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Top StoriesNebraska woman helps in Kentucky following tornado

Nebraska woman helps in Kentucky following tornado

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We’ve shown you the extensive damage in Kentucky after a deadly tornado outbreak hit the area in December. One Nebraska woman spent weeks there helping to get vital information out to people in the middle of the destruction. She’s back home and reflecting on the experience. There are videos and pictures from the phone of Alyssa Sanders from her time in Kentucky, showing the massive destruction everywhere. “Being there, I guess the pictures don’t really do justice. It’s, it’s hard to put into words what it’s like to stand in the middle of a town and do a 360 and you just see devastation as far as you can see,” Sanders said.Sanders, who works for the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, was sent to Kentucky to work as a public information officer, a position she says was critical to fill. “If public communication is not set up well or functioning properly, it can make a disaster 1000 times worse,” Sanders said. Sanders did everything from writing talking points for the governor to writing press releases.And served as the go-between, getting information out from state agencies to people in need. “Everything that happens comes through us because we have to make sure that messages that are going out aren’t contradicting each other numbers are correct. Phone numbers, fatality numbers even,” Sanders said. Sanders says although she worked out of Kentucky’s state capital in Frankfort, they made trips to Mayfield, the center of much of the destruction. Pictures show the memorial fence for those who died. “You see somebody picking socks and t-shirts out of a tree and literally just picking up what they can find from their life and putting it in a tote because that’s all they had,” Sanders said. She says returning home hasn’t been easy. “It’s, it’s so hard and then coming back here and you know, I go on with life again, but that is the reality now for the next several years,” Sanders said. Sanders says she is grateful for the opportunity to help others. She says the experience also gave her insight into how Nebraska could handle a major disaster.

We’ve shown you the extensive damage in Kentucky after a deadly tornado outbreak hit the area in December.

One Nebraska woman spent weeks there helping to get vital information out to people in the middle of the destruction. She’s back home and reflecting on the experience.

There are videos and pictures from the phone of Alyssa Sanders from her time in Kentucky, showing the massive destruction everywhere.

“Being there, I guess the pictures don’t really do justice. It’s, it’s hard to put into words what it’s like to stand in the middle of a town and do a 360 and you just see devastation as far as you can see,” Sanders said.

Sanders, who works for the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, was sent to Kentucky to work as a public information officer, a position she says was critical to fill.

“If public communication is not set up well or functioning properly, it can make a disaster 1000 times worse,” Sanders said.

Sanders did everything from writing talking points for the governor to writing press releases.

And served as the go-between, getting information out from state agencies to people in need.

“Everything that happens comes through us because we have to make sure that messages that are going out aren’t contradicting each other numbers are correct. Phone numbers, fatality numbers even,” Sanders said.

Sanders says although she worked out of Kentucky’s state capital in Frankfort, they made trips to Mayfield, the center of much of the destruction.

Pictures show the memorial fence for those who died.

“You see somebody picking socks and t-shirts out of a tree and literally just picking up what they can find from their life and putting it in a tote because that’s all they had,” Sanders said.

She says returning home hasn’t been easy.

“It’s, it’s so hard and then coming back here and you know, I go on with life again, but that is the reality now for the next several years,” Sanders said.

Sanders says she is grateful for the opportunity to help others.

She says the experience also gave her insight into how Nebraska could handle a major disaster.



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