Last week, the same day strong winds uprooted trees and damaged homes and power lines, the Missoula Office of Disaster and Emergency Services met with media representatives to revamp and modernize their methods of communication, to better provide up-to-date information to the public. Emergency Services Director Chris Lounsbury says different media outlets, newspaper, TV and radio will be contacted in the form that best suits them.

Lounsbury says his department will utilize text messaging, Twitter, and emails to send out information whenever a situation arises in which the public must be informed quickly and accurately. He says the agency in charge at the scene, whether it be police, sheriff, fire or National Weather Service, will provide accurate information to the 9-1-1 center, which will then relay the information to the media. This new method will eventually replace the Missoula Emergency Action Notification System (MEANS) that has been in place since the early 1980's.

Missoula Disaster and Emergency Services Director Chris Lounsbury