The 2020 Census of Guam is well underway, and it is now more important than ever to respond. This is your chance to be heard. The responses gathered are crucial not only for you and your family but also the community at large. A key aspect of getting through any disaster such as typhoons, wildfires or even global pandemics is preparation.
During your 2020 census interview, you will be asked questions on your housing structure, as well as age, and access to transportation. Your participation in the 2020 census can lead to more effective and efficient emergency response times, rescue operations, and allocation of funds for rebuilding communities. Information gleaned from census data, such as how many people live in an area and where they live is essential in guiding emergency preparedness and the responses of emergency services to those areas. Statistics from the 2020 census will provide baseline numbers not only for funding of disaster relief, in the form of emergency response services, but also preparation and rescue coordination.
Government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security use population maps derived from census data to identify distribution points for supplies or to help send accessible transportation to areas with high-risk individuals during emergencies. FEMA also uses resources from the census to help identify vulnerable communities and to help plan for makeshift shelters and response centers in times of natural disasters.
Local leaders need to be aware as our population continues to change, so they can ensure funding and support for services that meet our community’s expectations. Your responses to the 2020 Census of Guam produces timely local data that is critical to emergency planning, readiness, and recovery efforts for all types of emergencies. When performing community risk reduction, one of the most important steps is getting a handle on the makeup of your community. For instance, during pandemics, epidemics and disease outbreaks, census data is essential in providing community demographic data that allows emergency services to map out areas that are deemed at-risk, which guide their relief and recovery efforts.
Responding to the 2020 Census of Guam will do so much more than provide a population count for our island. From first-response planning to disaster mitigation and relief, your cooperation and participation in the 2020 census will help not just yourselves and your families but also the entire community in times of crisis.
You may complete your 2020 Census of Guam over the telephone, in-person at home, or schedule an appointment for an in-person interview at a village Census Center.
We can’t know where we’re going until we know where we are. We only get this chance every 10 years. Respond today! Together we can make a difference.
Nolan Miles is a partnership clerk, 2020 Census of Guam.