by Catherine Haug
Part of ESP’s mission is to build a stronger Bigfork community, and an integral part of that community is helping our neighbors and our families to be prepared for any emergency or disaster that might befall us.
I have volunteered to help get the Bigfork Emergency Response Team (BERT) website up and running, with links to important informational about preparedness for everyone to access. I am also providing these links on our ESP website for your convenience. These include things like:
- Supplies kits and checklists including ESP Document: Emergency Supplies List;
- Suggestions on how to be ready for whatever may come;
- National Weather Service and their Missoula Hydrograph site that tracks river levels;
- Guide to evacuation levels;
- Sheltering in place;
- FEMA and Red Cross info sites and brochures.
About impending flooding
Be aware that even though your home may be on high ground, you could still be negatively impacted by the flood. For example:
- Road and/or bridge closures could leave you isolated and unable to get to a grocery store, etc.;
- The ground beneath your home could be saturated from underground springs or ground water, and flood your basement/crawl space even though you are well above streams and lakes. (This problem is already affecting people in the Bigfork area);
- If you are on a hillside, overflowing springs can cause rock and/or mud slides that could damage your property or home, or block access to roads.
Your most important asset in the face of any emergency is your neighbors, as you all can help each other deal with whatever may come, and provide a sense of security in the face of disaster.
ESP Website Changes
You will notice several new menus in the right-hand column of our home page, as I am reorganizing our site to make information more readily accessible for those who are not versed in searching a blog. These new menus are:
- BLOG (all posts, in reverse chronological order)
- About ESP
The Preparedness menu is where you will find the information to help prepare your family and home for the flood (or other disasters). So far, here’s what is listed:
- ESP emergency preparedness articles (these are part of ESP newsletters)
- Preparedness Info Sites
- Preparedness Brochures
- Bigfork Emergency Response Team (BERT) (currently under construction)
- Missoula Hydrograph (River Levels)
- Flathead Co. Office of Emergency Services (OES)
- Lake Co. Directory
- FEMA (home)
- FEMA: Are you Ready? (listing of links) < link updated 120915
- FEMA: ‘Ready’ Brochure < link updated 120915
- Red Cross of Montana
I strongly urge you to check out the Preparedness Brochures link, where you will find information on what to do should disaster strike, and also how to prepare in advance for disaster.
The Missoula Hydrograph site provides graphs about valley river levels relative to flood stage. Note that the graph for the Swan River is in the Ferndale/Swan River area (above the dam), and does not provide information about the Wild Mile nor Bigfork Bay.