The deadly wildfires that ravaged the Sonoma region in October prompted local officials to reevaluate how they issue warnings in times of extreme emergency. But the fires also highlighted another communication problem that officials hope other communities will learn from before the next disaster: inadequate Spanish speakers on hand to reach the large Latino population.
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Sonoma County leaders are also pointing to fear of immigration enforcement as a key barrier that prevented immigrant communities from seeking aid following the most destructive fires in California’s history.
And as California natural disasters become potentially more damaging in an era of climate change and rapid urbanization, lessons learned during the wine country fires could help other jurisdictions bridge potentially fatal communication barriers during future emergencies, local officials and advocates said.
Continue reading full article here: http://peninsulapress.com/2017/11/17/sonoma-county-officials-faced-language-barriers-ice-fears-in-reaching-undocumented-during-fires/