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News Filed Under Disaster Response

Two men move cases of bottled water in a storehouse.
September 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Disaster Response

STARKVILLE, Miss. – First responders and disaster experts know that good intentions can lay the foundations for disastrous conditions after hurricane winds and floods subside.

Through the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Anne Howard Hilbun conducts disaster response training for citizens and emergency workers. She is an instructor with the MSU Extension Center for Government and Community Development.

Flooded grain bins in Crowley, Louisiana, are among the many problems Louisiana producers are facing after historic flooding caused more than $100 million in damage to the state’s agriculture. Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel have worked with state hay growers to send forage to producers in Louisiana affected by flooding earlier this month. (Photo by Louisiana State University AgCenter Communications/Bruce Schultz)
August 30, 2016 - Filed Under: Disaster Response

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- After nearly 3 feet of rain in two days caused historic flooding and widespread damage in Louisiana and southwest Mississippi earlier this month, volunteers from Mississippi State University are assisting in relief efforts.

Winston County Extension agent Mike Skipper, left, discusses recovery issues from the April 2014 tornado with Rusty Suttle of Louisville at an Agricultural Disaster Resource Center set up May 15, 2014. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
August 28, 2015 - Filed Under: Disaster Response

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi State University leaders realized the importance of instituting a standardized response system to assist with all types of catastrophes that might strike the state.

Six months after Katrina, the MSU Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development began training university employees, as well as local emergency management officials, 911-call-center operators, and elected and appointed officials.

Hurricane Katrina displaced both family pets and large animals. (MSU Ag Communications file photo/Jim Lytle)
August 28, 2015 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Disaster Response

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In the hours immediately following Hurricane Katrina’s landfall, a team of Mississippi State University veterinarians specially trained to work with animals in disaster situations arrived at the state’s designated animal disaster relief shelter in Jackson.

While the Mississippi Animal Response Team’s immediate focus was to assist the Mississippi Board of Animal Health with assessing and managing the growing number of displaced animals, they also had other duties.

Winston County farmer Willie Lee Jr. discusses his losses from the April 28 tornado with Mississippi State University Extension Service disaster assessment team members Brandi Karisch (center) and Jane Parish, both of MSU's Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
May 20, 2014 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Disaster Response

LOUISVILLE -- Disaster assessment teams with the Mississippi State University Extension Service are providing “boots on the ground” as agricultural landowners begin the process of recovering from the April 28 storms.

“These trained teams can assess immediate and long-term needs,” said Elmo Collum, a disaster response coordinator with the MSU Extension Service. “They may discover issues that need to be addressed immediately, such as an injured animal, or they may see things that will take weeks of effort, such as fence repair.”

Mississippi State University Extension Service poultry specialist Tom Tabler, left, visits with Winston County poultry grower Tim Hobby on May 8, 2014. Hobby lost 10 broiler houses in the April 28 tornado. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
May 9, 2014 - Filed Under: Poultry, Disaster Response

LOUISVILLE – Poultry growers are reeling from the April 28 tornadoes that caused tremendous damage on farms and the loss of more than a million birds in four Mississippi counties.

The Mississippi Board of Animal Health reported that 1,044,800 birds died from the tornadoes or subsequent power outages. Winston, Wayne, Newton and Scott counties reported 58 houses with major damage and 17 houses with minor damage.

This ditch is an extreme example of a drainage easement that has been neglected, allowing small trees to become large problems. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
July 8, 2013 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

Mississippi landscapers often see favorite trees fall victim to lightning, strong winds and other elements, especially during tropical storm season, leaving the owners to make hard decisions on the trees’ future health.

Typical damage includes wounds, split branches, exposed roots, various degrees of leaning trunks, and broken and torn limbs. In many cases, a damaged tree must be removed and replaced.

B.J. McClenton, Monroe County Extension coordinator (left), and Charlie Stokes, area Extension agent, unload water from a semi-trailer to distribute to tornado victims in Monroe County in 2011. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
March 7, 2013 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, About Extension

ABERDEEN – B.J. McClenton’s appreciation of horses and livestock attracted him to a career with the Extension Service, but his desire to help people sealed the deal.

The Monroe County Extension coordinator and 4-H youth agent said the educational aspect of Extension appealed to his desire to work outside the classroom, especially with adults. That desire to help others led him to a brief job at the West Point Fire Department. He also became a certified EMT, a path that paid off in April 2011 when an F5 tornado hit Monroe County.

Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine students Samantha Vitale and Jason Collins are part of a team using a mannequin to learn how to remove a horse from a trailer during a Technical Large Animal Emergency Response class on Sept. 28, 2012, in Verona, Miss. (Photo by MSU College of Veterinary Medicine/Dr. Carla Huston)
October 5, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Disaster Response

VERONA – Several agencies joined forces in Wiggins and Verona to help train first responders how to rescue large animals safely following a disaster or accident.

