Coalitions of Los Angeles County
In January 2013, sixteen community coalitions were formed across Los Angeles County — eight Community Resilience Coalitions and eight Preparedness Coalitions. All coalitions are facilitated by a LACDPH Public Health Nurse, Community Liaison Nurse, or Health Educator and are being funded $15,000 per year to move forward with community resilience/preparedness activities. All coalitions create a yearly workplan that links their activities to outcomes that are related to their overall coalition goal. Coalitions are supported by LACCDR project partners, who provide technical assistance and resources to complete the activities.
Community Resilience Coalitions
We need to articulate what community resilience is [to the community]. I thought I knew, but I had no idea before coming to these meetings. As we talk about it I understand it more and more.
Culver City Community Resilience Coalition Member
Community Resilience Coalitions started by meeting to identify and learn about approaches to strengthen the four levers of community resilience (partnership, engagement, education, and community self-sufficiency) and to review six comprehensive modules, based on workgroup recommendations, including:
- How to map the hazards and resources in our neighborhood using web-based tools and other resources
- Identifying the at-risk or vulnerable populations in our community
- Understanding how to identify and respond to social and psychological trauma, and
- Understanding how to utilize CR-trained field workers
From these modules, Community Resilience Coalitions began to develop goal statements and create a workplan to guide coalition activities for each year. Feedback and input from coalitions also guided the revision of the modules and further development of the "Build Resilience LA County" toolkit. The toolkit is a 5-section training module that focuses on building community resilience through four "Building Blocks": Learn, Engage, Partner, and Prepare. Toolkit sections take approximately two hours to complete and include an introduction to community resilience, asset and hazard mapping, community disaster plans, short-term response after a disaster, and long-term recovery. As coalitions continue to train and disseminate information from the toolkit into the broader community, the toolkit will continue to evolve with additional community feedback. Eventually, the final version of the toolkit will be made available to help coalitions, groups, and residents build resilience in their own communities.
In moving beyond traditional preparedness, Community Resilience Coalitions are continuously mindful of including the perspectives of 12 community sectors in all aspects of their planning. These sectors include:
- Community leadership
- Cultural and faith-based groups/organizations
- Emergency management
- Social services
- Housing and sheltering
- Mental/behavioral health
- State Office of Aging/equivalent
The Community Resilience Coalitions include:
This is good. I'm excited. The curriculum I'm working on with my students, 8th graders, is on community and dealing with disasters. I'm going to incorporate this information, then have them map the school. Kids will be able to learn and then take this information home and discuss it.
Compton Preparedness Coalition Member
All Preparedness Coalitions started by coming together to learn about preparedness in a series of workshops based on information from the Los Angeles County Emergency Survival Guide. Workshop topics included individual and family preparedness; considerations for vulnerable populations including children, seniors, individuals with special needs, and animals; communication tools; and linking with local nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and small businesses.
Preparedness Coalitions then began to develop their own workplans to carry out preparedness outreach and educational activities for their community.
The Preparedness Coalitions include:
The Acton/Agua Dulce Coalition has been sponsoring HAM radio trainings for community members who will eventually be able to use these skills to communicate and assist isolated and/or senior community members who may be disconnected after an emergency or disaster. The coalition also held a number of community forums, strategically inviting agencies and representatives from specific sectors to learn about the coalition and provide technical expertise in certain areas. These new members are looped into the coalition as satellite members, called upon when specific feedback or input is needed and kept updated on general coalition activities.
The Culver City Coalition has been working to create outreach materials (posters/pamphlets/videos) that will display the hazards and vulnerable areas and populations in Culver City, in an effort to help recruit new coalition members. The coalition based their materials on what they have learned since starting their work and using the community resilience toolkit and modules.
The Huntington Park Coalition has been actively promoting CERT trainings in Huntington Park in an effort to establish its own CERT team. The coalition rolled out the first CERT training in November 2013, and is now ready to graduate 32 more from Spanish CERT and hands-only CPR in May 2014 . Later this year, members plan to engage local business owners by introducing Business CERT (BERT). Aside from outreach efforts within Huntington Park, the coalition actively networks with surrounding cities such as Cudahy and Southgate to connect and engage community members to prepare together.
