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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts, American Red Cross Launch Prepared Communities Initiative

The initiative will help 100 Nebraska communities improve preparedness by 2018.


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and the American Red Cross launched the Prepared Communities Initiative, a major preparedness initiative which will assist Nebraska communities with disaster and emergency preparedness.  Through this initiative, the Red Cross will use a three-step process to build a foundation of preparedness in 100 Nebraska communities by December 2018 with a goal to reach every Nebraska community by 2020.

“Events like the flooding in Louisiana and the tornadoes we’ve experienced in Pilger and Beaver Crossing are critical reminders about the importance of emergency preparedness,” said Governor Ricketts.  “The Prepared Communities Initiative will help our communities take the next step in preparedness.  Thank you to the American Red Cross for this remarkable investment in Nebraska.”

The Prepared Communities Initiative consists of three levels, and will be a stair step process where we systematically build our foundation in each community. 

Level I will consist of four objectives:

  •        Recruit volunteers in each community.
  •        Update/develop a shelter agreement to provide shelter for each county in the event of an emergency or disaster.
  •        Document 25 or more volunteer hours in each community.
  •        Introduce the Preparedness Health and Safety Services (PHSS) Ready Rating program ( to each community.

Level II will consist of one objective: developing and promoting activities for:

  •        Blood Services (blood drive, speaking engagement, Pint Size Hero Program, etc.)
  •        Services to the Armed Forces (SAF) (Veteran’s recognition, Get to Know Us Before You Need Us briefings, special events, etc.)
  •        International Services (Presentation on International Services, host class, etc.)

Level III will consist of the development of an American Red Cross Engagement Plan which will outline the long-term goals and objectives of the American Red Cross in each community throughout Nebraska. 

“In 2017, the Prepared Communities Initiative will play a primary role in the American Red Cross’ 100 year anniversary throughout the State of Nebraska,” said American Red Cross Regional Executive and CEO Jill Orton.  “As we celebrate A Century of Service in 2017, we will highlight the many heroic actions of our Nebraska volunteers over the last 100 years.  The Prepared Communities Initiative will help us start to build the foundation for our next 100 years.” 

A detailed memo outlining the initiative can be found here;Nebraska Prepared Communities Initiative - Project Action Plan.pdf