Get Healthy Carson City: Using the ‘buddy system’ during a disaster

This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.

Emergency disasters are often tragic and leave communities feeling exposed and vulnerable. As a resilient Carson City community, we can work together to eliminate those feelings by creating personal, family and business emergency preparedness plans. It’s even more important to recognize you shouldn’t be developing your plans alone.

Think back to what you were taught in grade school about using the “Buddy System.” You learned that when walking to the bus stop or participating in an activity that left you vulnerable to the environment, it was better to work in pairs than act alone. The Public Health Preparedness Division at Carson City Health & Human Services (CCHHS) suggests the use of the “Buddy System” to help you prepare for natural disasters, public health threats and other emergencies.

Your “buddy” can be a family member, friend, or neighbor you trust to have access to your home. When preparing for an evacuation, you and your “buddy” should know where each other’s emergency preparedness kits are stored. Emergency preparedness kits should include food, water, and other essential items such as medications, changes of clothes, and/or eyeglasses to get you by for up to 72 hours. In addition, each of you should know how to notify family members with status updates and how to contact primary care providers for any health concerns.

To help you develop your emergency plans and preparedness kits, CCHHS has a variety of planning templates and other tools available at In addition, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website, www.Ready.Gov, can be used as a resource to develop plans and to keep you informed of current disaster prevention projects across the nation.

For more information about other Health Department services, check out our website at or visit us at

This article is part of a four-part series developed for National Preparedness Month. The Public Health Preparedness (PHP) Division at Carson City Health & Human Services recognizes National Preparedness Month, which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work and visit. The PHP program is funded entirely by federal grants from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), awarded each year through the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. CCHHS works closely with many partner agencies in the community, such as Emergency Management, Carson Tahoe Healthcare and the Salvation Army to accomplish preparedness activities across Western Nevada.


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