write:These recommendations are by no means exhaustive but are intended to help you think about ways in which you can establish or broaden a Whole Community practice of emergency manage

and Pathways for Action 19 Pathways for Action While there are many similarities that most communities share
communities are ultimately complex and unique. Ideas that work well in one community may not be feasible for another due to local regulations
available funding
or community culture
for example. Some communities have fully integrated Whole Community concepts into their operations. For other communities
this is a new concept that they are hearing about for the first time. If this concept is familiar to you
think about what you can teach and share with others. On the other hand
if you are looking to begin a Whole Community approach or expand existing programs
the following questions and bullets may help get you started. What follows are ideas and recommendations that were collected as part of the national dialogue during facilitated group discussions with emergency management practitioners from nonprofit organizations
private sector organizations
and all levels of government. These recommendations are by no means exhaustive
but are intended to help you think about ways in which you can establish or broaden a Whole Community practice of emergency management within your community. How can we better understand the actual needs of the communities we serve?  Educate your emergency management staff on the diversity of the community and implement cultural competence interventions
such as establishing a relationship with a multi-lingual volunteer to help interact with the various groups.12  Learn the demographics of your community. Develop strategies to reach community members and engage them in issues that are important to them.  Know the languages and communication methods/traditions in the community—not only what languages people speak and understand
but how they actually exchange new information and which information sources they trust.  Know where the real conversations and decisions are made. They are not always made at the council level
but at venues such as the community center
neighborhood block parties
social clubs
or places of worship. Tap into these opportunities to listen and learn more about the community. For example
homeowner association quarterly meetings (social or formal) may serve as opportunities to identify current community issues and concerns and to disseminate important public information. What partnerships might we need in order to develop an understanding of the community’s needs?  Identify a broad base of stakeholders
including scout troops
sports clubs
home school organizations
and faith-based and disability communities to identify where relationships can be built and where information about the community’s needs can be shared. Partner with groups that interact with a given population on a daily basis
such as first responders
places of worship
niche media outlets
and other community organizations. These 12 For more information on cultural competence interventions
see Betancourt
et al.
“Defining Cultural Competence: A Practical Framework for Addressing Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Health and Health Care
” Public Health Reports
Vol. 118.


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