A Louisville family who lost all of their possessions in the Marshall Fire says emergency notifications should be sent in the preferred language of its users.
LOUISVILLE, Colo. — Trying to navigate through a rapidly changing situation can be stressful enough on its own. Imagine trying to make quick decisions about where to go and where to avoid with information coming to you in a language that isn’t your strongest.
The Boulder Office of Emergency Management (OEM) confirmed the Everbridge emergency notification system it uses, which requires people to register, is available only in English. 9NEWS asked if there were plans in place that would allow people to opt-in using the language of their choice when they sign up, but we have not received a response.
The Rodriguez family lost their home in the Marshall Fire that destroyed more than 1,000 houses in Boulder County. The mother, Irma Rodriguez, was home alone when she got a frantic call from her husband, Javier, and daughter, Jennifer. Her husband, who was at work in Broomfield, told her there was a fire nearby, and her daughter only knew what was happening after seeing a Facebook video of the Costco burning.
“Y yo estaba tratando de salvar algo, no sabía que hacer y yo estaba tratando de salvar algo, no sabía que hacer,” said Irma Rodriguez. “I was trying to save something, I didn’t know what to do and I was trying to save something.”
Irma Rodriguez ended up leaving home with only the clothes she had on, a few important documents and the family dog, Jack.
“Me siento muy frustrada, muy triste por que perdimos todo,” she said. “I feel very frustrated, very sad because we lost everything.”
“Perdimos nuestras memorias, perdimos fotos de mis hijos, de mis nietos, los jugetes,” Irma Rodriguez said. “We lost our memories, we lost our photos of my kids, of my grandkids, the toys.”
The family set up a GoFundMe to raise money as they try to figure out what they will do next.
The Rodriguez family had just moved into the home five months ago. Jennifer Rodriguez said this was their new beginning, and this was the first year the family was able to afford to buy gifts for her son.
“I don’t know why our house got picked, the only house in this cul-de-sac, our house is completely gone,” she said.
“I think it should’ve been notified in Spanish. I, mean I was so worried about my mom being at home,” Jennifer Rodriguez said. She has always been the voice of the family as she helps them navigate through …….