Accessing Information and Desired Support in an Emergency Situation among People from a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Background: An Exploratory Study

By Naomi Shimizu and Megumi Inoue.

Published by The International Journal of Community Diversity

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 28, 2017 $US5.00

Being able to access precise and reliable information is essential in emergency situations, such as pandemics, terrorism, and natural disasters. Insufficient information literacy puts a person at a disadvantage in many situations. Because of the cultural and linguistic barriers to communication, people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds have been identified as particularly vulnerable populations in emergency situations in the United States. There are 20,000 Japanese nationals living in the six states that make up the New England area. This study investigated types of information sources and means to access information that Japanese people in the Greater Boston area utilized during the Boston Marathon Bombing events in 2013. In addition, this study explores the types of information they perceived as valuable. The results showed that local TV and internet news were perceived as useful means to obtain information. Timely, accurate, up-to-date information and information from reliable sources, such as local governments, as well as information in Japanese were perceived as valuable. Future implications include the development of the communication system in collaboration with the Consulate General of Japan in order to supply timely and immediate information in Japanese as well as to connect people with various support services.

Keywords: Access to Information, CALD, Traumatic Event, Boston Marathon Bombing, Japanese

The International Journal of Community Diversity, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 28, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 858.311KB)).

Naomi Shimizu

Graduate Student, School of Nursing, Osaka Prefecture University, Habikino-city, Japan

Megumi Inoue

Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA