Listos California Outreach Program – Having Communities Prepare for Emergencies

(All photos without masks were taken prior to COVID-19)

Listos California – Imperial County

Our Purpose

Natural disasters and other emergencies can happen at a moment’s notice, as we have experienced with Covid-19.

As part of the Listos California emergency preparedness campaign, our goal was to reach vulnerable members of our community and give them helpful information on how to prepare for these emergencies. There was no better time for our community to receive information on how to prepare in case of an emergency than the year 2020. Our helpful guides gave easy step by step instructions on how to prepare our families and stay connected. It has been a challenging year for many of us. The majority of our community had never been exposed to a national emergency, and received the Listos California message with open ears, eager to prepare their families for any emergency.

Kick Starting the Campaign

At the beginning of the campaign, our focus was to help our community prepare for an emergency by providing easy to understand materials. We attended all community events available, setting up a table ready to distribute our information and answer any questions. Many events were school fairs and health fairs. At those events, we set up a learning space for children, a coloring section with “Prepare with Pedro”. There was some interest in the community, many had thought about preparing, but were not sure how to start preparing or what they would need. We gave classes to groups of seniors and parents, explaining how to prepare and handing out materials.

How do you reach your community in the middle of a global pandemic?

COVID Strategies

Our emergency preparedness materials have helpful tips to prepare for this and other emergencies, but our team needed to find a safe way to get those materials to our community. Some of the strategies implemented during this pandemic were: Facebook Live, Zoom Webinars, Social Media, EFDN Food Distributions, and more! These strategies have helped our team stay connected with our community and spread our message.

Our Partners


Another vital part of our outreach were our sub-grantees. We partnered up with organizations in our community that were already servicing vulnerable members of our community. They helped

us reach our targeted populations in great numbers.



  • MANA de Imperial Valley
  • Mana sponsored radio remotes
  • Spectrum Advertising
  • Radio remotes, Billboards, Bus Shelters.
  • El Centro Regional Medical Center Foundation
  • Facebook live
  • United Farm Workers
  • Distributed our guides to field workers
  • IV Food Bank

Listos Community

This year has been a year of many challenges. The words lockdown, social distancing, 6 ft. apart, became a part of our daily vocabulary. In our area, we had two lockdowns. Our community as a whole was worried, and we as a part of Listos California created strategies to be able to reach our community following the Covid-19 safety measures. We expressed our gratitude and distributed emergency preparedness to farm workers through an appreciation parade. We helped senior citizens stay connected through Zoom. Those Zoom meetings not only helped them prepare, but also made them feel connected to their community. We distributed Listos California Guides during school lunch distributions from different districts to reach families with children. Covid-19 has brought many changes to our lives and the way we reach our community, but it did not stop us from reaching our goals and helping our community prepare.

Listos California – San Diego 


The Listos California emergency preparedness campaign, kicked off in June of 2019. 18 months later, we are announcing that San Diego surpassed it’s goal and has reached over 260,000 San Diego residents. Also, the state-wide transformative disaster preparedness campaign anchored in the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), announced that it has successfully exceeded the goal set by Governor Newsom and state lawmakers to engage at least one million socially vulnerable and isolated Californians with accessible, in-language and culturally competent disaster readiness information.


Many organizations, churches, and agencies were instrumental in the success of the campaign on getting San Diegans ready for disasters. Students at San Diego State University and UCSD who interned with us, played a vital role in the dissemination of this message. They helped in distributing emergency preparedness materials to the youths (Students). They also educated clients on emergency preparedness via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. When asked to comment on their experiences working with Listos California, one of the interns had this to say, “My experience as an intern at Catholic Charities implementing social media emergency preparedness outreach has been meaningful and fulfilling because I know I was able to help a lot of people on preparedness despite the obstacles introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Partner Stories:

We could not have accomplished this without our dedicated community partners who spent their time and efforts disseminating this vital information to their community.

