In emergency situations, like what is happening right now in San Diego County, everyone must receive emergency notifications in a language they understand. Given that 32.9 percent of the county’s population is Hispanic, the county has launched an emergency app and website in Spanish.
The emergency app and the website are versions of the county’s original website and emergency app in English. These two tech tools will stream information about current emergency situations such as earthquakes, floods and fires.
Greg Cox, the County Supervisor said that he wanted to ensure that the Spanish-speaking residents of San Diego County will receive life-saving information during emergencies. Their website, ReadySanDiego.org now has ListoSanDiego.org as its version in Spanish. Their emergency app, SDEmergency, which now has an option for alerts in Spanish, also includes survival guides such as preparing for and recovering from natural calamities, acts of terrorism and other critical situations.
According to government officials, monolingual Spanish speakers in San Diego account for about 350,000 residents. It had been announced that about 164,000 people have already downloaded the Spanish version of the app.
Current fire season
Due to the Santa Ana winds and the prevailing drought in San Diego, they are facing a fire season. Crawford added that there is also the threat of flooding due to El Niño.
A Chula Vista resident whose main language is Spanish welcomes the new emergency aids and she said that she is going to use them because they are beneficial to everyone in the community. She even said that she’s willing to teach people who are older than her on how to use the website and the emergency app. She recalled how helpless she felt while watching the Harris fire TV coverage in 2007. She knew that the fire was getting close to where she resided but she did not comprehend how close it was as she could not understand all the English words and had to rely on her son for translation.
Residents who do not speak English or Spanish could get information from the Partner Relay Network, which is composed of some 300 organizations in the county. They translate emergency information they receive from the county into several languages, such as Vietnamese, Chinese and Arabic, which are then distributed to organization members.
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