Survey Results

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The 2023 Pre-Disaster Mitigation survey results showed that wildfire is perceived as one of the most likely hazards to threaten a household, and that residents expect County agencies to emphasize wildfire mitigation. Missoula County’s Office of Emergency Management has a Wildfire Preparedness Coordinator, Max Rebholz, who you can contact at, as well as several resources to better prepare Missoula County residents for wildfire. Learn more on the Missoula County Office of Emergency Management’s website.

How to Receive Emergency Information

The survey showed most people hear about emergencies from local government sites, web searches or social media. There were also many who hear about them from state and federal government sites and word of mouth. However, one of the best ways to get information about an emergency is to download the Smart911 app, also referred to as the Rave Mobile Safety app.

To receive emergency alerts on your cell phone, you must opt-in on Smart911. If your household does not have a landline, opting in to cellphone alerts is the best way to receive emergency alerts in your area. Sign up at

This app is free and recommended for all Missoula County residents. It sends emergency notifications through texts, phone calls and email using Smart911. Alerts are targeted only to those in specific areas or groups who need them and are mostly used for evacuation notices due to fire or flooding and for missing persons and armed suspects in a particular neighborhood.

How to Prepare for Emergencies

One of the best things you can do to prepare for emergencies, in general, is to create an emergency plan for you and your household. Visit the Missoula County Office of Emergency Management website to learn how you can create an emergency plan for you and your family.

The survey showed that around 46% of people would be prepared to shelter in place for up to three days. If you’re one of those who would not be prepared to shelter in place, visit FEMA’s site for a list of things you can do to prepare yourself.

The survey also showed that around 49% of people asked to evacuate would do so as instructed. Those who might feel hesitant from leaving their place of residence listed their pets or because they have no other place to go as their top reasons for not evacuating.

If you are nervous about evacuating because of your pet situation, eliminate that stress by planning ahead. Just like you’d have an emergency plan and kit for you and your children, develop one for your pet. Think ahead about where you can take your pets if an emergency happens and have a kit ready to go with their basics for survival. Even better, have two kits: a larger one for if you need to shelter in place and a lightweight one for if you need to evacuate.

Learn more on the site

If you are worried about evacuating because you don’t know where you’d go, don’t worry. In these cases, the Office of Emergency Management will help you and set up a public shelter where people can get their basic needs met, such as food, water and a warm sleeping space.

For all other questions related to evacuation, learn more on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website.

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