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Make a family emergency plan so you and your loved ones are ready.

One of the essential parts of emergency management is preparedness and that is exactly what state and county emergency managers across the state will be promoting on Thursday, Nov. 10 as part of  Nebraska Winter Weather Awareness Day.

“Every season we look ahead to the winter hazards we could face,” said Erv Portis, Nebraska Emergency Management Assistant Director. “For anyone who has survived a Nebraska winter, it’s easy to remember the issues heavy snowfall and extreme cold can cause. It’s easy to understand the need for a winter preparedness plan for your family’s safety.”

Despite dry conditions throughout the state for most of 2022, snow and ice are still likely this winter. Emergency managers want Nebraskans to be prepared for winter before it strikes.

“Before watches and warnings are issued, prepare a winter storm plan that will enable you and your family to survive for up to 72 hours without any outside assistance,” Portis said. “It’s also a good idea to make a family emergency plan so your family knows what to do if a blizzard strikes.”

NEMA recommends assembling disaster supply kits for home and auto, which could include:

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio or AM/FM radio
  • First aid kit
  • One-week supply of non-perishable food
  • Nonelectric can opener
  • Water (one gallon, per person, per day)
  • One-week supply of essential prescription medications
  • Extra blankets and sleeping bags
  • Blankets or sleeping bag
  • Extra sets of dry clothing
  • A windshield scraper
  • A shovel
  • A container of sand
  • Tire chains
  • Battery booster ("jumper") cables

Stay informed during power outages. Get a battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio (and extra batteries).  A NOAA Weather Radio will allow you to hear all winter weather reports directly from the National Weather Service as well as local radio stations. These are available at electronics, discount and sporting goods stores, and online from many retail outlets.  Models are available for those with special needs.

Make a family emergency plan.  If your family cannot return home because of severe weather or closed roads, decide where you will meet to reunite. Consider asking an out-of-town relative or friend to be your family emergency contact. 

Check out Winter Weather preparedness tips at: https://nema.nebraska.gov/operations/winter-weather or at https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather