GREAT FALLS — June is National Homeownership Month and it is no secret that wildfires are the biggest threat to Montana homeowners.
According to CoreLogic, nearly 29,000 homes throughout the state are at an extreme risk for wildfire damage. With the housing boom, many newly-constructed homes are located in wildfire-prone areas.
The first step in preparing for wildfire season is ensuring alerts are received either through phone call or text message. The CodeRED emergency notification system is utilized statewide to alert residents of impending dangers to their communities.
The Cascade County Sheriff's Office as well as the Cascade County Disaster & Emergency Services' Facebook pages will also be useful resources as fire season commences.
Next, putting together an emergency kit. As we saw in 2021 in the town of Denton, wildfires can tear through communities in minutes with little time to escape - and that's why it is vital to have a "go bag" with bare essentials.
Brad Call, Cascade County's Directory of Emergency Management, urges Montanans to put together the go bag ahead of the disaster.
He said, "Basic emergency kit, your talking about a grab and go bag or go bag some people call it for short. It is going to be real simple stuff. You need your medications, IDs, important documents, passports, drivers license, insurance information. People need to remember their pets, if they are not going to take their pets with them, where are they going to go?"
The threat of wildfires is prevalent from the high peaks of western Montana to grasslands to the east, and every Montanan should take the threat seriously.
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