The La Crescenta Coalition (CVReady) acquired a trailer to function as a mobile communication center and has been sharing their equipment with other community sectors in La Crescenta at various types of events (e.g. blood drives, farmers' markets, parades, and school events). This sharing allows CVReady to publicize and build awareness for emergency preparedness and disaster resilience among all community members. You can follow their activities on their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CVReady) and on Twitter (@CVReady1).
The Pico Union Coalition is comprised primarily of Spanish-speaking community members. In April 2014, they completed a CERT training for the coalition with about 30 graduates. After this success and a great reception from the community, the coalition will be offering Teen CERT training, and is also continuing with outreach focusing on monolingual Spanish-speaking populations that may often be neglected in public health efforts.
The Pomona Coalition has been busy training residents and city employees in CPR, First Aid, Basic Emergency Preparedness, CERT refresher trainings, and CERT 3-day basic trainings. The coalition hopes to find additional residents through these trainings who might be interested in carrying the preparedness message to more community members.
The Watts Coalition is an offshoot of the Watts Gang Task Force, and is continuing the tradition of working with stakeholders to improve the lives of Watts residents. This coalition is focused on ensuring that their large senior population is included in their resilience plan, and they plan to hold computer training classes for seniors in the area.
The Wilmington Coalition currently has members from community organizations and residents. They have conducted several educational outreach efforts, providing residents and organizations in the city of Wilmington with emergency preparedness and resiliency awareness and information. They are currently conducting CERT with the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The Compton Coalition, Pac Red, has been very active in providing emergency preparedness education and outreach in the community, including Section 8 housing units. The coalition is also working on a web project that will include preparedness information in sign language. This next year the coalition is planning to help coordinate HAM radio workshops, handgun safety classes, and Map Your Neighborhood workshops for special needs groups. Visit coalition website »
The Gardena Coalition (Gardena Emergency Preparedness and Response Coalition) has completed numerous community based trainings and outreach events, and is starting to get additional requests from the city and other community agencies to participate and present at events. Currently, the coalition is partnering with the YMCA to provide a two-day disaster preparedness training for youth. The first day of the training, led by coalition members, includes an overview of emergency preparedness and strategies, followed by a second day of drills and scenarios led by YMCA staff. Visit coalition website »
Hawaiian Gardens Coalition has been reaching out to mobile parks and senior apartment complexes and providing educational presentations for the residents. The coalition partnered with a Walmart pharmacist, an energy specialist from Synergy, and a local veterinarian to provide information on topics that were of interest to residents. The presentations at the mobile parks have led to real changes made by residents and mobile park managers, to improve disaster preparedness. One mobile park owner donated a golf cart and storage shed for residents to store their emergency preparedness supplies.
The Hollywood Coalition has conducted TEEN CERT classes with area students to facilitate outreach to schools and help spread issues of community preparedness to a younger generation. The coalition has met with a Councilmember and is working with the local fire department, police department, community organizations, and homes for the elderly to strategize about publicizing community preparedness to those in the area that may not think disaster preparedness is a priority.
The Antelope Valley Network for Healthy Families is a coalition of agencies that provide services to families throughout the Antelope Valley. Members meet monthly to share resources, referrals, and community/event information to provide optimal family services to low-income, underserved populations. Services focus on home visitation/case management for pregnant or new mothers and families with children 0-5 years of age. The coalition members plan to incorporate emergency preparedness and family safety to the families they already serve and the communities of Lake Los Angeles and Littlerock that are located in the rural outskirts of the Antelope Valley.
The Palms Coalition, Pep C, includes representation from apartment managers, faith-based organizations, the neighborhood council, and schools. They are sharing disaster preparedness information at community events and also want to do a CPR and CERT class.
The San Fernando Coalition has been reaching out in their community to build disaster preparedness and has created an earthquake preparation informational handout to aid in these activities. Outreach locations have included elementary schools and after school programs, senior centers, and little league signups.
The San Gabriel Coalition has been running disaster preparedness classes for a parenting group at a local daycare center and is expanding to provide training for some evening groups at a local community clinic. They are also reaching out to the churches in the area to join the coalition and are planning to provide information at community events in English, Chinese, and Spanish.