(KFOR Lincoln September 2, 2023) Earlier this week,  Lincoln-Lancaster County Emergency Management Director Jim Davidsaver urged all community members to observe September as “National Preparedness Month”. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “Ready” Campaign sponsors this annual event to encourage all Americans to take basic steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities. Recent disasters experienced at the local, state, and national level emphasize the ongoing need for preparedness.

The theme for 2023 is “Preparing for Older Adults”. Prepare for disasters to ensure a lasting legacy for you and your family. Davidsaver said September’s social media campaign will emphasize different components of the emergency planning process. The end result will promote and foster community-wide preparedness, resilience, and continuity of operations.

All residents are encouraged to assemble an emergency supply kit and develop a family emergency plan.  “Every individual and family should have a plan to deal with natural and man-made emergencies,” Davidsaver said. “If you do not have a plan, now is the time make one. If you do have a plan, review and update it at least once a year. Include an evacuation plan so you are ready if you are forced to leave your home with little notice.”

Davidsaver offered these tips:

Make A Plan

Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during and after a disaster. Family group chat apps are an effective, efficient communication option.

Build A Kit

Gather supplies that will last for at least three days after a disaster for everyone living in your home.  Plan accordingly for the special needs of each person or pet in case you must evacuate quickly. Periodically inspect the contents of your kit and replace any expired items.

Prepare for Disasters

Limit the impacts disasters have on you and your family.  Know the risk of disasters in your area and check your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home stronger and more resilient in the face of storms and other common hazards. Act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.

Teach Youth About Preparedness

Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

Davidsaver said more information on preparedness, emergency kits and planning is available at Ready.gov.  It is offered in several languages. People can download the FEMA app for instant access to a wide array of emergency planning and preparedness information. A NOAA all-hazards radio is an effective tool to alert and inform families of potential emergencies. Early and timely notification allows individuals to take necessary steps to protect themselves.

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