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News Filed Under Disaster Preparedness

August 28, 2015 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Less than a week after Mississippi State University hosted multihazard emergency training for colleges and universities, the state’s land-grant school experienced a real-life crisis with someone posing a potential threat.

At 10:15 Thursday morning, MSU issued a “Maroon Alert” to warn students, staff and faculty to shelter in place because of a campus threat. By 10:30 a.m., the suspect was in custody.

Emergency supply kits include water, food and medical supplies. Preparing kits ahead of time is beneficial in case of a hurricane or other disaster. (Photo by iStock)
June 5, 2015 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Family

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Boxes of supplies can provide important lifelines when storms and other disasters threaten to uproot a household.

It has been 10 years since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina occurred, but the disaster still affects the lives of many individuals today. Christian Stephenson, an agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Hancock County, said he was not on the coast when Katrina struck, but he still remembers the aftermath of the event.

March 19, 2015 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University youth initiative is joining an elite group of programs that focuses on emergency and disaster preparedness in communities across the nation.

A specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service surveys agricultural damage with a Winston County resident following the tornado that hit on April 28, 2014. A grant will enable Extension to re-evaluate disaster efforts in communities across the state. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
October 9, 2014 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A new grant will enable Mississippi State University Extension Service leaders to refine the organization’s efforts to help communities prepare for and recover from disasters.

With offices in all 82 Mississippi counties, Extension agents and specialists provide “boots on the ground” assistance in communities following disasters. They receive training in advance to complete tasks such as agricultural damage assessment, shelter assistance and distribution of educational recovery materials.

Ryan Akers, an assistant Extension professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, left, receives Champions of Change recognition from Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate at recent ceremonies in Washington, D.C. Additionally, the Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative, which is coordinated by Akers, won the national FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Award for Most Outstanding Youth Preparedness program. (Submitted photo)
September 24, 2014 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University Extension Service youth initiative and its coordinator earned national honors this month for efforts to prepare communities for disasters.

Preschoolers and workers practice together during a tornado drill at the Mississippi State University Child Development and Family Studies Center on July 16, 2014. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
July 17, 2014 - Filed Under: Disaster Response-Youth, Disaster Preparedness, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Teachers, students and parents need to be on the same page when disasters happen during school hours.

Ryan Akers, assistant Extension professor of community preparation and disaster management at Mississippi State University, said basic plans can make a huge difference for everyone involved when emergencies occur.

“Emergency plans are becoming more important to schools, and not just the traditional fire and tornado drills,” Akers said. “Schools are gathering supplies and working on extensive communication plans to help everyone involved.”

Gina Carr, a Mississippi State University Extension Service staff member with the Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral Network, keeps 3-year-old Brandily Haynes engaged while his family is in the American Red Cross Shelter at First Baptist Church in Louisville, Mississippi, on May 1, 2014.  (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
May 2, 2014 - Filed Under: Disaster Response-Youth, Disaster Preparedness, Family, Children and Parenting

LOUISVILLE – Long before the dark clouds rolled across the state on April 28, the Mississippi State University Extension Service had been prepared to provide a silver lining for children displaced by disaster.

Louise Davis, Extension professor of child and family development, said “safe spaces” are set up at shelters in Tupelo and Louisville. Extension staff with the Mississippi Child Care Resource and Referral Network will oversee these sites.

A power outage caused by a natural disaster can destroy years of research and data collection. Larry Hanson uses the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine's cryogenic freezer to store fish cell cultures at -150 degree Celsius. The freezer is linked to a backup liquid nitrogen tank to keep it cold even when the electricity fails. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Tom Thompson)
August 29, 2013 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- In a state where tornadoes, hurricanes and floods are regular -- although unwanted -- visitors, Mississippi State University has plans for how to preserve data and ongoing research projects.

Hurricane Katrina’s Aug. 29 anniversary provides reminders of the havoc natural disasters can wreak with lives, homes and businesses. Losses to research are less tangible but can be just as devastating.

Dr. Stephen Pruett, head of basic sciences at MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, knows just how high those losses could mount.

June 10, 2013 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Preparing for the 2013 hurricane season is wise, even if no major storm strikes the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Susan Cosgrove, an area family resource management agent in Newton County with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the steps taken to prepare for a hurricane will help whenever an unexpected disaster strikes.

