Adams County Emergency Management receives national recognition

Office works hard to make sure public is educated and prepared
Local4 News at 6
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 12:08 AM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - When Ron Pughes took the job as Adams County Emergency Manager five years ago, it was his main intent to make sure to inform, educate and prepare the public.

That’s something that his office continues to do day in and day out.

Adams County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) recently received national recognition by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service for its work on being a weather-ready nation.

For the sixth year, the emergency management office has been awarded Ambassadors of Excellence after being nominated by the Hastings NWS office. They are the only ones in the state to receive this recognition.

The Adams County Office of Emergency Management has taken the lead role in promoting weather safety and preparedness to both the people of Adams County and county employees, including installing the FIRST IGauge river gauge in Nebraska near Ayr, highlighting to county employees weather safety and long-term climate outlooks and promoting awareness at the annual National Night Out in Hastings.

“We are very thrilled,” said Pughes. “The National Weather Service in Hastings is a great partnership for us.”

He said they work hand-and-hand with them and utilize their services to make sure people are prepared for when weather strikes.

Pughes makes up half of his team with the other person being administrative assistant Dawna Whitcomb.

He said she’s a huge asset to the operation and he’s lucky as many emergency management positions are usually one person operations.

Pughes said it takes some levels of criteria reached to become an ambassador in the first place and you have to continue to meet those yearly to be renewed.

“It’s basically our job in a nutshell,” he said. “Preparing the public for safety, awareness and preparedness when it comes to weather which is what we are focused on most here in our office here in Adams County.”

He says he and Whitcomb work together to make sure people know what’s going on through social media so that when the time comes when something potentially catastrophic happens people will know what to do and where to turn.

Pughes said it never stops in his office as they head into the slower months they will continue to work on preparedness plans before weather hits again.