The Listos curriculum came to be after an exhaustive, inconclusive search for Spanish language disaster preparedness information. The little information that does exist on the subject is usually translated from English to Spanish and does not take into account some of the issues that affect many Latinos, including low literacy rates, cramped living quarters, and a lack of financial resources.
The Listos curriculum focuses on low-cost to no-cost preparedness initiatives and providing tips that serve participants not only during disasters but also throughout the course of their everyday lives. Building communities and sharing resources is a concept that is highly prized amongst Latino populations, and Listos recognizes this fact and uses it to strengthen community ties through disaster preparedness awareness.
Listos was started in the fall of 2010 with generous support from the Orfalea Foundation and the Aware and Prepare Initiative: A Community Partnership to Strengthen Emergency & Disaster Readiness in Santa Barbara, California. The Aware and Prepare Initiative focuses on building resilient communities by enhancing the capabilities of government agencies and non-profit organizations to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters. The Orfalea Foundation recognized the lack of culturally-appropriate emergency preparedness public education and made it a priority to work with disaster preparedness consultant Gracie Huerta to develop the Listos program within Santa Barbara County. The pilot program consisted of five community trainings in southern Santa Barbara County, and in 2011 provided fifteen Listos workshops throughout the entire county. In 2012, the Listos program expanded once again thanks to the support of a grant from the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Foundation, and now covers not only Santa Barbara County but also San Luis Obispo County.