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Smart911 Alerts Fail Some, Still Preferred Contact Method

 

September 7, 2017



SEELEY LAKE – There were a few people in Seeley Lake that didn’t receive the Smart911 alert Monday, Aug. 28 when parts of Seeley Lake were evacuated. While the oversight was due to human error, Smart911 is still the preferred method to send emergency alerts to the Missoula County community.

According to Office of Emergency Management Director Adriane Beck the evacuation Monday, Aug. 28 was very dynamic. The first area that received the evacuation order that went out just after 5:30 p.m. included: Morrell Creek Drive north of Cougar Court; the northern portion of Black Bear Drive and all of Black Bear Court; Airport Road from Tamarack Drive east; and the northern portion of the Double Arrow Ranch.

Shortly after the first order was given, the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office extended the eastern boundary of the evacuation area to Highway 83 and the southern boundary to junction of Highway 83 and Whitetail Drive east to Double Arrow Road including all of the Double Arrow Subdivision.

“The [reverse 911] alert went out for the initial area,” said Beck. “At some point later on the in evening they decided to pull that evacuation all the way to the highway. It was human error on this point. That sliver of folks that were originally out never got put [into the mapping software] when that decision was made.”

Beck assured the community that the software works and it is the preferred method to disseminate information. In this case it came down to a lack of communication to include the last area in the evacuation order.

Beck said a deputy contacted everyone that was home, even though they may or may not have received the phone alert.

Smart911 will be used to notify evacuees when the evacuation order is lifted. The community is still encouraged to sign up. Visit smart911.com to set up a profile to receive emergency alerts.

 

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