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Weather Wise: Wildfire Evacuation Plan

Weather Wise: Evacuation Plan
Posted at 7:03 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 12:35:25-04

An evacuation plan may seem simple enough: get out, take what you only need, grab the dog and cat, have a meeting place, know how to get out. But wildfires do not go according to plan.

Roads may be cut off by fire or closed by firefighters. Cell phone service could be spotty or impacted by the fire. Power could go out. There are so many things that could go wrong which is why preparedness and knowing your family plan is so important.

Law enforcement will do their best to alert homes to evacuate, but there is no guarantee that you will receive notification of an evacuation order because of the possible chaos created by the fire. So don't wait to be ordered by authorities to leave if you are unsure, feel threatened or lose power or communication.

For an evacuation, take the shortest route and have at least two routes. Drive your planned route of escape before an actual emergency. During an evacuation, law enforcement my direct you to an alternate route. Always follow their directions.

Try to stay calm, don't abandon your car in the roadway. Being stuck in your car, on nonburnable pavement, is almost always safer than being exposed on foot.

There are numerous communities and even some towns here in Montana that are "one way in, one way out" and this is where having an evacuation plan and then executing it is a matter of life and death.

This wildfire season is already extreme, it will threaten homes, it will threaten life. Having a family evacuation plan where every individual knows what to do will save lives.