Local organizations are working to educate residents in rural communities about disaster readiness.
More than 200 low-income residents received hands-on training at the first ever Spanish-language emergency preparedness conference over the weekend.
Barry Goldsmith, National Weather Service says the poorest communities tend to have the worst outcome and the most damage.
We’ve seen it time and time again. Residents in rural areas of the valley losing their home in a matter of hours. Winds blowing off their roofs, and water damage tearing down their walls. But colonia residents have had enough, and they’re ready to try and break that cycle.
Andrea Olvera says, “There are a lot of mobile homes in my area, and until today, I didn’t know that there are anchors to secure them and make them stronger.”
Andrea says her home’s never been severely damaged. But she’s learning to better assist her community when the next storm comes around. She said she has seen damages and wants to help her neighbors and let them know what they can do.
Residents learned the evacuation routes to take, the basic necessities to pack, and they also learned about an emergency radio that sends out weather warnings in our area.
Ricardo Saldaña, Emergency Management Coordinator says, “We have a tower in Pharr and a tower in Harlingen. It covers the entire area of the valley and Northern Mexico. So now we have the broadcast in English and in Spanish.”
Almost 70% of residents have no information on emergency preparedness, but these organizations are hoping to reduce that number to one conference at a time. The organizations are currently working to host a second conference before hurricane season ends on November 30th.