FEMA announces 2024 national preparedness theme for AANHPI communities

May 31, 2024

Focus on empowering communities for disaster preparedness

In recognition of President Biden’s proclamation of May as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell announced the theme for the 2024 National Preparedness Month.

As reported by FEMA, this year’s theme aims to empower AANHPI communities to prepare for future risks and disasters.

The announcement was made in a video released on May 30, 2024.

National Preparedness Month, observed in September, encourages communities to engage in preparedness activities.

The theme was announced early to facilitate engagement during the summer months, particularly as the hurricane season approaches.

Administrator Criswell stated: “The Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community is a large, diverse group that spans many cultures, languages and unique circumstances that must be considered when developing strategies to engage communities on disaster preparedness.”

Addressing unique barriers and challenges

Census data analyzed by the Pew Research Center highlights the growth of the Asian population in the U.S., increasing 81% from 2000 to 2019, reaching 18.9 million people.

However, FEMA’s 2023 National Household Survey revealed that 65% of Asian Americans and 58% of Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders lack confidence in their preparedness efforts.

FEMA has historically prioritized these communities in disaster response and recovery efforts, including recent operations in Hawaii and Guam.

The agency’s new focus aims to deliver preparedness information more effectively, addressing specific barriers these communities face.

Summer-long engagement and resources

Leading up to September, FEMA plans to develop written and visual materials and host activities and webinars to help AANHPI communities prepare for extreme weather events.

Using a data-driven approach and in coordination with the Ad Council, FEMA aims to create culturally competent preparedness messages.

Administrator Criswell emphasized the importance of these efforts: “Our nation’s Ready Campaign continues to focus on reaching all communities with the information they need to be prepared for whatever comes their way.

“We will be engaging with this diverse community and investing in culturally competent preparedness materials so we can reach them where they are.”

Building on past initiatives

The 2024 campaign builds on FEMA’s ongoing efforts to enhance accessibility and cultural competency in preparedness.

Previous campaigns have targeted Latino, Black, African American, and older adult communities with tailored public service announcements (PSAs) and resources.

Michelle Hillman, chief campaign development officer at the Ad Council, expressed the organization’s commitment: “We are proud to collaborate with FEMA to empower Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities with culturally competent resources.

“Our goal is to help everyone take steps to prepare for disasters and deliver long-lasting messaging that resonates across communities.”

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