Home » Minnesota DPS to now issue severe weather alerts in Hmong, Somali, Spanish

Minnesota DPS to now issue severe weather alerts in Hmong, Somali, Spanish

by CKG Editor


MINNEAPOLIS – Severe weather preparedness comes with a catalog of topics. But what if you can’t understand the message because of a language barrier?

Joseph Dames explains how severe weather awareness is expanding for more diverse communities in the Twin Cities.

“The weather in Minnesota is as diverse and unique as the people who live here,” said Jen Longaecher, deputy communications director with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS).

That’s why the DPS, with the help of many voices in the community, want to make sure severe weather safety alerts are available to be heard and to be read in multiple languages.

“In the winter, we have everything from subzero temperatures to blizzards. And you then flip that to summer, and we have tornadoes, hail, wind, extreme heat,” Longaecher said. “And no matter what language you speak, we want people to be able to keep themselves safe and to really understand the risks that can come along with that weather, because sometimes it’s dangerous.”

This is the first year the DPS is issuing severe weather alerts for Hmong, Spanish and Somali speakers. Videos will be available with the purpose to be spread to those who may need guidance. And there are the infographics educating how to approach severe weather alerts, how to stay safe, and what you can do during and after an event.

They are ultimately providing a tool for those in the community who may have not had it – a tool that the DPS hopes to continue to evolve.

“There’s always room to improve and expand upon what we’re doing. And we’re looking for opportunities to do that every day, because if you come here and don’t speak English, you may not know what [an English sign] means, and we want you to be safe,” Longaecher said.

There are also plans on increasing the reach to residents who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Source – CBS News

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