Individuals with Limited Financial ResourcesDuring disasters, financially and socially disadvantaged people will often lack resources that could help keep them safe. This could cause them to have a decreased ability to receive and follow the public health recommendations. Economic disadvantage further challenges their access to communications. For example, about 43% of adults with the lowest literacy rates in U.S. live in poverty.1
Messaging for individuals with health conditions in low-income communities from CDC’s Access and Functional Needs Toolkit Integrating a Community Partner Network to Inform Risk Communication Strategies:1
- Chronic physical and behavioral health conditions are prevalent in low-income communities and highlight the importance of providing accessible, understandable, actionable public health info before and throughout the event.
- Messaging should include info about access to healthcare, med refills, social and mental health services for people with/without insurance or limited economic resources.
- The National Health Care for the Homeless Council developed tools that offer a series of severe weather survival tips written by individuals who were homeless and individuals who are currently homeless.
Key considerations for communication planning from CDC’s Access and Functional Needs Toolkit Integrating a Community Partner Network to Inform Risk Communication Strategies:1
- Work with community partners to develop effective communication strategies and reach individuals with limited financial resources.
- Use partners to review information and ensure it is accessible, understandable, and actionable.
- Offer training for community organizations and outreach workers on communicating emergency info.
- Ensure communications identify health care and human services locations that serve individuals without insurance or with limited economic resources.
- Engage amateur (ham) radio operators and weather radio operators such as the NOAA to assist in communicating with hard-to-reach audiences, for example farm workers, farmers, and rural communities.
- The Connecticut community action agencies help identify and remove social and economic barriers by the mobilization of community resources, advocacy and the provision of direct services. These action agencies use cost-effective and community-based processes. This website lists the CCAA that are in different areas in the state.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2021). Access and Functional Needs Toolkit: Integrating a Community Partner Network to Inform Risk Communication Strategies. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).