Task force sponsors emergency preparedness fair
Last updated 9/14/2015 at 6:11pm
The Minority Emergency Preparedness Task Force (MEPTF), in collaboration with the Housing Authority of the City of the Pittsburgh (HACP), sponsored an Emergency Preparedness Day Fair on September 11 in recognition of Preparedness Month.
The event also commemorated the anniversary of 9/11 with a special tribute to first responders and those serving in the armed forces.
The purpose of the event was to draw awareness to the need for emergency preparedness among the special populations. MEPTF is a team of county government emergency responders, health and human services providers, cultural, ethnic, faith-based groups and law enforcement personnel. The purpose of MEPTF is to advocate for specific emergency preparedness needs of the racially disparate communities through coordinated assessment, mitigation and recovery initiatives.
In 2008 MEPTF was prompted from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. It is an easy collaboration of all the stakeholders that have the same mission in mind: saving lives in the event of a major disaster, especially among the vulnerable population.
Studies show that the Gulf Coast’s African Americans and poorest residents were disproportionately impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Nearly half were poor African Americans living in low income housing communities and geographically located in harm’s way. Unfortunately those left behind were mostly black, poor and disabled.
Since the inception of the Task Force several Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) have been formed in the low income housing communities of the HACP as a result of a study completed by MEPTF in 2012. The Arlington Heights CERT was featured in a MEPTF/Harvard University case study that is an online curriculum at the university.
The Arlington Heights Preparedness Day Fair featured speakers from the American Red Cross, City of Pittsburgh EMS /Office of Homeland Security, University of Pittsburgh, and Cribs for Kids. Other participants included Allegheny County Health Department, Allegheny County HHS Department of Behavior Health, Center for Victims, Arlington Heights CERT, City of Pittsburgh Police, South Pittsburgh Coalition for Peace, City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Administration, Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire, Brashear Association, Women Against Abusive Relationships and others.