A member of the Community Emergency Response Team assists an injured woman
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Government Leaders and Volunteers Compete in Southern Nevada’s Second Annual Emergency Kit Cook-Off

June 2016

A chef and two other individuals are cooking with several open cans and pancake mix on the table in front of them
Team Henderson included Councilwoman Gerri
Schroder and Emergency Management and
Safety Manager Ryan Turner, assisted by a local chef.
Located in Southern Nevada and just 7 miles from downtown Las Vegas, Henderson is the second largest city in the state, home to nearly 294,000 residents and a booming business community. Henderson is a full-service community with its own dedicated police, fire, and utility services departments. Just as Henderson aims to be self-sufficient, city leaders also recognize the importance of empowering citizens to be self-sufficient when emergencies occur.

As such, Henderson’s ongoing preparedness efforts focus on its top five hazards: earthquakes, exposure to hazardous materials, flash flooding, potential for pandemics due to its close proximity to Las Vegas, and extreme heat. To help residents prepare for these hazards, Henderson’s Office of Emergency Management coordinates multiple year-round creative community events.

Going Gourmet with Emergency Recipes

"Preparedness is a continuous process.
Supporting this event helps increase
awareness in a fun and exciting way that
grabs the public's attention."

--Yuri Graves, Emergency Management
Officer, City of Henderson

One creative community event is the Emergency Kit Cook-Off. Equipped with a portable gas stove, competitors from across the region craft gourmet dishes out of nonperishable food items typically found in an emergency supply kit. Teams have 30 minutes to prepare a dish using ingredients like rice, canned meat, and vegetables. Local government officials judge the resulting dishes.

Held on September 10, 2015, in collaboration with America’s PrepareAthon!, the cook-off was co-sponsored by the previous year’s winning team, the City of Henderson, and its Office of Emergency Management. Entries included dishes such as “Hazardous Material Spill Spaghetti” and “Earthquake Chicken Hash.” Teams included the City of Las Vegas, the City of North Las Vegas, Clark County, American Red Cross, and the Southern Nevada Health District.

Earning National Recognition for Prompting Action
winners of emergency kit cook-off
Team Clark County won the 2015 Emergency
Kit Cook-Off, receiving the coveted Golden
Backpack Award. The winners will host next
year's competition.

The cook-off engaged local stakeholders and highlighted the importance of emergency preparedness throughout the community and across the region, and it is but one example of Henderson’s commitment to community resilience and safety.

 In 2014, Henderson’s Office of Emergency Management also launched the Get READY! Stay READY! Program, for which they were awarded an Individual and Community Preparedness Award from FEMA. The campaign focuses on individual and family readiness, and uses a variety of outreach methods, including an informative video series and community events, to help residents and businesses prepare for disasters and save lives.

As residents eagerly await next year’s competition, Henderson continues to build resilience by leading community discussions and facilitating emergency drills to ensure residents know how to respond appropriately before disasters occur.