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Vulnerable Populations

Reaching vulnerable populations

How does CAL OES define “vulnerable populations”?

There are several categories defined by the state legislature and state Office of Emergency Services:

  1.  People with disabilities, access and functional needs,
  2.  Individuals exhibiting “social vulnerability” factors, such as poverty, language barriers, social isolation, infirmities of aging and
  3.  Those living in the county’s most disadvantaged communities.

How does Cal OES define People with Access and Functional Needs?

Access and functional needs (AFN) refers to individuals who are or have:

  • Physical, developmental or intellectual disabilities
  • Chronic conditions or injuries
  • Limited English proficiency
  • Older adults
  • Children
  • Low income, homeless and/or transportation disadvantaged (e., dependent on public transit)
  • Pregnant women

Listos California began as a transformative disaster preparedness campaign funded in 2019 by Governor Gavin Newsom and the California legislature and launched by the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Listos means ready in Spanish.

Prepare the most vulnerable Californians to
become disaster ready and build community resilience:
» Older Californians (65+)
» People with disabilities
» People with language barriers
» People with low incomes

Read More:

Innovations for Equity - Listos California Emergency Response


 Big Sur Kate

Big Sur Kate share's her story in the first video in a series of resilience, highlighting the stories of individuals with disabilities, access and functional needs.

Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson and Daniel Manjares live in Cachagua with their children. In this video, they tell their story about a mandatory evacuation during the Soberanes Fire, two family members with severe asthma and being displaced for more than a month. Reaching out for help wasn’t easy, but they found ways to ensure the health and safety of all family members while also reaching out to help others. 


More information to come!