ELIZABETH – Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee Chair Annette Quijano joined the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund and more than 45 Latino public officials from across the country in Orlando this past week to discuss issues relating to emergency response and community preparedness at the National Policy Institute on Emergency Response and Management.
Quijano (D-Union) and other policymakers who participated in the two-and-half day event from Nov. 22-24, had an opportunity to work directly with emergency preparedness officials to enhance their understanding of multi-agency coordination and the incident command system, a systematic tool used for the command, control, and coordination of emergency response situations. Upon completion of the sessions, Quijano received a certificate indicating her participation in the Department of Homeland Security overview and training.
With disaster becoming more common and costly – and with some regions enduring multiple disasters – the importance of building community resilience and preparedness during emergency response has never been greater. This Institute highlighted ways elected officials can promote emergency preparedness to help their respective communities respond to and recover from natural disasters, pandemics and other hazards. The event, which is the second NALEO Educational Fund focused on emergency response issues also addressed the important role that policymakers can play as an information broker to immigrant and non-English speaking residents during times of crisis in their communities.
“The NALEO Institute was extremely educational and beneficial,” said Quijano. “I will be able to utilize the information I learned for emergency preparedness and awareness in my own community”
At the Institute, Quijano served on the Building Resilient Communities panel, where her “Are You Ready?” emergency awareness and preparedness campaign was highlighted. She also heard from a number of elected officials and experts on how to ensure their respective communities are prepared in the event of a natural disaster or emergency, including Federal Emergency Management Agency Director of Individual and Community Preparedness Gwen Camp, Former Mass. State Rep. and American Red Cross of Massachusetts CEO Jarrett Tomás Barrios, City of Houston Mayor Pro Tem Ed Gonzalez and LISTOS Co-Founder Gracie Huerta.
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