May 6, 2013 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Pets

JACKSON – Getting routine health care for family pets is just as important as having a fully-stocked emergency kit and a home evacuation plan when preparing for disasters.

Kit Cessna, left, demonstrates one method for breaking through a door while co-instructors Joe Martel, center, and Wally Perrault assist on the Mississippi State University campus during an active-shooter response course on March 14, 2013. MSU's Extension Service coordinated the three-day course developed and facilitated by the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, one of the leading training agencies for U.S. Department of Homeland Security initiatives. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda
April 4, 2013 - Filed Under: Community, Disaster Preparedness

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University Extension Service is connecting law enforcement agencies with trainers on a mission to protect innocent citizens from active shooters.

Ryan Akers, assistant professor of community preparation and disaster management with the MSU Extension Service, said people do not want to think tragic shooting incidents could happen in their peaceful communities. Unfortunately, crimes involving active shooters occur almost daily somewhere in the United States, challenging local law enforcement to respond aggressively, rapidly and effectively.

March 25, 2013 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Forestry

JACKSON -- The arrival of spring means outdoor chores are at the top of the to-do list for homeowners. But outdoor burning, coupled with the season’s weather conditions, raises the risk of wildfire for Mississippians.

Don Bales, senior Extension associate with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center, said debris burning is one of the leading causes of wildfires in Mississippi.

September 13, 2012 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Technology

Many things have changed since Hurricane Katrina hit our beautiful state seven years ago, including how we communicate with one another. Since Katrina, many private companies and federal agencies have developed smartphone apps to help with natural disaster preparations and recovery.

Storm winds can push trees over without uprooting them. Leaning trees are sometimes pulled back into an upright position. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
September 3, 2012 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Response, Lawn and Garden

Hurricane Isaac’s recent visit reminds us that weather can play havoc with our landscapes. While flooding is a problem in some areas, most of the damage tends to happen to trees in the landscape.

Trees can fall or be uprooted and can have broken and torn limbs, wounds, split branches and exposed roots. In many cases, damaged trees must be removed.

August 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Disaster Preparedness

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service is preparing for Tropical Storm Isaac’s landfall, shutting down county and district offices and making information available online to Mississippians.

Counties in western Mississippi remain in the projected path of the storm that by midmorning Monday continued to move farther west than originally expected. South Mississippi is under a hurricane warning. Tropical storm-force winds are expected as far north as Highway 84 across the state.

August 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Technology

With Isaac charting a course in the Gulf of Mexico, now is the time to make sure your house or business is ready to weather any storm.

Before the storm…

Take steps to prepare for you and your loved ones to be safe in the event of a disaster or evacuation. You want to be ready to grab important items and head for a safer location. Checklists for emergency supply kits are available on many websites, such as http://www.ready.gov.

August 27, 2012 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Pets

By Karen Templeton
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine

MISSISSIPPI STATE – As Tropical Storm Isaac heads toward Mississippi, residents in flood-prone areas may have to consider evacuation, and those with pets should have a plan of departure that includes their furry and feathered family members.

Lowndes County 4-H agent Sharon Patrick (left) provides safety support for Oktibbeha County Extension director Julie White during training for the Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative on Aug. 4, 2012, at Mississippi State University. Monticello Mayor Dave Nichols, the only Citizens Corps trainer qualified to certify trainers in Mississippi, supervises the hands-on lesson. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
August 9, 2012 - Filed Under: Disaster Response-Youth, Community, Disaster Preparedness

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi teens can soon be trained in disaster preparedness in their communities, something usually done by only a small percentage of adults.

Mississippi State University’s Extension Service is certifying trainers for the Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative, or MyPI. One goal is to teach teenagers how they can help themselves, their families, and their communities prepare for and respond to disasters.

May 31, 2012 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Technology

Technology can play a role in all four seasons recognized by Mississippians – hunting, athletic, farming and hurricane. June 1 is the official start of hurricane season, so now is a good time to figure out how to protect and use electronics if a major storm threatens our coast.

Before the storm…

March 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A storm-resistant landscape design and consistent tree health monitoring can save cities and property owners time and money.

“Well-designed landscapes are easier to maintain and reduce the risk of damage from a fallen tree or limb,” said John Kushla, a Mississippi State University Extension Service forestry specialist and associate research professor in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center.

Good design helps trees weather storms more easily.

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