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Red Cross Urges Everyone to Get Ready for Emergencies

National Preparedness Month


GREAT FALLS — It’s National Preparedness Month, a time when the American Red Cross of Montana encourages people across our state to create a fire escape plan so that everyone knows what to do if a fire happens in their home.

“Large-scale disasters like wildfires and floods always make the news but the most common disaster threat people face across our country is a fire in their home,” said Diane Wright, Executive Director of Montana Red Cross. “Here in Montana, we respond to home fires almost every day. We urge residents to develop a fire escape plan and practice it with everyone in their household.”


• Walk through your home and look at all exits and possible escape routes, including windows.

• List two ways to get out of every room in case fire blocks one of the paths.

• Pick a place to meet outside, a safe distance away from the home.

• Conduct drills. Practice until every member of the household, including children, can escape your home in less than two minutes.

• Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.

• Teach everyone to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.


People should also install smoke alarms on every level of their home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. They should test the alarms monthly, install new batteries at least once a year or according to the alarm manufacturer’s instructions and replace alarms every ten years.

Additional fire safety tips and resources are available at

“Daylight savings time ends Nov. 6 and that’s a good time for everyone to test the batteries in their smoke alarms as they turn their clocks back an hour,” added Wright. “A good way to remember is to TURN and TEST.”


The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, now in its second year, aims to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires in the United States by as much as 25 percent over a five-year span.

To volunteer, go to to start your application. All training is free and open to the public.


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