EDEN Supports Drought-Impacted States

As wildfires erupted, a heat wave settled in, and drought conditions expanded across the United States, Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) delegates collaborated to keep the EDEN Fire (Wildfire), Heat Wave—Extreme Heat, and Drought Topic Pages up-to-date with current conditions and collected resources. For example, Texas and Colorado resources, along with eXtension resources (in particular, the Wildfire and Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape Communities of Practice), are highlighted on the Fire (Wildfire) page.

In addition to basic information about the types of drought and drought impacts, the Drought Topic Page includes links to USDA Disaster and Drought Assistance, hay hotlines, relevant blogs and Facebook pages, special tools, and twenty-two university drought sites.  EDEN activated its Response Notes system, providing a venue for states to update their status and helping USDA/NIFA stay on top of Extension activities.

EDEN hosted conference calls focusing on wildfire and drought in June and July, and a conference call in June introducing Next48. This weather dashboard aggregates weather maps and other disaster status maps customized by state. It is designed as a one-stop source for an immediate overview of current weather, forecasts, radar, flood status, drought monitor, flu information, and more.

The Fire (Wildfire) and Drought pages also connect to eXtension.  Building on the ongoing conversations and responding through eXtension to identified needs, EDEN collaborated with other eXtension CoPs to highlight wildfire resources and to build a public Drought Resources page. The page features resources (with links to Beef Cattle and Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape CoP content and to external resources) for agricultural producers and homeowners alike. This page and the EDEN Drought Topic Page are works in progress as the drought continues.

Wildfires

In April, the forecasters at the National Interagency Coordination Center in Boise, Idaho noted that the continuing exceptional drought across the Southwest would increase the possibility of an above normal significant fire season this year. The states of most concern range from western Texas to California and into the Great Basin. In addition, they pointed to the danger of wildfires on the western slopes of the Rockies in Colorado, parts of southern Georgia and northern Florida, northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, and parts of Hawaii. On April 26, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar discussed the federal capability to respond to wildfires. On average, the USDA Forest Service and the Department of the Interior respond to more than 20,000 wildfires per year. Predictive Services of the National Interagency Coordination Center issues a national wildland fire potential outlook the first of each month.

There currently are large wildfires in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

The Firewise Communities program is designed to help homeowners understand wildfire behavior and take steps to reduce the impact of wildfires. Learn wildfire basics and review additional resources by visiting EDEN’s Fire (Wildfire) topic page and eXtension’s Wildfire Information Network (eWIN).

Damage left behind by wildfire is difficult to comprehend. Property, structures, homes, and lives may have been destroyed. What can you do to help survivors cope? In addition to the links above, check these:

Mental Health

LSU

UFL

Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium

Extensión en Español

 

Fire Cleanup

CDC

What resources do you have to add to the list?