Environmental Justice and Natural Disasters/COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Meeting: West, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and Plains Regions
Monday, March 29, 2021 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Pacific (5:00 p.m. Mountain / 6:00 p.m. Central / 7:00 p.m. Eastern) Virtual Event
The Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Environmental Justice (EJ) EJ and Natural Disaster Subcommittee is hosting three virtual Regional Town Hall Meetings in early 2021.
The third two-hour virtual Town Hall Meeting will focus on the West, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and Plains Regions on Monday, March 29, 2021. A three-hour disaster response training will also be offered to community members, volunteers, and other stakeholders who are interested at a later date.
- Impacts of Wildfires and COVID-19 on EJ Communities
The purpose of this Town Hall Meeting is to gain a better understanding of how natural disasters and COVID-19 impact minority, low-income, overburdened, and underserved communities, and how the federal government can better provide support to these communities to prepare and respond to their needs before, during, and after natural disasters.
As the climate changes across the U.S., the frequency of wildfires has increased in the west and southwest U.S., particularly in 2020. California recorded one of its most destructive wildfire seasons in 2018 and 2020 and similarly, Arizona was also facing one of the largest wildfires in its state history. Wildfires can cause long-lasting health effects, including asthma and emphysema, and fire smoke can contain contaminants. Low-income, minority, overwhelmed, and underserved communities are often even more burdened as they have less resources to recover from the impacts of wildfires.
Furthermore, the current impact of COVID-19 on Native American communities has been devastating, especially as they lack the resources for proper testing and shortages in personal protective equipment.
Participants will also engage in a discussion on the impacts of natural disasters, such as wildfires and COVID-19, on communities, and how the federal government can better support these communities in the future.
To gather lessons learned and best practices from on the ground voices, as well as identify action steps which the federal government can work on to better assist overburdened and underserved communities. To identify concrete action items, such as specific projects, that the Federal EJ IWG can work on to meet the EJ needs of these communities.
Virtual Meeting Platform
This meeting will be held on ZoomGov. Please check to make sure you have the latest version of Zoom installed on your computer or mobile device.
Click here to register. Space is limited for this event and is on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration will close when capacity is reached. The Zoom link will be sent to you once we receive your registration, assuming space is available.
If you would like to submit a comment to include in the notes for this meeting, please send your comments to email@example.com with the subject line “EJ and Natural Disaster Town Hall.”
Simultaneous Interpretation Available
This event will be in both English and Spanish, however, we will have simultaneous interpretation available during the general session.
Disaster Preparedness and Response Training Event
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Eastern (5:00 p.m. Central / 4:00 p.m. Mountain / 3:00 p.m. Pacific) Training Registration Target Audience: Community members, grassroots organizations, local and state governments, and volunteers
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program (WTP) will host a virtual disaster response training as part of the Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Environmental Justice (EJ) EJ and Natural Disasters Subcommittee Town Hall Meetings.
The training will be conducted by WTP grantees and aims to provide a general awareness about how to safely respond to disasters. Participants will learn more about preparedness, mental health resilience, and response as it relates to wildfires and other natural disasters or public health emergencies.
Space is limited for this event and is on a first-come, first-served basis. This is a free event; however, registration will close when capacity is reached. The Zoom link will be sent to you once we receive your registration, assuming space is available.
This event will be primarily in English; however, simultaneous interpretation will be available during the general session.
Americans with Disabilities Act Accommodations Requests
Individuals with disabilities who need accommodation to participate in these events should contact Kerri Voelker: firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-794-4710. TTY users should contact the Federal TTY Relay Service at 800-877-8339. Requests should be made at least 5 business days in advance of the event.
Closed captioning in English will be provided in the Town Hall general session.
If you have question about the content of the Town Hall meeting, please contact Joy Lee Pearson at email@example.com or 202-715-3851. Logistical questions should be directed to Kerri Voelker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-794-4710.