How to Be Prepared for a Disaster

By: Christie Bett Email
By: Christie Bett Email

There are only a few days left in September, but enough time to remind Nebraskans that it's National Disaster Preparedness Month.

The Federal Emergency Management Association is trying to engage people in prepping for something that could strike at the least likely time, a disaster. Whether of natural origins like Hurricane Katrina or a man-made catastrophe like September 11, 2001, FEMA says it's never too soon to sit down with your family and decide on a plan.

Severe weather is dangerous and man-made disasters are unpredictable. Which is why FEMA is using this month to educate people about getting ready for the worst.

"I think the biggest problem we have is that many Americans, many Nebraskans, they aren't prepared for disaster, yet disasters strike fairly often. The month kind of gives us the opportunity to push the message so folks do act," said FEMA's Josh Deberge.

FEMA lists three ways to prepare your family. Get educated on how your community responds to local risks, form an emergency plan with your family, and finally, put together a survival kit that could sustain everyone in your home for at least three days.

"It's very important to have water and food, those are the life essentials, so you need that to last you three days. You need a first-aid kit, because obviously during disasters or after disasters, you have things that can injure you. You need a battery-powered radio or some way to stay informed after the disaster, and a flashlight and batteries," said Deberge.

But why now? Deberge says although much of Nebraska's severe weather is in the spring, winter poses the threat of ice storms and the possibility of prolonged power outages, two reasons to not go another day unprepared.

"Katrina's a prime example of that because if folks were prepared in all of those three key areas, they probably would've been a lot better off in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast, so it's made us really reconsider how much being prepared is important," Deberge said.

Deberge says the thing he hears repeatedly going out to disaster scenes is, 'I never thought this could happen to me,' another reason he says to put together your emergency kit now.

For more information on emergency preparedness from FEMA, click on the link below.


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