“Mississippi is a rural and agricultural state, but many of our first responders have no experience with horses, cattle and other large animals,” said Elmo Collum, disaster preparedness coordinator for the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Over the years that we have conducted these trainings, we have discovered that even people with large-animal experience can learn from the classes.”

First responders brought in heavy equipment and portable fencing to help remove and contain about 100 cattle from an overturned 18-wheeler in DeSoto County on Highway 78 on Sept. 28, 2012. (Photo by Mississippi Board of Animal Health/Jesse Carter)
October 5, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Disaster Response

VERONA – DeSoto County emergency responders were just settling in for a day of large animal rescue training when the call came on Sept. 28.

“An 18-wheeler hauling about 100 calves through the state hit the Coldwater River bridge on Highway 78 in DeSoto County,” said Dr. Carla Huston, an associate professor with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine and a member of the CVM Disaster Response Team. This was not a drill.

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 31, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Disaster Response

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Even as the remnants of Hurricane Isaac were leaving Mississippi on Friday, Mississippi State University Extension agents were assessing its impact on crops that were so close to harvest.

Lodging, or laying down, can be a significant harvest challenge in wind-blown fields, especially corn.

Extension corn specialist Erick Larson is cautiously optimistic that most of the corn crop escaped with minimal damage.

While Smithville Schools are under construction due to tornado damage, teachers hold classes in temporary buildings and use computers donated by several organizations, including the Mississippi State University Extension Service. School officials expect to move into the reconstructed school for the 2013-2014 school year. (Photo by MSU Extension Center for Technology Outreach/Bekah Sparks)
August 9, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Disaster Response, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – More than a year after a tornado ripped through the small town of Smithville, students are returning to temporary classrooms, but they still have access to current technology.

The Mississippi State University Extension Center for Technology Outreach, formerly known as Computer Applications and Services, donated 40 refurbished computers to the Monroe County School District for the schools in Smithville.

Ryan Akers
August 18, 2011 - Filed Under: Disaster Response-Youth, Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Response

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University Extension Service assistant professor will help the university and organizations around the state prepare for disaster situations.

The tornadoes that tore through the state this past spring damaged about 74,000 acres of forestland in 22 counties, racking up timber losses of more than $30 million. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
August 11, 2011 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The tornadoes that ripped through Mississippi this April damaged about 74,000 acres of forestland in 22 counties, racking up timber losses of more than $30 million. Most of that timber was uninsured, but the results of a survey conducted by Mississippi State University may help change that trend.

Steve Bullard was one of those uninsured. He owns 100 acres of timber in Webster County — 40 acres of 26-year-old plantation pine and 60 acres of mixed pine and hardwood.

June 8, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Disaster Response

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – As floodwaters in the Delta recede, Mississippi State University experts are helping producers make wise decisions about cropland management.

June 2, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Soils, Disaster Response, Forest Soils, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Much of the flooded Delta was already planted for the 2011 season, and when it finally dries out, landowners will face challenges preparing it for planting.

Landowners of flooded acreage must manage a variety of issues, including oxygen-depleted soils, nutrient loss, soil compaction, debris removal and possible chemical contamination. Some acres may not be ready for planting again until next year.

May 27, 2011 - Filed Under: Catfish, Disaster Response, Seafood Economics, Seafood Harvesting and Processing

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

BILOXI – The oyster industry is bracing for extreme losses as freshwater from the Mississippi River flows into the western portion of the Mississippi Sound.

“Oysters are stationary and cannot escape as the freshwater displaces the salt water they need,” said Dave Burrage, professor of marine resources with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Oysters just cannot survive long periods of freshwater, so we are expecting significant mortality, maybe even 100 percent.”

The overflowing Mississippi River and its tributaries are threatening the Delta's trees, but many can survive for weeks in flood waters as long as their crowns remain above water and their roots do not become too exposed. (Photo by Scott Corey)
May 19, 2011 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Environment, Forest Soils, Forestry

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The overflowing Mississippi River is threatening the Delta’s trees, but with the proper care and maintenance, many can and will recover.

The Delta’s forests are exclusively bottomland hardwood, and the trees range from tolerant to very intolerant to flooding. For example, baldcypresses generally fare better than white oaks in flooding situations.

Ongoing river flooding is forcing wildlife to flee to higher ground, where their presence can cause problems for humans. These cattle egrets gathered for safety beside a flooded corn field in southern Yazoo County, nowhere near the cattle they normally accompany. (Photo by Scott Corey)
May 19, 2011 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Flooding from the Mississippi and other rivers is disrupting even the wildlife as it brings activities to nearly a standstill in many areas of the Delta.

The river flooding is already displacing wildlife, moving them to higher and drier areas, where they sometimes cause problems as they interact with humans. Deer, raccoons, opossums, snakes and ants are all often found in unexpected places during times of flooding.

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