September is National Preparedness Month: Get Involved (getinvolved)

September is National Preparedness Month: Be Involved

Submitted by Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator

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As we continue to work on being ready for disasters or other emergencies it is important to GET INVOLVED. Hopefully most families have started to put together a disaster or emergency kit, made a plan for yourself and family and have become more aware of what can cause the type of problems that need emergency attention. Visit , or for additional information to be prepared.

A national survey conducted by The Ad Council in August 2007 found 54% of households have an emergency kit and 37% have created a family emergency plan. Which group are you part of?

GET INVOLVED: And stay involved in emergency planning. Remember, items in your emergency kit, such as batteries, food, and medicines have expiration dates and need to be replaced periodically. Ways of handling different emergency situations can change. Your family size may change, so emergency plans need periodic review.

Other ways you can get involved are:

* Become a CERT member. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program supports local response capability by training volunteers to organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers at the disaster site, to provide immediate assistance to victims, and to collect disaster intelligence to support responders' efforts when they arrive. Training consists of 20 hours of instruction on topics including disaster preparedness, safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster psychology. Upon completion of the training, participants are encouraged to continue their involvement by participating in training activities and volunteering for projects supporting their community's disaster preparedness efforts.

* Become involved in Citizen Corps. Citizen Corps is managed at the local level by Citizen Corps Councils, which bring together leaders from law enforcement, emergency medical and other emergency management, volunteer organizations, local elected officials, the private sector, and other community stakeholders. These Citizen Corps Councils will organize public education on disaster mitigation and preparedness, citizen training, and volunteer programs to give people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to support their community's emergency services and to safeguard themselves and their property. By participating in Citizen Corps programs, you can make your home, your neighborhood and your community a safer place to live. Activities under Citizen Corps include existing and new federally sponsored programs administered by the Department of Justice (Neighborhood Watch and Volunteers in Police Service), FEMA (Community Emergency Response Teams - CERT), and Department of Health and Human Services (Medical Reserve Corps), as well as other activities through Citizen Corps affiliate programs sharing the common goal of community and family safety.

For more information on becoming involved in Lincoln/Lancaster County, Nebraska, e-mail or contact the Volunteers Partners office at 402-435-2100.

Now is the time to GET INVOLVED. Start at home and in your neighborhood. So when asked ARE YOU READY? the answer is YES.

Ask Lorene

(This resource was added September 2008 and appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper Sunday edition. For information on reproducing this article or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

Contact Information

University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lancaster County
Web site:
444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A, Lincoln, NE 68528 | 402-441-7180