Study: LA County has disaster prep language gap

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Alberto Montoya stands outside of his home after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the area April 4, 2010 in Mexicali, Mexico.

A study finds Los Angeles County agencies are unprepared in the event of a disaster to provide emergency information to residents who don't speak English.

The report released Wednesday by the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center says that because of a language gap, immigrants could be more vulnerable than the general population during a wildfire, earthquake or terrorist strike.

The study says city and county agencies lack the necessary resources to hire bilingual first responders and provide written materials on disaster preparedness in a variety of languages.

Recommendations in the study include reallocating federal funds to increase multi-lingual outreach.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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