Officials urge Nebraskans to plan ahead for a disaster -
Published Monday, September 16, 2013 at 1:30 am / Updated at 11:59 pm
Officials urge Nebraskans to plan ahead for a disaster
Emergency kit
The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency compiled a list of items that should be in an emergency kit, including:

battery-powered or crank radio
weather alert radio
extra batteries
first aid kit
sanitary wipes
dust masks
water for drinking and sanitation
water purification tablets
waterproof matches and/or butane lighter
crank flashlight
plastic sheeting
nonperishable food for at least three days
medical information for all family members, with details about dosages
list of known health concerns
Also, consider seasonal needs such as extra water for hydration in the summer or extra blankets for warmth during winter.

LINCOLN — Blizzards, floods, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes all are potential threats in the Midwest.

Jodie Fawl, public information officer for the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, called Nebraska an “all-hazard state,” where a variety of natural disasters can occur. The state is also on the northern edge of “Tornado Alley,” a zone in the Great Plains known for producing frequent tornadoes in late spring and early summer.

As September is National Preparedness Month, state officials say now is a good time for individuals to consider developing a disaster plan and putting together an emergency kit.

Fawl said it's important to be prepared in the event of a disaster or emergency.

“Nebraskans are pretty resilient,” Fawl said. “We just need to be able to take care of ourselves.”

She said having a plan and an emergency kit are key in the event of a disaster, because first responders might not be able to immediately get to everyone needing aid.

She suggests having extra water, food and clothing on hand.

“Be prepared to take care of yourself for 72 hours,” Fawl said.

Al Berndt, assistant director of the emergency agency, said a disaster plan should include a place for family members to gather as well as important personal and medical information for all family members. Those with pets should consider including extra water and pet food in the emergency kit.

Fawl also recommended creating a neighborhood plan to ensure the safety of elderly and disabled neighbors.

“Nebraskans are really known for helping their neighbors,” she said. “That's what we do. We step up and help the people next to us.”

More information on how to prepare for disasters and emergencies and a complete supply list can be found at

Contact the writer: Ruth Oliver    |  

Ruth is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln fellow who writes for news.

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