Immigration and Emergency Management

Immigration is obviously a hot topic in the news these days. It impacts us from the most intimate individual level all the way up to major questions about federal policy and national identity and values. Often overlooked in ideological debates is how much stress this puts into everyday life. It is difficult to acknowledge let alone measure just how much the fear of deportation or harassment impacts every single detail of life. And this has huge implications for the resilience of not only individuals, but our entire communities.

We Don’t Pick and Choose Where Disaster Strikes

A new article in Emergency Management magazine suggests a deeper look at this issue from the lens of disaster response: how are emergency managers coping with and planning for keeping immigrants safe? “We have to leave our preconceived notions at the door and deal with people as we find them,” said Lucien Canton, an emergency management consultant. “It’s one thing if we’re talking about…voting rights. It’s another if this person’s been displaced by a disaster.”

Close to Home

Local offices of emergency management and first responders in Boulder County are working hard to address this issue. But residents are sometimes still afraid to answer their doors. The Boulder County VOAD is also creating a strong network of non-governmental disaster resources. These need to be easily accessible to everyone after a disaster, but the planning for this is still in its infancy. We have a long way to go to ensure safety for all. At least we are committed and clear that our common humanity and safety is paramount. Everyone should have access to the resources and help that they need.

Read the entire article on the intersection of emergency management and immigration here. You can also check out the Boulder County VOAD and, as always, contact us with any thoughts, suggestions, feedback that you have.