"An ongoing partnership between Michigan emergency managers and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is spanning language barriers and thousands of miles to build an international preparedness partnership. Given its desert environment, the UAE faces a number of climate-related challenges, including extreme heat and sandstorms. In addition, the country's relatively new infrastructure presents emergency response officials with new logistical challenges, such as evacuating very tall buildings in the event of an emergency. In 2008, the UAE visited official emergency response authorities of several countries, seeking ways to engage the country's youth and young adults in community service. UAE officials identified the United States' CERT [Community Emergency Response Teams] program and the Swedish Civil Defense League as models for training and engagement. To expand its CERT cooperation, UAE officials looked to partner with Dearborn, Michigan, a city, which according to the 2010 U.S. Census is home to the largest percentage (nearly 40 percent) of Arab-Americans in the United States. As a result of its large Arab population, Dearborn officials had begun an effort to translate the CERT curriculum into Arabic shortly before meeting with UAE officials in 2009. Kevin Sweeney, Michigan State Police Sergeant, and Brad Smith, Dearborn Emergency Management Homeland Security Director, spearheaded the translation effort with the support of others in the community."
Lessons Learned Information Sharing: https://www.llis.dhs.gov/