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LIRS Releases Disaster Preparedness in Migrant Communities: A Manual for First Responders

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) today releases Disaster Preparedness in Migrant Communities: A Manual for First Responders, a unique resource to help communities integrate migrants into their planning and response to disasters.

"Disaster Preparedness in Migrant Communities: A Manual for First Responders will educate, empower, and equip first responders to see migrants as part of their disaster response, understand the specific vulnerabilities faced by migrant communities during a disaster, work alongside the ethnic community to mitigate disaster risk, and appropriately deal with crisis when it occurs," said LIRS President and CEO Linda Hartke.

"We're extremely grateful to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) for supporting the creation of this important manual," said Hartke. "We are also thankful to our friends in our community partners and allies, who gave us valuable feedback through an intensive review process."

"This is a very helpful manual in many ways," said Pastor Michael Stadie, Director of Lutheran Disaster Response. "It provides great information for newcomers and those who want to ensure the safety of newcomers in a time of disaster."

Disaster Preparedness in Migrant Communities: A Manual for First Responders shares a collection of resources based on LIRS's decades of work with immigrants and refugees. Features include:

  • Observations about the unique characteristics of newcomers in American communities, and how those relate to their ability to cope with disaster
  • Questions for reflection on how communities can best build ties with newcomer community leaders and plan for their inclusion in disaster planning
  • Recommendations for actions that position planners and first responder teams to lead the entire community – newcomers included – to a safe outcome
  • Tools to round out planning for all stages of coping with disasters, gleaned from expert sources

To obtain a copy of the manual, please email To download a copy, click here.

A grant of $14,829 from the Casey Foundation offset costs related to writing and editing Disaster Preparedness in Migrant Communities: A Manual for First Responders, and paid for its design, production, and distribution. In addition to that grant, the Casey Foundation also supported the creation of the manual through a 2010 $50,000 grant that boosted LIRS's capacities in areas such as community assets mapping, advocacy, and partnership-building. Both the ELCA and the LCMS made grants to LIRS that supported research, data collection, analysis, and creation and distribution of the manual.

LIRS is nationally recognized for its leadership advocating on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations, and for providing services to migrants through over 60 grassroots legal and social service partners across the United States.

Press Contact: Jon Pattee

SOURCE Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

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