News Filed Under Disaster Preparedness
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- June kicks off hurricane season, but every community in Mississippi is vulnerable to a variety of disasters throughout the calendar year.
Representatives of the Mississippi State University Extension Service have been on the front lines of preparedness and recovery efforts since the organization’s earliest days.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…