On the Road in Lansing, Michigan
By: Victoria Harp
In December 2012, my colleague, Cori Wigington, and I set out to learn as much as we could about the program Do1Thing in Lansing, Michigan and how it is a promising example of a Whole Community approach to Emergency Management. To make our education as well rounded as possible, Do1Thing program leads Erika Mahoney and Rhonda Oberlin arranged a very ambitious schedule of meetings with several of their program partners.
Our first stop was to visit Gretu Wu, Senior Vice President of Human Services at Peckham World Headquarters. Peckham, Inc. is a nonprofit vocational rehabilitation organization that provides job training opportunities for those with significant disabilities and other barriers to employment. They provide people that have physical, cognitive, behavioral and socio-economic challenges, a platform to demonstrate their ability, learn new skills, participate in work and enjoy the rewards of their success. The beauty of the partnership with Do1Thing is that the Peckham audience benefits from the preparedness information from Do1Thing, and Do1Thing leadership is provided access to a diverse audience to test new ideas and program materials to ensure the Do1Thing program truly encompasses the whole community.
Lansing, Michigan (Left) Cori Wigington, CDC visiting Peckham Headquarters in Lansing, Michigan. (Right) Do1Thing Leadership (L to R) Sarah Lundquist-Harger, Erika Mahoney, Rhonda Oberlin, and Rachelle Wood.
We also met with the creative team from Redhead Design Studio. Redhead worked with the staff from Do1Thing to design visual fact sheets that will be available to those who are unable to read a brochure or understand the Do1Thing website. The fact sheet illustrations depict preparedness in simple, clear, and concise ways that enables participation in the Do1thing program to those with low literacy skills and language barriers.
In December 2012, Do1Thing completed a series of focus groups to obtain feedback from a cross section of the target audience the newly designed fact sheets will serve. The focus group volunteers from Peckham ranged from speaking English as a second language to having low cognitive abilities. Their feedback was instrumental in creating the fact sheet design. The final product is a new visual communication tool: monthly factsheets that are now available, both directly from the Do 1 Thing website and through the outreach initiatives of Do1Thing partner organizations.
It is very simple to become a partner of Do1Thing. Sign up via the Do1Thing website and all of the tried and true tested materials are available to partners at no cost. You can become a partner to gain access to tools that will help you increase the preparedness levels of the community you serve or simply commit to “do one thing” a month to increase your own personal preparedness.
Victoria Harp has been supporting the CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response Learning Office as a Contractor for Lockheed Martin since 2009. She has been a Project Coordinator for the Meta-Leadership Summit for Preparedness Initiative and is currently supporting the Learning Office working with the CDC Foundation and FEMA for the Whole Community Program.