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Thursday , December 7, 2023

Bilingual Climate Disaster Preparedness Training Draws Unincorporated Community Residents

Olivia Ortiz (CDA Planning Department) presents on extreme heat days. They point to the Spanish slide; the English slide is on the left. 

On October 30, the Alameda County General Services Agency Office of Sustainability partnered with the County’s Community Development Agency (CDA) Planning Department to present a training on climate disaster preparedness to residents of the unincorporated county.

The evening training covered emergency preparedness for climate-related disasters that occur in our county, such as wildfires, bad air quality from smoke, storms, and extreme heat. We shared tips for staying safe – and helping loved ones to stay safe – before, during, and after climate-related disasters. The training highlighted information useful to members of groups often most affected by these events due to health risks, time outdoors, or less access to information. These groups include children, older adults, people with disabilities, the unhoused, and non-English speakers.

Over half the attendees wore headsets to hear the live Spanish interpretation provided by a local community organizer. Two screens simultaneously showed slides in Spanish and English. This was in alignment with recommendations – in the County’s new Climate Action Plan for Government Services and Operations and in the draft unincorporated-area Community Climate Action Plan – to do more to share disaster preparedness information in languages widely spoken in the County.

The training, at the San Lorenzo Library, was followed by an open house for the draft Community Climate Action Plan update and Safety Element amendments to the unincorporated Alameda County General Plan.

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