Monday, August 20, 2007

Language Courses

One issue facing us in CERT (depending on which part of the county you live or work) is the number of people who may not speak any English and how to handle communication in case of emergency. While I was flying, I caught an article that you can find free language lessons for your ipod that you can listen to during short spurts during the day, that can help refreshen those language skills you had from high school or college and then lost due to disuse. They may be helpful for the mastery of rudimentary phrases of a new language.


  1. Cathleen,
    Medical reserve corps vaccination site informational handouts to citizens in Fairfax county utilize the 7 "most spoken" languages in the county. I'm wondering; is there any way we could get, or make up a "phrase card" in these same 7 languages for handout to the CERT's in the county? Having this info would definitely help in searching/calling out for people as we do a scene sizeup; in addition medical oriented phrases could help when these non English speaking victims are brought to medical.
    It's a thought; a small printed and laminated card stuffed in one's CERT pack might be a huge help to those of us that live in culturally diverse areas of the county. If someone can get the relevant phrases and send them to me; I'll have cards printed and laminated for each CERT that might want them.

  2. Unless these questions are already available somewhere (like, we should put some thought into which questions will be most likely in a local mass care emergency situation, or most critical for preservation of life, since there won't be much space for 7 languages.
    "Language cards" research could also be useful for recruiting & Community Em.Plan development, since most citizens won't have occasion to even see the county plan.
    A. The most probable or most dangerous household emergencies for our county.
    B. Useful symptom & med.Hx questions.
    C. Emergency Information: Web sites, radio & TV channels, and County & Language service Phone#s (non-em., 411, Special Needs Registry, etc.)
    John Birch -CERT -Mason District, Fairfax Co., Va - CERT Community blog-site


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