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News Filed Under Disaster Preparedness

Protective medical mask, sanitizer gel and gloves in bag.
June 11, 2020 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Family

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In the second week of June, Tropical Storm Cristobal reminded Mississippians that the Atlantic hurricane season has arrived.

Further complicating preparation for this hurricane season, which officially began June 1 and concludes at the end of November, is the threat of COVID-19. Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Mississippi have not shown any consistent decrease, which will be an important issue if residents need to evacuate. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has forecasted an above-average hurricane season in terms of storm activity.

April 9, 2020 - Filed Under: Community, Disaster Preparedness

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The state’s current shelter-in-place order and state of emergency related to COVID-19 adds an extra variable in planning for severe weather.

The National Weather Service has forecasted an enhanced risk of severe thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes across the southern half of Mississippi for the afternoon and evening of April 13.

Pair of hands holding the power cord and an unplugged smart phone.
March 10, 2020 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Technology, Health, Coronavirus

Smartphones and tablets are a source of germs. Most of us know to wash our hands, but when was the last time you cleaned your smartphone?

October 15, 2019 - Filed Under: Disaster Response-Youth, Disaster Preparedness

Ryan Akers recently graduated from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Emergency Management Executive Academy at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

A man’s hand reaches into a box of files, pulling back the corner of one folder.
February 14, 2019 - Filed Under: Community, Disaster Preparedness, Family, Family Financial Management, Basic Money Management, Disaster Relief

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Movies depict many scenarios where a person has to leave home quickly, and those scenes show how important it is to grab the right items.

Susan Cosgrove, family resource management Extension associate with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said cash and financial records should be high on the list of items to take in an emergency.

Common Winter Practices to Avoid superimposed over man adjusting thermostat
January 22, 2019 - Filed Under: Community, Disaster Preparedness

When the temperatures drop for several days, getting warm is the only thing on our minds. Sometimes desperation leads people to make choices they wouldn’t consider otherwise.

A thin stream of water drips from a stainless steel kitchen sink faucet.
January 15, 2019 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness

Fortunately, we live in a state that doesn’t see a lot of bitterly cold winter weather. However, it can still get cold, even in the Deep South. When the weather forecast shows temperatures staying below freezing for several days, be prepared to drip your indoor faucets to keep your pipes from freezing and possibly breaking. (Photo by Michaela Parker/Cindy Callahan)

A man fits insulation around water pipes in an unfinished attic of a home.
December 11, 2018 - Filed Under: Community, Disaster Preparedness

The official start of winter is just around the corner. Are you prepared for cold weather around the house? (Yes, I mean more than having a significant supply of hot cocoa and blankets!) As anyone who has wrestled with a freezing cold garden hose can attest, it’s a lot more fun to deal with the details when outdoor temperatures are still somewhat pleasant. (Photo by Micheala Parker/Cindy Callahan)

Two men wearing hard hats and masks activate a fire extinguisher as MyPI training participants watch.
August 20, 2018 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness

Instructors interested in helping young people, families and communities prepare for disasters can take part in a two-day training event in December at Mississippi State University.

Two men on a stage holding a FEMA certificate and looking at the camera.
September 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The leader of a Mississippi-based, national initiative to help families and communities prepare for disasters has earned an additional certification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ryan Akers, an associate Extension professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, just graduated from an in-depth course provided by FEMA. The curriculum addressed advanced concepts in disaster management, agency organization, community response and emergency professions.

Ryan Akers (left), an assistant Extension professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, helps 4-H members examine items in a disaster preparedness backpack. Madison Crawford (second from left) and Leigh Anne Walley, both of Greene County, joined Caleb Walley and Bo Henderson, both of Wayne County, in the workshop on June 1 at the 2017 State 4-H Congress in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
June 2, 2017 - 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.

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.

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