Averting Disaster

Latinos learning from the 2007 Firestorm

The National Council of La Raza released a report Thursday that shows how emergency plans could be improved for Latinos and immigrant communities.

“Working with the Red Cross to get their materials in Spanish. To start doing training and being more aware of situations of people who are out in rural settings,” said Community Housing Works spokesperson Patti Hamic-Christenson.

During the 2007 Firestorm, some Latino families say they did get 911 reverse calls, but only in English. Eventually they left their homes, but by that time the fires were getting dangerously close.

There have been improvements. Shortly after the fires, some Spanish-speaking residents started training with the Red Cross, so they can inform their neighbors about what steps they should take in an emergency.

The report called "Averting Disaster" was being sent to local and state lawmakers.

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