With wildfires in Montana and deadly floods in Colorado. Montanans are being reminded that September is National Preparedness Month.

The Governor's Office of Community Service is encouraging all Montanans to make sure their families and communities are prepared for any disaster or emergency. Ready Montana coordinator Katie Gallagher said on Monday, September 16, that preparedness is both a shared and a personal responsibility.

"Experts say to make sure you're able to be on your own for at least 72 hours," Gallagher said. "It's also important to make a family communication plan because phone lines may be down, and also to be informed as to who your local first responders are in your community. The last thing is to help your neighbor. We're seeing that in the Colorado flooding, as well as the Lolo wildfire, with people opening their homes to those who have been displaced."

Gallagher said each family should have an emergency kit.

"We encourage folks to have a kit to last at least 72 hours, or in a major disaster like Hurricane Katrina, you should have supplies for a much longer period of time," Gallagher said. "For your kit, consider first aid supplies, flashlights with working batteries, a NOAA weather radio in case your TV is out, as well as food and water for your entire family."

Gallagher said most of the items for your emergency kit are readily available at local stores.

"Most of the items are available at your local grocery or hardware store," Gallagher said. "Keep in mind, we're not telling people to stock up on huge amounts of items, just enough to sustain your family for the next few days. We have a website specifically to help you prepare your emergency kit, and to obtain more information."

Ready Montana Coordinator Katie Gallagher: