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Engaging Citizens Through Government Information Hubs During COVID-19

Case Study Last Reviewed: June 4, 2020

Many state and local governments have consolidated COVID-19 updates, resources, and help request forms on their webpages for convenient access. To ensure accessibility across all communities, some sites include language translations and phone numbers to call for further assistance in navigating the resources.

The following is a list of key findings and considerations for jurisdictions and communities regarding ongoing COVID-19 operations across the country. These are best practices for consideration and do not constitute and should not be considered as guidance in any way.

This document contains references and links to non-federal resources and organizations. This information is meant solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be an endorsement of any non-federal entity by FEMA, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or the U.S. government.

Potential Best Practices

  • Many state and local governments have created online resource hubs for their constituents to easily access COVID-19 updates and resources.
    • The Office of the Governor of Louisiana has a COVID-19 Resources webpage to address concerns related to food insecurity, health insurance, unemployment, and other challenges. The page also provides a state COVID-19 hotline for mental health and substance abuse counseling services and links to a website where volunteers can sign up to participate in Louisiana’s response efforts.
    • The Office of the Mayor of Seattle’s COVID-19 Resources for the Community webpage offers six language translations (i.e., Amharic, Chinese, Korean, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese) for representation among constituents and features a variety of topics, including healthcare and hygiene, immigrant community support, childcare and education, and domestic violence.
    • South Carolina developed a website that consolidates updates and information relating to COVID-19 response and reopening, organized by topics: Citizen Information (e.g., food assistance, testing sites, employment opportunities), State Response (for challenges that impact the state's workforce), Protection (for reopening and long-term mitigation), Governance (for state and local challenges in economic revitalization), and Resources (for guidance on federal assistance funds). There is also a section for spotlighting businesses.
    • In Maryland, the Governor’s Office of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing has posted COVID-19 American Sign Language (ASL) video updates of press conferences, as well as answers to frequently asked questions through ASL videos, on their website.