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Cultural Impact On Disaster Relief

Cultural Impact On Disaster Relief

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Cultural Impact On Disaster Relief

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  1. Cultural ImpactOnDisaster Relief New Jersey Preparedness Consortium (NJ-PTC), Funded by the US Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Jane Harkey, MSW, RNC The Institute for Families, Continuing Education & Professional Development Program, School of Social Work, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 100 Joyce Kilmer Avenue, Building 4161, Livingston Campus, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854 732-445-3173 X160; (fax) 732-445-0580; jharkey@rci.rutgers.edu

  2. Goals & Objectives • Discuss the cultural composition of NJ • Define Culture • Identify at least 3 ways individuals within a given cultural group may respond during a disaster • List at least 4 strategies to meet the needs of various cultures in order to provide disaster relief

  3. NJ Quick Facts • 4th smallest state in the US • Most densely populated state in the US • One of the most religiously and ethnically diverse states in the US

  4. NJ Ethnic Demographics2006 US CensusTotal Population – almost 9 million • White – 76.4% • Black or African American – 14.5% • Hispanic or Latino – 15.6% • Asian – 7.4% • Other Races – 5.4% • Two or more Races – 1.3%

  5. NJ Religious Diversity • 2nd largest Jewish population by % in US • 2nd largest Muslim (Islamic) population by % in US

  6. Culture Learned and transmitted knowledge of values, beliefs and lifeways of a particular group that are generally transmitted intergenerationally and influence thinking, decisions and actions in patterned ways

  7. Why Culture is Important in an Emergency • People prepare, respond, and recover from disaster within the context of their culture. • Culture offers a protective system that is both comforting and reassuring. • It defines appropriate behavior and furnishes a support system, and identifies a shared vision for recovery. • Despite the strengths of culture, responses from some groups may make them more vulnerable than others.

  8. Understand Audience Beliefs and Bias • What cultural groups (ethnic, racial, and religious) live in the community? • Where do they live, and what are their special needs? • What are their values, beliefs, and primary languages? • Who are the cultural brokers in the community?

  9. Important Considerations When Interacting With People of Other Cultures • Communication • Personal Space • Social Organization • Time • Environmental Control

  10. Strategies to Meet the Needs of Various Cultures • Profile of area’s cultural composition • Alliances with leaders • Bilingual and bicultural staff • Dissemination of emergency information

  11. Strategies to Meet the Needs of Various Cultures (Con’t) • Natural support networks • Help-seeking behaviors, customs & traditions • Accessible, appropriate & equitable services • Cultural competence training

  12. Engage Community • What resources and supports would community and cultural/ethnic groups provide during or following a disaster? • Who are the key informants/ gatekeepers of the impacted community? • Has a directory of cultural resource groups, natural helpers, and community informants who have knowledge about diverse groups been developed? • Are the community partners involved in all phases of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery operations?