UNMC coordinates response to flooding

In the past week, the UNMC campuses across the state have dealt with blizzards in the west and widespread flooding.

“Our thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with everyone impacted by the recent events, including the widespread flooding,” Dr. Gold said during his campus forum Monday. “This is a disaster in every possible sense of the word, and we’re here to help.”

UNMC leaders are closely monitoring the situation, which has left some employees displaced, both temporarily and permanently. Others have found their travel times to work lengthened because of flood-ravaged roads and detours.

During the past week, UNMC has coordinated its emergency response with entities across the state, said Elayne Saejung, director of emergency management at UNMC. She encourages anyone who has been displaced from their home, or who has any general concerns about the flooding and how UNMC is managing it, to contact her at elayne.saejung@unmc.edu.

“We want to hear from employees so we can make sure we’re assisting and addressing situations,” Saejung said. “We also know that recovery will take time. Many individuals are still dealing with the immediate crisis, and we want to make sure we’re not getting in the way of first responders or putting our faculty and staff in harm’s way to help.”

As a result, health care professionals are being advised not to self-deploy, rather they should reach out to their local health departments who are coordinating such efforts, Saejung said.

The University of Nebraska Central Administration said NU President Hank Bounds is in communication with the governor to discuss how the university can best deploy resources to help. In the meantime, individuals are encouraged to support organizations that are providing relief at this time including the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and the Nebraska Farm Bureau disaster relief fund.

UNMC employees also are reminded:

  • There are a variety of options available for UNMC employees who have been displaced. If you are in need of housing, contact Aileen Warren at aileen.warren@unmc.edu, and she can direct you to options. UNMC also has corporate rates for many Omaha area hotels and motels and some in other Nebraska cities.
  • Current list of Red Cross shelters from the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency.
  • If you’re experiencing feelings of concern or distress, confidential services for employees and their family members are offered through UNMC’s Employee Assistance Program, which works with Arbor Family Counseling. Appointments can be made by calling a live-answered local (402-330-0960) or toll-free number (1-800-922-7379) or by visiting the Arbor Family Counseling website at www.arborfamilycounseling.com. HIPAA-compliant WebEx sessions also can be scheduled via phone or the website. Arbor Family Counseling has locations in Lincoln, Kearney, Scottsbluff and Norfolk.
  • To keep in contact with news reports and follow the recommendations of local officials who are closely monitoring the situation. Road conditions may be monitored at Nebraska 511, and flooding conditions can be viewed at the National Weather Service.
  • Recovery will take time. Please be mindful of colleagues and students who may be struggling and need assistance as events unfold. If you have any questions, please contact UNMC Human Resources, your supervisor or department chair.
  • The water supply has been restricted in such areas as Lincoln, Neb., and Glenwood, Iowa. See local news reports or official websites for the latest updates.
  • The Salvation Army has set up a collection and distribution center at the old Canfield’s sporting goods store near 84th Street and West Center Road in Omaha. The agency is suggesting donations of flood cleanup and flood relief items such as shovels, masks, disinfectant, tarps, bottled water and sports drinks.
  • On Monday, UNMC’s Jesse Bell, Ph.D., College of Public Health, and Marley Doyle, M.D., UNMC psychiatrist and director of the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska, discussed hazards Nebraskans may face with flood waters, including how to clean their homes to avoid mold once the waters have receded; and the mental health issues that can accompany such disasters. Watch the Facebook event here.