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State agencies team to promote National Preparedness Month

The Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management, Nevada National Guard and Division of Public and Behavioral Health are partnering to participate in National Preparedness Month to encourage the public to plan for emergencies.

Each week an agency will be promoting a variety of awareness and preparedness tips to help keep Nevadans safe. This year’s theme is “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.”

State agencies are urging Nevadans to prepare for an emergency that would require self-reliance for seven days without utilities and electricity, access to grocery stores, local services, household medical needs, food and water supplies and possibly without response from first responders. This year we are working together to create a “culture of preparedness,” which requires families, friends and communities to get ready for disasters and emergencies before they strike.

“National Preparedness Month is a critical reminder that disasters can strike in an instant, with little or no warning. It is essential for Nevadans to always be prepared,” Emergency Management Chief Justin Luna said. “DEM, in partnership with local state and federal agencies, prepares for emergencies such as natural disasters, pandemics, active shooters, mass casualties and chemical threats throughout the year by conducting training, exercises and educational programs.

“These training exercises are critical in ensuring that the state can effectively and efficiently respond to any crisis. It is vital the public plays a role as well by planning ahead for their households.”

Dr. Ihsan Azzam, Nevada’s chief medical officer, agrees.

“Disasters can happen anywhere, at any time,” Azzam said. “Disaster preparations don’t have to be time-consuming or expensive, but thinking ahead can save lives. A plan that provides for your family’s health care needs in an emergency can make all the difference.

“National Preparedness Month in Nevada highlights the importance of developing a strategy that will keep your family and community safe and healthy when faced with a major disaster. I encourage all Nevadans to stay vigilant on preparing ahead and creating a plan.”

September was designated as National Preparedness Month in 2004 in memory of the Sept. 11 attacks. During times of disasters and incidents, the Nevada National Guard has and always will be a valuable source that the governor can use to support the communities of Nevada.

“Disaster can strike at a moment’s notice, and no one is exempt from the damage that a disaster brings, which is why it is so critical that our guardsmen across the state are prepared in the event of an emergency,” Nevada National Guard Maj. Gen. Ondra Berry said. “Emergency preparedness is everyone’s responsibility. When guardsmen and their families are prepared, they will be ready to support the state and their neighbors when an emergency strikes, which saves time, property and most importantly, lives.

“The strength of our guardsmen comes from the strength of their families. During National Preparedness Month, we ask you to take four action steps — create an emergency supply kit, develop a family communications plan, stay informed and get involved — so you and your loved ones can react quickly when a disaster occurs.”

National Preparedness Month is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster planning.

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