GREENFIELD — Greenfield Councilmember Yanely Martinez recently joined the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund in Miami, Fla., for the National Policy Institute on Emergency Preparedness and Response Management.
The Sept. 14-15 convening provided an opportunity for Martinez and more than 50 Latino county and municipal officials, higher education trustees and school board members from across the country to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the different levels of planning and preparedness needed to help their communities prepare for, protect against, mitigate, respond to and recover from various types of disasters and emergencies.
“I am beyond grateful to the NALEO organization for the opportunity to share and learn from other colleagues and experts from across the country,” Martinez said in a news release. “I learned that pre-planning is crucial as well as post the event. This made me want to come back and share with my community these best practices; communication, involving the community, identifying scenarios and understanding the risks of evacuation and staying. It is on us, as elected officials, to plan ahead and keep our communities safe during natural disasters as well as man-made disasters.”
During the Institute, Martinez and other Latino policymakers were brought together with leading experts from the public, private and non-profit sectors for two days of professional development that combined classroom and experiential learning.
Topics addressed during the convening included a look at last year’s disasters and the impact they had on the communities and the lessons learned; mass evacuation plans; emergency planning and preparedness for healthcare facilities; the aftermath of a disaster; hazard mitigation planning; and the best practices for improving emergency plans and preparedness.