"It's important for you to have the evacuation plans beforehand, because we've noticed that disasters can happen very quickly, and you don't have a lot of time to sort this all out during the time of the disaster. Preplanning and doing things early are important for you and your first responders," said Sergeant Jason Jarrett of the Gallatin County Sheriff's office.
For instance, the guide suggests steps you can use to prepare for or complete an evacuation. Among many other ideas, it reminds you to set a meeting place for family, disconnect all electrical appliances and taking important medications and clothing. It also has suggestions for evacuating people with handicaps and special needs.
The guide is intended to be useful not just for summer wildfire season, but also in case of floods, tornados, earthquakes, hazardous material spills and winter storms, which can strike quickly and without warning, said Mike Vogel, the MSU Extension Housing and environmental health specialist who developed the brochure.
The guide also includes a hang tag to put on your door to let emergency personnel know the home has been evacuated.
Other free wildfire publications available through MSU Extension include: "Management Practices for Forest Health and Catastrophic Wildfire Resistance" and "Integrated Noxious Weed Management After Wildfires." In addition, there is a 54-page booklet titled "After Wildfires" that costs $6.
"The sheriff's office and your local fire departments are using the information provided by the Extension Service in our regular packets that we give out to folks that have potential for being evacuated or are being evacuated. We've found that it is a pretty comprehensive, pretty good guide to help most folks get through the process of having to leave their homes," Jarrett added.
To request a copy of any of these publications please contact your local County MSU Extension office or contact MSU Extension Publications, 115 Culbertson Hall, P.O. Box 172040, Bozeman, MT 59717 or e-mail email@example.com or telephone 406-994-3273
Two sound bites, one 20 seconds and one 21 seconds, to go with this story are available on the web.
Sergeant Jason Jarrett of the Gallatin County Sheriff's office discusses how the evacuation brochures can help people plan ahead (:20)
Sergeant Jason Jarrett of the Gallatin County Sheriff's office describes how his office uses the evacuation brochure (:21)
Contact: Mike Vogel (406) 994-3451 or firstname.lastname@example.org