During any significant event – catastrophic or otherwise – first responders, community groups, and many other public health individuals will most likely encounter individuals from vulnerable populations; populations that exhibit specific needs based on “age, class, race, poverty, language, and a host of other social, cultural, economic, and psychological factors.” Such encounters are especially pertinent here in Oklahoma, considering our Native American community makes up almost 8% of the state’s total population (see image below for more detail).
To assist in preparing the public health community, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published the “2006-2007 ASPH/CDC Vulnerable Populations Collaboration Group Preparedness Resource Kit,” available online at:
After being appointed to one of the CDC’s Collaboration Group that focused on Vulnerable Populations, I was fortunate enough co-author this important document along with many other Public Health leaders from academic institutions around the nation. Michael Sheyahshe chaired the committee on Ethnic and Cultural Minority Populations, which produced that section within the publication.
Individuals within the Public Health field and especially those first responders that will most likely encounter such populations are urged to review this Resource Kit to foster learning and enable improved effective response for such groups in future events.