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