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NSU professor publishes book on immigrant emergency preparedness

(Tahlequah, Oklahoma) - Northeastern State University Assistant Professor Rebekah Doyle has published a new book, “Perceptions of Emergency Preparedness Among Immigrant Hispanics: Immigrant Hispanics Residing in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Who Survived the Tornadoes of May 2013 in Moore, Oklahoma.”

In Doyle’s 10 years of public health service, she became passionate about eliminating health disparities and inequities. She realized that migrant populations are not always aware of the natural weather hazards of their new area, and due to language barriers they don’t always know where to seek information on preparedness steps to take.

Victims of the spring 2013 tornadoes in the Oklahoma City area included a family who had migrated from Guatemala, Doyle said.

“Tornadoes are not native to the geographical area from which they had migrated from and when they experienced them, they only understood broken English and understood the words to take cover and had stopped their automobile and taking cover under a bridge,” she said. “Flash flooding occurred with the tornado and swept the family away with all members of the family drowning.”

Looking into previous research, Doyle found only one study that examined immigrant Hispanics’ knowledge of weather hazards in Oklahoma.

“The study that I conducted was with 12 study participants that had migrated from South America, Hispanic, and non-English-speaking, and had experienced the tornadoes that occurred in spring 2013,” Doyle said. “Only one had ever heard of a tornado, and no participant had ever experienced a tornado or flash flooding prior to migrating to Oklahoma.”

Doyle said she hopes people who read her book will be inspired to reach out in their communities to help high-risk populations that need assistance with crisis weather emergency planning.

“To me the loss of even one life should never be acceptable when we have knowledge to share with immigrants that could help protect and save their lives in emergency preparedness and planning,” Doyle said.

“Perceptions of Emergency Preparedness Among Immigrant Hispanics” is available on Amazon.

Published: 1/30/2019 11:06:32 AM

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