Have a Plan. Have a Kit. With September designated as National Preparedness Month, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is urging residents to plan now for what they would need to do in a disaster, and to have a kit of materials to take care of themselves and their families.
“The state’s local emergency managers and NEMA have plans to address a wide range of natural and man-made disasters, but individuals and families must be prepared to assume a role in personal health and safety emergency preparedness,” said NEMA assistant director Al Berndt. “Plans should include where to meet if a home is destroyed and include a list of important personal information, including medical information, for every family member.”
The Ready.Gov website has a fill-in-the-blank plan available to make it easy to assemble most of the information needed for personal emergency plans. To access that free form, go to www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/FamEmePlan_2013.pdf.
“Everyone needs to be prepared to shelter in place for a minimum of three days,” Berndt said. “Our health, and the health of our loved ones, could very well depend on our kit and our plan if there is a major disaster. Emergency responders can’t always take care of everyone in a short amount of time.”
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
Also, it is important to consider a few seasonal needs such as extra water for hydration and bug repellants in the summer and warm clothes and sleeping bags for winter months. Visit www.ready.gov/document/family-supply-list for a complete list.
“Store your kit and support materials where you can find them easily and move them quickly,”
Berndt said. “The best-supplied kit may not do any good if you can’t take it with you. Consider using a buddy system with nearby families, to help and support one another in the case of extreme emergencies.
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“Tornadoes, floods and fires could affect Nebraskans with little or no notice,” Berndt said. “We all need to be prepared to take care of ourselves and those we care about until help can arrive. The best time to plan and assemble an emergency preparedness kit is right now.”
NEMA works to reduce the vulnerabilities of the people and communities of Nebraska from the damage, injury and loss of life and property resulting from natural, technological, or man-mad disasters and emergencies.
For more information, visit www.nema.nebraska.gov and check out these tips for being prepared for severe weather: http://www.nema.ne.gov/response-recovery/severe-storm-guide.html and