Lincoln, Neb. – The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) observes National Preparedness Month (NPM) during September. The purpose of NPM is to raise awareness about the importance of being prepared and how to take action before, during, and after an emergency. Being aware provides an opportunity to build a culture of preparedness between individuals, households, communities, and organizations.
“I encourage all Nebraskans to teach children, friends, and neighbors about the importance of being prepared to face an emergency,” said Brenda Soto, Emergency Preparedness and Response Officer for DHHS. “Making a plan, gathering supplies, and understanding the risks in your area can help protect and save the lives of loved ones in an emergency.”
Every community should prepare to respond to an emergency or natural disaster. By learning the risks and responsibilities of the area where you live, work, or go to school, making an emergency plan, and building an emergency kit, Nebraskans can be informed and prepared to face an emergency.
It is important to understand what kinds of emergencies affect your area and ways officials will share emergency information. Find a safe spot near where you live, work, or attend school that you could go if an emergency arises. Potential emergencies that could occur in Nebraska include blizzards, drought, fires, flooding, high winds, power outages, severe storms, and tornadoes.
Have a plan in place for different scenarios in order to be prepared in an emergency. It is important to educate all family members, including children and seniors, on the plan. Appoint a main contact person and designate a safe, familiar, accessible place where your family can go for protection. If you have pets or service animals, think about an animal-friendly location.
An emergency kit should have everything you need to survive for several days. Keeping your kit stocked with necessities like non-perishable food, water, flashlights, a radio, extra batteries, and a first aid kit can make a difference in an emergency. Consider what unique needs your family might have, including supplies or prescription medication for children, seniors, or pets.
DHHS encourages families, individuals, and businesses to make survival preparations. Over the last several years, Nebraska has experienced severe weather events, natural disasters, and public health concerns that keep us on our toes and remind us of the value of advance preparation. For more information regarding NPM, click here.