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In recent years, residents of Sonoma County, California, have suffered the impacts of multiple dangerous wildfires.

“Either people losing power, people having to completely evacuate from where they live, people losing food because of power outages, people losing work,” says Amanda Hernandez of Corazón Healdsburg, a nonprofit that serves Latinos and others in the local community. 

As the climate warms, wildfires are becoming more frequent and severe. So Corazón Healdsburg is helping people prepare.

The group offers a disaster resiliency program for Spanish-speaking residents. It teaches them how to sign up for emergency alerts, create an evacuation plan, and pack an emergency “go” bag.

Participants learn to prepare financially, too – for example, by buying renters’ insurance and creating a budget so they can save for an emergency.

Those who complete the program receive a year of paid renters’ insurance plus a backpack full of supplies like masks, portable radios, and chargers.

“So it’s a really great way to take all the different things that we’ve talked about through the program and incentivize the community member to then take action and to be prepared in their own lives,” Hernandez says.

Reporting credit: Stephanie Manuzak/ChavoBart Digital Media and Molly Matthews Multedo