Washed Out Bridge near Augusta, Montana

In 2018, heavy flooding in the Augusta area wiped out this bridge.

HELENA, MT - With the start of a new year, Lewis and Clark County is urging residents to sign up to receive location specific emergency alerts at www.smart911.com

Public safety officials use Smart911 to communicate with residents for a variety of events, including natural disasters such as wildfires and flooding, public safety emergencies such as manhunts, and missing person alerts.

It is free to sign up and allows people to receive alerts via text message, email and voice message. Smart911 also offers a free mobile app that can be downloaded from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Currently, only about 3,952 people are signed up to receive alerts in Lewis and Clark County, a very low number considering the amount of people in the County.

“If you see fire on the ridgeline or floodwater at your door, it’s already too late,” said Peter Callahan, 911 Center Manager. “We urge people to sign up now, when there is not an emergency, so they receive notifications when there is.”

While there are minimal information requirements to sign-up for emergency alerts, Smart911 offers other important features as well. It enables households to voluntarily share valuable information with public safety and emergency management officials, including household information, medical history, pets and service animals, emergency contacts and vulnerable needs. It is password protected by the user and only accessed during an emergency.

“We really encourage everyone to sign-up to receive emergency alerts,” said Reese Martin, Lewis and Clark County Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator. “This helps emergency responders and helps protect you and your family. Know you are going to receive the emergency information you need to make smart decisions.”

Free mass notification system aids emergency personnel and helps protect the public