The Knights of Columbus: San Diego Chapter

The Knights of Columbus were one of our very first partners. As sub-grantees, they took the message of emergency preparedness to 32 parishes in San Diego, as well as five Catholic Schools. They carried the message farther to Ramona, Fallbrook, and Calexico. Not only did they disseminate the materials and educate people on emergency preparedness, they also used their social media platforms to reach their members and families. When asked to give a summary of their experiences, Sir Armando Mena replied that, “It was very heart warming, and parishes were eager to embark on the project, from the priests, ushers and the Knights. It was a project that brought together the Knights, Catholic Charities and the Diocese of San Diego working towards a goal of getting people ready for emergency.”

Birthline of San Diego,

another sub-grantee, was very involved in the dissemination and education of their clients in emergency preparedness. Despite the pandemic, they were always giving out materials to consumers they serve. Samantha Flather, the Executive Director at Birthline, said, “They helped us reach the unreached. We found that our clients were very receptive to the Listos program and the 5 steps to emergency preparedness. The Prepare with Pedro coloring books were a huge success and we are still handing them out. Also, our clients particularly found useful the important document folders and we were able to explain to them the importance of having all important documents in one place. Several of our staff and volunteers at Birthline have had to evacuate unexpectedly in our lives, and we really tried to stress to our clients how important it is to plan ahead and at least take one step to plan for an emergency today.”

The Institute of Effective Education

All five schools at TIEE were involved in the lessons and materials which gave students a great opportunity to learn about disaster preparedness. Several students created supporting material (e.g., coloring sheets, word searches, and an infographic). Their students, families and staff appreciated the information. When asked if they wanted to share any stories, the director, Sheryl Bobroff, wanted to showcase Angel. She is a high school student and an amazing artist. She helped teachers share information from the Listos California campaign by drawing an infographic with the 5 steps, along with several coloring sheets. Angel’s infographic was shared with all of our schools and on social media. Several people re-shared it with friends and family. Angel’s teachers learned even more about her skills and talents through the Listos California campaign while learning important information about disaster preparedness!


On Tuesday, September 8, 2020, Listos California hosted a press conference at the San Diego County Operations Center. Speakers included Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, The Mayor of National City, Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, the Cal Fire Chief, Tony Mecham, the President/CEO of the Asian Business Association, Jason Paguio, and Vino Pajanor, the CEO of Catholic Charities.

October Press Conference:

Maximizing local partnerships, the Listos California campaign brought together the Rock Church, Catholic Charities and Ready America to highlight earthquake preparedness at their press conference on October 14, 2020. In light of the Great Shakeout that took place on the 15th, we showcased the Great Shakeout Machine which simulated a real earthquake.


Our Lady of Guadalupe

The parish of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe(Our Lady of Guadalupe) in Chula Vista was very enthusiastic since the campaign started. They distributed the material in their food distribution pick up and deliveries. They promoted our material in their church events and as the pandemic hit, they were no longer able to meet indoors, so they organized and prepared their parking lot with shades and a stage

to continue meeting. They hosted an in-person lesson with over 100 participants and took advantage of technology by transmitting it on Facebook Live. After that event, they organized an international festival on Facebook where they highlighted the culture and cuisine of different counties while reminding viewers of the importance of emergency preparedness. They also included Listos California social media posts on the parish’s social media network and in their church bulletin. They embraced the campaign and did all they could to share the message with their community.


Saint Anthony de Padua

The parish of St. Anthony de Padua National City took advantage of the resources they had on hand, especially with their food distributions that helped to distribute food and emergency preparedness materials to their community. Most of the people they reached was through their weekly food distribution. Like many other parishes, they also included emergency preparedness material in their social media and their church bulletin.


St. Pius X

The parish of St. Pius X also embraced the campaign by including the Listos California Disaster Ready Guides with their food distributions. They also passed out the Disaster Ready Guides and masks to their parishioners after mass. And, by posting emergency preparedness information and the 5 action steps (see below) on their social media, they were able to reach a bigger audience. Lastly, they had Deacon Macias teach a short lesson from the campaign after their services indoors and outdoors.


Action Steps:

1.Get alerts

2. Have a plan

3. Pack a Bag

4. Build a Stay Box

5. Help Family and Friends.

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