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Models of Disaster Response: Lessons Learned from Filipino Immigrant Mobilizations for Hurricane Katrina Evacuees

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Studies Volume: 25 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2012 Pages: 391-408
Stephen M. Cherry; Kody Allred
Date Published
December 2012
18 pages
This article discusses how the disaster response to Hurricane Katrina affected Filipino Americans.
Hurricane Katrina forced one of the largest internal migrations of people in U.S.A. history. Among the evacuees were 28,000 Filipino Americans, many of whom fled to Houston. In a short period of time, Filipino American Houstonians relocated their co-ethnics with host families, facilitated documents needed for U.S. Federal aid (FEMA), provided material assistance, and addressed evacuee medical needs through the establishment and staffing of a crisis triage clinic. Drawing on ethnographic and survey data, the authors contend that two key lessons can be gained from the Filipino case that local, State, and Federal agencies can draw on for future emergency preparedness and disaster management. First, Federal, State, and local agencies should better implement its partnership plans with identified ethnic- and faith-based organizations in order to both network and mobilize diverse resources more efficiently. Second, this implementation should include a more effective communication plan to coordinate efforts among people of all English proficiencies and cultural backgrounds. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.