Local Knowledge in Preparedness

The EPREP Program has gathered data from community leaders across the United States and Puerto Rico to develop methods to utilize their local knowledge to improve emergency preparedness capabilities.

Local knowledge is a community’s system of concepts, values, attitudes and beliefs generated by community members over time. Local knowledge is rarely formally recorded or recognized by outsiders, and consequently may not be familiar to public health or emergency management planners. However, leveraging the knowledge, capabilities and assets of a community makes a comprehensive disaster plan more effective, because it encompass the specific and unique characteristics of a community. Our team has conducted interviews with community leaders, developed tools to map community resources, and conducted population surveys to assess exposure to information, risk perceptions, and community assets during COVID-19.