepared before a disaster is essential for responding well in a disaster.

Stanislaus County was recently host to the Latino Emergency Leadership Summit 2012 on in Modesto.  The event coincided in September with National Preparedness Month and was created to promote emergency preparedness and response in the Latino community.

[caption id="attachment_3731" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Photo Courtesy of Bart Ah You Photography"][/caption]

The event was the first of its kind in California and thought to be the first of its kind in the nation. More than 85 different organizations were represented at the summit with more than 125 attendees ranging from the federal, state and local level and including public safety, elected officials, grass-roots organizations, non-profits, the faith community and private sector.

The summit was presented by the Latino Emergency Council (LEC) which is a 501 © (3) organization based in Modesto.  The LEC was formed in late 2005 as a partnership between Stanislaus County, the Hispanic Leadership Council and El Concilio Council for the Spanish Speaking.

Event organizers had high hopes for attendance, but even higher hopes for the impact the summit would make in the Latino community.

“The response has been tremendous,” stated Dale Butler, President of the Latino Emergency Council.  “It shows that by working together we can develop a community that is prepared to respond and is ready to help one another.”

Victoria Donoso attended the event representing Catholic Charities.  She understands first-hand the concerns of the Latino community and how they impact emergency response. “The barriers exist. We know this. What sets this movement apart is the collaboration in the room to find the workaround.”

The event featured several presentations as well as table breakout sessions designed to get feedback from the group. The feedback will then be used by the LEC to improve outreach efforts.

“I was impressed by breadth of talent that was showcased in the roundtable exercises,” stated Melissa Williams who attended the summit on behalf of the utility company Modesto Irrigation District. “Various views and different approaches to the questions posed were thoughtfully discussed and presented.”

Feedback from the summit was overwhelmingly positive with 99% of attendees stating they had a better understanding of the challenges in reaching the Latino community in an emergency.  But more importantly, 99% indicated they were motivated by the Summit to become more involved in emergency preparedness and response in the Latino community.

The LEC is looking for grant funding or sponsorships to continue to grow its outreach. If people are interested in getting involved they can send a note to LECInfo@yahoo.com.

The Latino Emergency Council was created to formalize a communications channel with leadership of the Latino community and the Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services in the event of a disaster situation. The LEC has assisted in emergency response for the County Office of Emergency Services in a variety of situations including the H1N1 Swine Flu outbreak, multiple heat emergencies, West Nile virus and cold weather issues.  For more information on the Latino Emergency Council you can go to www.latinoemergency.com.

 

Navigation Term Highlight

Latest CSAC Bulletin

Navigation Term Highlight

Where We are Located

Navigation Term Highlight

County Of The Week:
Kings