Ag In UncertainTimes: Webinar 2 — Tax and Financial Risks Due to Drought and Disaster

A reminder of the  Ag in Uncertain Times webinar Friday December 7, 2012, 12:00 Eastern/11:00 Central/10:00 Mountain/9:00 Pacific  — Tax and Financial Risks Due to Drought and Disaster

The webinar is part of a series by the North Central Risk Management Education Center and co-hosted by the Agriculture and Applied  Economics Section (Extension Section)  and is being hosted by Montana State University Technology at this link –


The third webinar is set for January 22, 2013 and will address strategies for the coming production year with uncertain institutional, production, and market risks.

Kim Cassel         Dec 7 AgInUncertainTimes_FLYER

Family Preparedness Friday

Texts, Texts, and More Texts

Did you know that in times of a disaster that you may have better luck sending a text message than making a phone call. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.

Photo courtesy of Small_Realm on Flickr.

To help prepare your family you should teach every family member how to text, and just as importantly, who to text. Creating an emergency contact list for each family member to carry with them is very important. Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.

Did you know you can also help your family become prepared for disasters by subscribing to receive text updates from FEMA and your local office of Emergency Management? For FEMA updates and preparedness tips text “PREPARE” to 43362 (4FEMA).

Another way to get in contact with your family following a disaster could be through the use of social media like Facebook or Twitter. When the earthquake hit the east coast of the United States on August 23, 2011, Twitter was flooded with tweets mentioning the word “earthquake.” In fact, Facebook representatives stated that the word “earthquake” appeared in over 3 million status updates within 4 minutes of the 5.9 magnitude quake hitting.

So what is your family’s plan to get in contact with each other following a disaster?

Extension: How’s Your Continuity Plan?

The latest winter storm warnings and watches led me to thinking about business continuity. Do our clients/audiences have continuity plans at their places of work and emergency plans for their families? What about us? Do our Extension offices have current emergency operations and continuity plans?

Some EDEN member institutions have implemented continuity plans at both the state and county level. If yours is not one of them, consider this. Ohio Point of Contact Dee Jepsen , Aletha Reshan and Kathy Henwood produced a comprehensive Business Continuity Planning curriculum in 2009. It was “designed to enhance the emergency preparedness needs of Cooperative Extension Services (CES) and their clientele.”  The curriculum, according to the authors, can be utilized as a framework for developing CES continuity plans.

A second valuable resource is the Ready Business course. This course is designed for Extension educators and others to teach small- and medium-sized business owners and managers how to prepare for disasters. At the end of the training, participants walk away knowing their disaster risks and a beginning disaster plan tailored to their situations. Contact Rick Atterberry or Becky Koch if you have questions about the course.

Winter storms can interrupt our work, but we can make sure the return is a smooth one. Up-to-date continuity plans facilitate that return. Does your office have a plan in place? 

Read the IDISASTER 2.0 January 10 blog post, for ideas on incorporating social media into your plan.

Regards, Virginia Morgan, EDEN Chair