Hurricane Irma: Multilingual Warnings Issued

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Hurricane Irma Warnings Issued in English, Spanish, American Sign Language and Creole

Sign Language Interpreter, Jose Grada (right) with Florida Officials During Press Conference on Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hurricane Irma Warnings Issued in 4 Languages in South Florida

September 8, 2017

As Hurricane Irma continues to wreak havoc in the Caribbean, Florida officials are urging residents to evacuate and seek shelter. As the storm is expected to reach the Florida Keys as early as Friday evening, it is critical to reach the everyone in the area. To communicate with Miami’s diverse population, warnings have been issued in English, Spanish, Creole and American Sign Language (ASL). With the assistance of ASL interpreters, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community has received these important warnings. Breaking down language barriers is crucial in emergency situations, as these populations need to understand where to go and how best to protect themselves.

Watch yesterday’s press conference here

“it is life threatening, this is not a storm you can sit and wait through.”Florida Governor, Rick Scott
Hurricane Irma is the largest Atlantic hurricane recorded to date. With winds clocking in at 185 mph, Florida officials are not taking chances. While shelters have been set-up, Florida Governor Rick Scott emphasized that “it is life threatening, [and] this is not a storm you can sit and wait through.”

According to the New York Times, Irma has taken the lives of 19 people collectively in the French Caribbean islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, Barbuda and Anguilla.

At IU, our thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this tragedy. If you’re in the south Florida area, here are some resources to stay safe:

Hurricane Irma Safety Information


Evacuation Q&A
Storm Planning Zones
Shelter Information


Shelter Locations
Special Needs Shelters and
Sandbag Information

Naples & Collier County

Evacuation Zones
Pet-Friendly Shelters
Fire and Rescue

Cape Coral/Lee County

Shelter and Travel Information


Special Needs, Pet-Friendly and General Population Shelters

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