Sewer Smart Summit 2008
October 9, 2008
Presented by
Scott McCormick
CARD - Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters
People with Special Needs 1:
Seniors and/or frail elderly
Poor, without resources, extremely low income
Blind, visually impaired, low vision
Single parents, lone guardians with no support systems
Deaf, hearing impaired, hard-of-hearing (HoH)
Limited English Proficiency (LEP), monolingual
Emergent special needs (new needs due to disaster)
Children, infants, unattended minors, runaways, latchkey kids
Homeless or shelter dependent - including domestic violence
• Chemically dependent – includes legal and illegal drug
dependence issues
• Medically compromised, low immune system, medically
fragile, contagious
People with Special Needs 2:
• Ex-convicts, registered offenders and other clients of the
criminal justice system
• People fearful of (or refusing services from) government, Red
Cross or any unfamiliar bureaucracy
• Physically disabled - from minor issues to complete
dependence on life support
• Mentally/Cognitively disabled - from minor issues to complete
dependence on support systems
• Transient needs (tourists, people needing replacement hearing
aids or glasses, etc.)
• Owners and guardians of pets/animals, people who make life
and death decisions based on animal concerns
• Culturally isolated – little interaction outside of their chosen
community (religion, sobriety, LGBTIQQ, geography caused
isolation, etc.)
CARD History
• 24/7 Media Attention – 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake
pre-empted the World Series.
• Despite great effort -- government, Red Cross and traditional
response organizations could not address immediate, shortterm or long-term needs for most vulnerable residents.
• Three Alameda County agencies (Eden I&R, ESN, BOSS)
championed having nonprofits unite for preparedness and
response for vulnerable communities. United Way of the Bay
Area brought together hundreds of Bay Area nonprofit leaders.
• CARD was created BY local community agencies, FOR local
community agencies, and works WITH community agencies
and committed partners to fulfill on a vision of a prepared,
inclusive, resilient, humane society.
CARD’s philosophy – Prepare to Prosper!
Stages of Emergency Management
• (Prevention)
• Preparedness
• Response
• Recovery
Fo r d isaste r p rep are d n e ss
tra in in g an d re so u rc e s c a ll
(5 10) 451 -3144
w w w.F irstV ic tim s .o r g
serving people w ith special needs
in tim es of disaster
Communication Tools
There are many communication tools we don’t normally consider that may
become useful if a disaster cuts off your normal channels.
High(er) Tech
Ruggedized Laptops
Satellite Phones
Multimedia aSpreads
Palm Pilots / Blackberries
Ham Radios
CB Radios
Cell Phones
Digital Telephones
Low(er) Tech
Megaphones / Bullhorns
POTS (Analog) Telephones
Bulletin Board/White Board
Carbon Paper / NCR paper
Flag Pole
Public Signage
Outreach Tools
There are different ways you can speak to your community beforehand.
Different method have different advantages, and may help you reach people
you had not reached before.
 American Sign Language (ASL)
 Computers : DSL or dial-up
 Door-to-door canvassing or home
 E-mail and listserves
 Fact Sheets or FAQs
 Fax Machines/WinFax
 Information Phone lines (such as 800
 In-person events, workshops or
 Language Translators
 Mailing lists: brochures, fliers
 Radio
 Television
 Video / cassette tape / CDROM / DVD
 Websites
Cultural Competency
• Languages
– translations, interpreters (only part of the solution)
• Non-Language Options
– visual word boards, graphics
Cultural Competency
• Languages
– translations, interpreters (only part of the solution)
• Non-Language Options
– visual word boards, graphics
• Idiomatic / Cultural Translation
– limitations of simple/direct translation; pitfalls
• Language-related Needs
– different needs, not just different words
• Jargon
– acronyms, insider vocabulary
• Terminology
– culturally sensitive use of language
A Brilliant Success:
Clear and simple
Ready to use
Communication: Capacity
How FAST can you spread your message?
Speed is often critical. Note that your message isn’t
“spread” until it’s received: leaving a voicemail doesn’t
count; hearing back is how you know you reached
Communication: Capacity
How FAR can you spread your message?
Who can you reach? How far away can you reach
people with your message?
Communication: Capacity
How DEEP can you spread your message?
Some people are harder to reach than others. The
easiest people to reach are usually the ones who
already heard you.
Knowing how deeply you can get a message helps you
choose communication priorities.
Communication: Flexing
“Communications Flex” =
• Test your communications capacity
• LEARN your capacity
Even if you do nothing to increase your
communications capacity:
simply knowing what it is will be valuable for your
preparedness and response decisions.
Communication: Flexing
To request use of CARD’s copyrighted materials, or for more information:,
contact CARD - Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters
1736 Franklin Street, Suite 450
Oakland, CA 94612-3456
Phone: 510-451-3140
Fax: 510-451-3144

Critical Links PIOs and Preparedness in Vulnerable