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September is National Preparedness Month

Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and local emergency managers across the state are urging Nebraskans to plan now for potential disasters.

The theme for National Preparedness Month 2016 is, “Don’t Wait. Communicate”.

“We want to urge all Nebraskans to make an emergency plan with their families,” said NEMA Assistant Director Bryan Tuma. “Make that plan today, and be prepared to take care of yourselves for at least 72 hours after a disaster.”

Local officials and relief workers may not be able to help everyone immediately after a disaster, so it is recommended that you have your own food, water and supplies and other essentials in the event of an emergency.

There are a variety of tools online which can make assembling your kit a fun family project. Check out the Family Disaster Preparedness Kit available on NEMA’s website for an easy to assemble list of items to include in your kit. Visit nema.nebraska.gov and click on the Are You Ready?tile for even more information on preparedness.

Emergency planning information for families, pet owners, senior citizen and people with functional needs, as well as those who work in agriculture, business, health care facilities and schools is available on the www.bereadynebraska.com, a site maintained by Nebraska local emergency managers.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency includes a wealth of preparedness information on its Ready.gov site, including a family emergency plan to document important information needed in an emergency.

“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 make their own plans and be prepared to assume a role in personal health and safety emergency preparedness,” said Tuma. “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. 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.”

Also, it is important to consider a few seasonal needs such as extra water for hydration and bug repellant in the summer and warm clothes and sleeping bags for winter months.

“Store your kit and support materials where you can find them easily and move them quickly,”

Tuma 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. Tornadoes, floods and fires could affect Nebraskans with little or no notice. 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-made disasters and emergencies.

Follow NEMA on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/nema.page

and on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/NEMAtweets for preparedness tips throughout the month.