Languages Other Than English

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, at least 300 languages are spoken in the United States. This diversity of languages and cultures makes our nation richer, but it is also a challenge—part of meeting people where they are during and after disasters involves providing support in the languages they can use, or use exclusively.

In 2013, Census reported that about 1 in 5 people in the United States speaks a language other than English at home. Of this group, about 22 percent—roughly 13.5 million—said they do not speak English very well or at all. Those who identified themselves as not speaking English very well were more likely to be part of other groups recognized to be at particular risk in the event of a disaster, including those who are living in poverty and those with disabilities.

To help meet the needs of communities across the country, SAMHSA presents this installment, which focuses on disaster preparedness and response materials in languages other than English. The installment features tip sheets, checklists, brochures, and online articles on topics running the gamut from personal and family emergency planning to preparing for specific types of disasters to coping with common disaster reactions. Resources are provided in 11 languages:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hmong
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Punjabi
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese

Use the menu bar at the left to narrow the results by audience, including speakers of specific languages; disaster types; interventions; or other item of interest.

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Build an emergency preparedness kit [Arabic] - Healthy Roads Media
This resource provides information about all the materials that should be included in an emergency preparedness kit. It uses text from Are You Prepared? by the Cass and Clay Emergency Planning Partnerships (available at http://www.cityoffargo.com/attachments/5804656b-ee62-4b6b-9808-f19bc8c61580/PDF%20Emergency%20Guide%202008%20-%20English.pdf). A multimedia version of the list can be found here: https://healthreach.nlm.nih.gov/documents/AraEmergencyKitHR.mp4. The English-language versions can be found here: https://healthreach.nlm.nih.gov/documents/EngEmergKit.pdf and here: https://healthreach.nlm.nih.gov/documents/EngEmergencyKitHR.mp4 and https://healthreach.nlm.nih.gov/documents/AraEmergencyKit.pdf.
https://healthreach.nlm.nih.gov/files/Arabic_BuildAnEmergencyPreparednessKit_Final.pdf

Coping with stress during infectious disease outbreaks [Spanish] - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (HHS, SAMHSA)
This tip sheet describes the stress people may feel when they hear about an outbreak of an infectious disease, such as Ebola. It presents signs of stress and provides tips for lowering and managing stress. The English-language version is available here: http://store.samhsa.gov/product/Coping-with-Stress-During-Infectious-Disease-Outbreaks/SMA14-4885.
http://store.samhsa.gov/product/Coping-with-Stress-During-Infectious-Disease-Outbreaks-Spanish-/SMA14-4885SPANISH

Earthquake safety checklist [Arabic] - American Red Cross
This document offers information on how you can prepare for earthquakes and steps to take after an earthquake occurs. The English-language version is available at http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240216_Earthquake.pdf.
http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4440189_Earthquake_ARA_final.pdf

Emergency supply list [Arabic] - U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS, FEMA)
This document lists includes some of the basic items that all Americans should have in their emergency supply kit. Individuals should also consider where they live and the unique needs of their families when creating their emergency supply kit.
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1389039058446-8e96bd5ba1a0f4cc8492bc719a7c2b3d/checklist_ar.pdf

Emergency supply list [French] - U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS, FEMA)
This brochure includes lists of items that all Americans should have in their emergency supply kits. Individuals should also consider where they live and the unique needs of their families when creating their emergency supply kits.
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1391109638897-8b94bc73b1be4b9cbe4ada06f7bfa25f/2014_checklist_fr.pdf

Emergency supply list [Haitian Creole] - U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS, FEMA)
This list includes items that all Americans should have in their emergency supply kits. Individuals should also consider where they live and the unique needs of their families when creating their emergency supply kits.
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1391119084768-79d6c87cb8037acabfce0017aa51064d/checklist_ht.pdf

Emergency supply list [Japanese] - U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS, FEMA)
This list includes some of the basic items that all Americans should have in their emergency supply kits. Individuals should also consider where they live and the unique needs of their families when creating their emergency supply kits.
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1391444276251-5549cdb0c799891b1b2724f80142aff6/2014_checklist_ja.pdf

Emergency supply list [Korean] - U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS, FEMA)
This brochure lists some of the basic items that all Americans should have in their emergency supply kits. Individuals should also consider where they live and the unique needs of their families when creating their emergency supply kits.
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1391627676364-da787f9c2f76ff15d9074fa0ab718962/2014_checklist_ko.pdf

Emergency supply list [Russian] - U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS, FEMA)
This list includes some basic items that all Americans should have in their emergency supply kits. Individuals should also consider where they live and the unique needs of their families when creating their emergency supply kits.
http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1391638617683-e03a40ddc0fa5746132a4f765bde4776/2014_checklist_ru.pdf

Emergency supply list [Vietnamese] - U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS, FEMA)
This list includes some of the basic items to include in an emergency supply kit. Individuals should also consider where they live and the unique needs of their families when creating their emergency supply kits.
http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1392156908388-f83fb7c176d09cd0870a2078886a2feb/2014_checklist_vi.pdf

Evacuation and community shelters [Arabic] - Healthy Roads Media
This resource lists items that you should take if your local government issues an evacuation order because of a disaster threat. It uses text from Are You Prepared? by the Cass and Clay Emergency Planning Partnerships (available at http://www.cityoffargo.com/attachments/5804656b-ee62-4b6b-9808-f19bc8c61580/PDF%20Emergency%20Guide%202008%20-%20English.pdf). A multimedia version of the list can be found here: https://healthreach.nlm.nih.gov/documents/AraEvacuationHR.mp4. The English-language versions can be found here: https://healthreach.nlm.nih.gov/documents/EngEvacuation.pdf and here: https://healthreach.nlm.nih.gov/documents/EngEvacuationHR.mp4.
https://healthreach.nlm.nih.gov/files/Arabic_EvacuationAndCommunityShelters_Final.pdf

Family emergency plan [Arabic] - U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS, FEMA)
This checklist is for families to use to plan and prepare for emergencies. It can be used to help family members create a plan for how to get in contact with each other, where to go, and what to do in the event of an emergency.
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1381413191998-e5b2fa5c141986d9d27cc023809f5ce2/familyemergencyplan_ar.pdf

Family emergency plan [French] - U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS, FEMA)
This document is a template that families can use to create an emergency plan. It includes areas for families to indicate how they will get in contact with each other, where they will go, and what they will do in an emergency.
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1381413191998-e5b2fa5c141986d9d27cc023809f5ce2/familyemergencyplan_fr.pdf

Family emergency plan [Haitian Creole] - U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS, FEMA)
Families can use this document to plan for disasters and other emergencies. It includes places for families to indicate how they will get in contact with each other, where they will go, and what they will do in an emergency. It also features wallet cards that family members can fill in and keep with them so that they have important information in an emergency.
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1381413191998-e5b2fa5c141986d9d27cc023809f5ce2/familyemergencyplan_ht.pdfu

Family emergency plan [Japanese] - U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS, FEMA)
This resource is a template that families can use to plan and prepare for emergencies. It includes places for families to write down ways to contact each other, as well as plans for where to go and what to do, in a disaster or other emergency.
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1381413191998-e5b2fa5c141986d9d27cc023809f5ce2/familyemergencyplan_ja.pdf

Last Updated: 07/19/2017