California Spanish-Speaking Residents Forgotten

Napa Valley in California experienced heavy rains this last week, and the community was put on alert about potential flooding.  However, the Spanish-speaking residents of the community received little to no warning about the floods or what to do if they were caught in flood areas.

Spanish translations of the warnings were not as adequately provided as the English warnings, and this has left many people in the community concerned.

Tens of Thousands Are Not Proficient in English

Over 60% of the adult immigrant population in Napa Valley does not speak proficient English, and over 36% of the households in Napa Valley speak another language besides English.   This is a large portion of the community, and if proper notifications are not given to this section of the community during an emergency, then many people could be put in danger.

Napa Community Outreach Coordinator, Barry Martin, says that there was a notification on the city’s website, and it could be translated into many different languages with just one click. However, Spanish-speaking residents were not aware of the link or notification, because there was no English to Spanish translation of the existence of the notification.

Martin realizes that the city was unprepared in the way of providing a translation to Spanish for the emergency procedures, but he maintains that if there had been an actual emergency, door-to-door translation would have been provided by way of bilingual fliers.

Source: Napa Valley Register

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