Country: United States of America
Type of Stakeholder Implementing the Practice: Academia
Type of crisis: Natural Disaster
Crisis phase: Emergency Response


The San Diego Firestorm 2007 Report, was compiled by the National Latino Research Center (NLRC) to assess firestorms of October 2007 impacts on farmworkers and migrants in North San Diego County. Evaluation of the response measures highlighted that the majority of emergency service providers lacked the necessary cultural and linguistic competency to communicate appropriately with Latino, primarily Spanish-speaking and Mexican indigenous farmworkers and migrants. Lack of coordination in communicating warnings and emergency information was one of the main obstacles to an efficient management of the emergency, in particular with regards to marginalized communities. The evaluation also found that community residents would have benefited from workshops and trainings to learn about disaster preparation and relief. Farmworkers and migrants were more often unaware of assistance services and procedures.

Related Links: San Diego Firestorm 2007 Report- Fire Impact on Farmworkers & Migrant Communities in North County


Guidelines/Thematic Areas

Capacity building

GUIDELINE 8: Build capacity and learn lessons for emergency response and post-crisis action

Limited resources, funding, and technical skills can all affect the robustness of emergency and post-crisis responses. Understanding and assessing these limitations is a critical first step towards overcoming them. Stakeholders’ investment in their own capacity to improve emergency response and post-crisis recovery for migrants is critical.

Capacity building may relate to such varied areas as consular services, training for responders, resource allocation, funding mechanisms, insurance schemes, relief goods and services, border and migration management, and relocation and evacuation. Many of these areas are relevant for both the emergency and post-crisis phases. Stakeholders should also consider addressing potential reintegration challenges for migrants, their families, and communities, facilitating re-employment, income generation, and safe remigration, and supporting migrants to access outstanding wages, assets, and property left in host States.

States, private sector actors, international organizations, and civil society should assist one another to build and improve their capacity to respond. Undertaking advocacy, monitoring and evaluations, raising awareness, conducting training, sharing information, building research and knowledge, and supporting and learning from each other all help to improve collective efforts to protect migrants.

Sample Practices

  • Training and capacity building of stakeholders, such as on effective ways to access migrants and identify vulnerability and needs.
  • Dedicated funding to protect migrants, including budget lines, loans, and funding platforms.
  • Referral mechanisms that map rosters of experts who can address diverse needs of different migrants.
  • Peer-to-peer exchanges for capacity building and learning on tackling challenges associated with protecting migrants.
  • Training for consular officials, such as on collecting information on citizens and crisis management, including evacuation.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of crisis responses that includes analysis of responses towards migrants.