Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department (SWNPHD) is celebrating National Preparedness Month by donating public health cache supplies to local emergency medical services (EMS). Public health caches are a stockpile of items to be used in a large public health event such as a natural disaster or the H1N1 pandemic flu outbreak in 2009, for example.
EMS services throughout the nine-county health district will be given a donation which may include disposable gowns, masks, linen kits, body bags and blankets. SWNPHD plans to distribute the donations by the end of September.
“National Preparedness Month reminds Nebraskans to prepare for the unexpected, with the theme of ‘Prepared, Not Scared’. The donated items are a part of the health department’s previous cache for public health emergencies,” states Kathie Skeen, SWNPHD Emergency Planning Coordinator. “We believe the cache will best serve the public by being utilized at the local level.”
This is a good time to prepare your own stockpile of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Once you look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, seniors, or persons with disabilities. Some additional items may be:
- At least a week-long supply of prescription medicines, along with a list of all medications, dosage, and any allergies
- Extra eyeglasses and hearing-aid batteries
- Extra wheelchair batteries (manual wheelchair if possible) and/or oxygen
- A list of the style and serial number of medical devices. Include special instructions for operating your equipment if needed.
- Copies of medical insurance and Medicare cards
- Contact information for doctors, relatives or friends who should be notified if you are hurt.
- Pet food, extra water, collar with ID tag, medical records and other supplies for your service animal.
- Handheld electronic devices loaded with movies and games (and spare chargers), headphones to decrease auditory distractions, and comfort snacks and toys that meet needs for stimulation.
Go to Ready.gov/kit for more ideas on what to include in your emergency supplies and get informed by downloading the FEMA app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips. You can also sign up for preparedness text messages: Text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA) to receive preparedness tips.
Southwest Nebraska Public Health serves Chase, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock, Keith, Perkins and Red Willow counties. To learn more about how public health works, stop by one of our offices at 404 West 10th Street (block north of Arby’s) in McCook or 501 Broadway (Moreland Building 5th Street entrance) in Imperial. The website is www.swhealth.ne.gov. For more information call 308-345-4223 for either office. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.