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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 27, 2008
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Doug Ahlberg, Emergency Management, 441-7441
Dave Norris, Citizen Information Center, 441-7547

FAMILIES URGED TO RECOGNIZE SEPTEMBER AS "NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH"

Lancaster County Emergency Management Director Doug Ahlberg today urged all citizens to acknowledge September as "National Preparedness Month" by assembling an emergency supply kit and developing a family emergency plan. National Preparedness Month is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's "Ready" Campaign to encourage Americans to be informed and take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities.

"Individuals and families who don't already have specific plans to deal with severe weather or other natural or man-made emergencies, should establish one immediately," said Ahlberg. "For those who already do, reinforcing the plan on an annual basis is very important." Ahlberg said plans should include a location where all family members will report in the event of severe weather activity such as a tornado or flooding.

"A great gift for the entire family would be a NOAA all-hazards radio," Ahlberg said. "It's a great tool to alert family members of potential emergencies including severe weather. The all-hazards radio can give you a head start in taking the steps necessary to protect your family."

A family preparedness kit should include a family-sized supply of water and food as well as essential medicines and first aid supplies, Ahlberg said. He said a family emergency response plan should be specific and should emphasize communication among family members as well as external sources of information such as media.

"The local media do an excellent job of keeping residents informed in emergency situations," Ahlberg said. "The meteorologists, forecasters and news reporters have demonstrated a commitment to keeping Lincoln and Lancaster County informed and they have a vital role in communicating with citizens in the event of a major disaster scenario."

Ahlberg said local agencies have been working with Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD), which is making preparedness information available through business newsletters, organizational flyers and other outlets. Additional information on emergency preparedness is available on the City Web site at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword emergency).

Ahlberg said local agenicies involved in National Preparedness Month purposes include his agency, the City of Lincoln, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, the American Red Cross, the County Extension Office, Volunteer Partners/Volunteer Educators. the Nebraska Emergency Management Association, Lincoln Electric System, Region V Services, Boy Scouts of America, Union Bank and Trust, McDonald's, the Salvation Army, the Nebraska Volunteer Service Commission, Lutheran Disaster Response, Nebraska Interchurch Ministries, the UNL Office of Student Involvement and Union College.