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MEMA Recognizes National Hispanic Heritage Month

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (September 16, 2019) —

September is National Preparedness Month, an active month for emergency managers across the United States. Press releases, drills, trainings, social media campaigns, media interviews, expos, and presentations, are all part of the preparedness tool box that is unleashed during the month. The intent is to remind residents about the importance of planning and being prepared for emergencies before they happen, and to provide them with the tools needed to improve their resilience.

In addition to Preparedness Month from September 15 until October 15, the U.S. celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month, and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) wants to make sure that its whole community approach to preparedness message is reaching everyone. “We want to pause and recognize the Hispanic and Latinx Community in the U.S. for their invaluable contributions to our profession, our communities, and our country,” said MEMA’s Executive Director, Russ Strickland.”

In addition to a targeted digital outreach campaign in Spanish to the Hispanic community in Maryland, MEMA will be conducting an interview and facility tour with Mundo Latino Newspaper, a Baltimore-based Hispanic Print Publication which focuses largely on issues affecting the Hispanic community. “We really want our message to be heard loudly throughout all Maryland communities, and that includes the Hispanic community,” said Jorge E. Castillo, MEMA’s spokesman. “With Hispanic Heritage Month upon us, there is no better time to engage with Hispanic and Latinos to ensure that language is not a barrier for whole community preparedness.”

According to the latest FEMA National Household Survey, hazard awareness differs by age, income, gender, and race. “Minorities and underserved communities are not as likely to have read, seen, or heard information on preparedness,” added Castillo. “We have to change that and we intend to.”

MEMA encourages all residents in Maryland to connect with them via TwitterLinkedInYouTube and Facebook and for the Hispanic Community in particular to visit www.listo.gov where an array of resources in Spanish are available for Spanish-speaking residents, including templates for emergency plans, financial and insurance information, children- and teenager-specific preparedness curricula and games, and more.

The Hispanic population in the U.S. has surpassed the 60 million mark, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. If it were a country, it would be the second largest Hispanic-origin nation in the world, after Mexico. In Maryland, it is the fastest growing minority group and according to the Pew Research Center, it has more than doubled from 228,000 in 2000 (4% of MD’s population) to 471,000% by 2010 (8% of MD’s population), and reached 556,000 (~10% of MD’s population) in 2014.

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NOTE TO MEDIA: MEMA staff will be available to arrange interviews for your article, story or public affairs show, please contact Ed McDonough or Jorge Castillo at the numbers below.

CONTACT:
Jorge Castillo, jorge.castillo@maryland.gov, 443-381-3518
Ed McDonough, ed.mcdonough@maryland.gov, 410-446-3333
24/7 line: 877-636-2872


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