Gov. Dave Heineman has declared September Nebraska Preparedness Month.
Heineman says it is only appropriate in light of a series of severe storms that tore through Nebraska this year.
“During this spring and summer, Nebraska has experienced three weather-related events that were eventually declared federal disasters,” according to Heineman. “These storms devastated the lives of many of our fellow Nebraskans. Tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding caused significant damage in our state.”
Severe weather ripped through the state this spring and summer. Twin tornadoes struck Pilger in June, with one of the tornadoes roaring through the center of the town. Two residents died of injuries suffered in the storm. Other towns also got hit by tornadoes.
Assistant Director Bryan Tuma with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency says no one can forecast when an emergency will strike.
“So, our advice to you is to plan ahead. Prepare for contingencies and have a list of emergency contact information readily available. Get those documents like medical records, contracts, property deeds, leases, banking records, birth certificates and make sure that’s kept in a safe place,” Tuma advises.
State officials say three steps can help prepare a family to make it through the first 72 hours of an emergency: be informed, make an emergency plan, and build and emergency kit.
Emergency kits should include items such as:
· battery-powered or crank radio
· weather alert radio
· extra batteries
· first aid kit
· sanitary wipes
· dust mask
· water for drinking and sanitation
· water purification tablets
· waterproof matches and/or butane lighter
· crank flashlight
· plastic sheeting
· non-perishable food for at least three days
· disinfectants and medications
· medical information for entire family, including details about dosages of required medications and a list of known health issues.
State Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joseph Acierno says steps now can help you and your family make it through a disaster.
“Nebraskans can protect themselves and their families by being prepared. We can’t prevent the disaster, but we can be better prepared to respond to one,” according to Acierno. “Together we have been through tornadoes, wild fires, flooding, ice storms, flu, and food-borne illness outbreaks. Even small steps can make a big difference.”
State officials say a national website, www.ready.gov, has a fill-in-the-blank plan available to make it easy to assemble most of the information needed for personal emergency plans. Nebraska emergency managers operate the website www.bereadynebraska.com.
Click here for more information from the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency website.
AUDIO: Gov. Dave Heineman declares September Nebraska Preparedness Month. [2 min.]