Filling the Gaps: Inequitable Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Policies Serving Immigrant and Refugee Communities

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Abstract:

As the policy intern at OneAmerica, Washington State’s largest immigrant and refugee advocacy organization, the author was charged with researching how natural disasters had been impacting low-English proficient (LEP) immigrants and refugees in rural Eastern and Central Washington. She researched how previous natural disasters had impacted diverse communities across the United States, finding several trends of discrimination against immigrants before natural disasters that led to worse outcomes for their communities, as well as consistent discrimination and human rights abuses during the recovery process. The author obtained anecdotes of individuals’ experiences with natural disasters through informal phone interviews, all either direct or secondhand accounts. She then wrote a policy recommendation to help guide OneAmerica’s advocacy efforts. The following paper outlines the problems that the author identified and offers practical suggestions for policy changes that can occur at the local, state and federal levels to build community resilience against natural disasters and help all residents recover.

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Citation:

Nagler, E. (2017). Filling the gaps: Inequitable emergency preparedness and disaster relief policies serving immigrant and refugee communities.  The International Undergraduate Journal For Service-Learning, Leadership, and Social Change,  6(2), 10-22.

About This Study:

Outcome(s): Emergency Preparedness
Intervention(s): None Tested
Relevant ORR Program: Ethnic Community Self-Help Program, Preferred Communities, Refugee Health Promotion
Study Type: Suggestive evidence
Full Text Availability: Free
Direction of Evidence: No evidence about impact
Strength of Evidence: Suggestive
Gender(s) of Participants: All
Age(s) of Participants: Adults
Region(s) of Origin of Participants: Multiple Regions

Relevant Evidence Summaries:

The evidence was reviewed and included in the following summaries: