Good communication is vital to saving lives and preventing even more damage during an emergency. Last month, during our BCPA member meeting, Lillian McDonald and Lauren Rimestad from ECHO Minnesota spoke to us about their work to improve emergency communication within diverse communities around Minnesota.
was founded in 2004 as a project in the aftermath of 9/11. The organization's mission is to collaborate with diverse communities to provide programs that help people be healthy, contribute and succeed. Engaging new Americans in emergency response and creating effective warning and alert systems for their communities is part of fulfilling ECHO Minnesota's mission.
To reach diverse communities, ECHO Minnesota works with leaders to identify which channels will work best for disseminating messages, which can include:
- Mainstream and ethnic media
- Public service announcements
- Phone information lines
- Websites or online communication
- Partner systems
ECHO Minnesota works with bilingual community ambassadors, 200 partner organizations, subject matter experts, community leaders and trained spokespersons to help spread their messages in 12 different languages.
Communicating with diverse communities can be a challenge. The way we consume messages is cultural and reaching those of other cultures effectively takes understanding and could even mean sharing information in new or unexpected ways.
As our population continues to change and become more diverse, reaching everyone with emergency communication becomes more complicated. Organizations like ECHO Minnesota are a vital resource for keeping our communities safe and informed.
If you're struggling to reach diverse communities, ECHO Minnesota may be able to help your organization.