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Extension has Resources for Disaster Preparedness

The NDSU Extension Service can help you prepare for a disaster.

September is National Preparedness Month, and the NDSU Extension Service partners with other agencies and organizations in this campaign to help families and communities be disaster-ready.

NDSU Extension Service preparedness and recovery information for droughts, floods, winter storms and general disasters plus home, family, farm/ranch and business are at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/disaster.

During National Preparedness Month, families and businesses are encouraged to get a disaster supplies kit, make a plan, be informed and get involved.

Get a Kit

“During and after a disaster, be prepared to be on your own for at least three days,” says Becky Koch of the NDSU Extension Service and national Extension Disaster Education Network chair. “Your home disaster supplies kit should include food, water, first aid supplies and medicines, tools, sanitation supplies, clothing, bedding, important documents, entertainment and special needs, such as baby formula. Have a mini kit in your office and car, or keep one in a grab-and-go bag.”

To learn more about what should be in your disaster supplies kit, see http://www.ready.gov/america/getakit/index.html.

Make a Plan

“Where would your family members meet if a fire in your home forced everyone out different doors or windows?” Koch asks. “How will family members communicate, especially if cell phones are down?

“These are just a couple examples of why a family plan is important and what it should include,” she says. “Have important information written out in one place. During a disaster, your cell phone with numbers programmed may not work and you might be too stressed to think of your insurance agent’s name.”

See http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/disaster/extensioned/whatsyourplan/commplan.pdf for a fill-in-the-blank family communications plan form.

Be Informed

What are the disasters most likely to affect you? Flood? Tornado? Chemical spill? What are your business’s plans if a disaster affects the community or just your business? Do you know what the plan is for your community and your children’s school?

“Know what various plans are so you don’t have to scramble during the disaster,” Koch says. “Also, make sure you have a transistor radio with plenty of batteries to stay informed during a disaster if the power is off.”

Get Involved

“There simply aren’t enough emergency responders to immediately deal with disasters,” Koch says. “Consider learning first aid or becoming a local Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, volunteer. Does your nonprofit group that hosts a big event have a plan if something goes wrong? If not, volunteer to help develop that plan. Support the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and other members of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster financially or with your time.

“Disasters are like pop quizzes since they’re usually unpredictable,” she adds. “But the more you prepare, the better you will know exactly what to do and where to go.”

For more information, contact your county office of the NDSU Extension Service.


NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Becky Koch, (701) 231-7875, becky.koch@ndsu.edu
Editor:Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391, ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu
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