Lincoln, Neb. — Monday, Sept. 28, 2020 — Lt. Gov. Mike Foley presented this year’s Be Prepared awards in a virtual ceremony, Monday, recognizing volunteers and community organizations for excellence in emergency preparedness and disaster response.
Presented during National Preparedness Month, the Be Prepared Awards program is in its 13th year of honoring Nebraskans who volunteer their time and energy to support preparedness in Nebraska communities.
The awards are sponsored by the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, in partnership with the Nebraska Citizen Corps Program and the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center.
“While trained professionals like police, paramedics, firefighters and medical workers are essential in a crisis, volunteers also play a critical role in our response to any emergency situation,” Foley said. “The Be Prepared Awards recognize the efforts of both of these groups, Nebraskans who are always ready to assist at a moment’s notice.”
The awards were presented as follows:
Cody Meredith and the Southeast Medical Reserve Corps of Crete received the Local Hero Award, recognizing extraordinary service and leadership. Their work in contract tracing and logistical support was crucial in assisting health departments respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
The Central District Health Department, based in Grand Island, received an award for Excellence in Community Preparedness, recognizing its work leading the community’s pandemic preparedness efforts.
St. Francis Medical Center of Grand Island received an award for Excellence in Community Response, recognizing its heroic response to one of the heaviest COVID-19 caseloads in the state.
Megan Wade of Omaha received an award for Excellence in Volunteer Preparedness Education and Outreach. Wade is the coordinator of the Eastern Nebraska Medical Reserve Corps. The award recognizes her work on the “Masks for Many” project and her efforts supporting local health departments and increasing volunteerism.
Jim Kuddes of Ashland received the Citizen Corps Volunteer of the Year award, recognizing his work with Dodge County CERT responding to severe flooding in February 2020.
The Dodge County Citizen Corps Council, based in Fremont, received the Citizen Corps Council of the Year award, for its work responding to severe flooding in the Fremont area in February, and its volunteer work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Honorable Mentions were awarded to Dale Clausen of Papillion, Pam Denney of Omaha and Miles Glasgow of Omaha for their outstanding service to their communities over the past year.