Connecticut to provide Spanish emergency messages

State Capitol in Hartford (WTNH / Tom Parent)
State Capitol in Hartford (WTNH / Tom Parent)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut officials plan to begin using a service to translate emergency messages about storms in Spanish.

The effort is part of a pilot program, recommended by a state task force that reviewed how the state communicates with its residents during emergencies. Special attention was focused on non-English speakers and people with disabilities.

Of the state’s 3.4 million residents, more than 625,000 were born outside the U.S. and speak more than 300 languages or dialects. That includes more than 368,000 people whose primary language is Spanish.

Besides recommending a certified translation service rather than a computer-generated system, the task force said a sign language interpreter should attend all the governor’s news conferences at the Emergency Operations Center. Additional recommendations will be included in the group’s final report, due in January.

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