4 things to do during a hurricane

Post by Michelle Bufkin, AU Agriculture Communications Student/EDEN Community of Practice Social Media Assistant

Last week we discussed what to do to prepare, before a hurricane forms. This week we will discuss what to during a hurricane in your area. Even though there are no hurricanes on either side of the US currently, it is never too early to prepare!

Hurrican 1. Listen to a weather radio or app
The best way to stay informed during a hurricane is to listen to a weather radio. Nowadays there are apps that do the same thing, but I would be wary about using them during a storm because the power may be out and your phone can die quickly when using them. You may ask, why should I listen to the weather radio, I already know a hurricane is in my area. Because hurricanes can cause other natural disasters such as: tornadoes, hail, flooding, and landslides. The best way to be prepared for these is to be informed.

2. Ensure food & water availability
One important thing to have during a hurricane is enough food and water for you and your family. The issue with this, is having food that can be eaten without power. For a list of suggested ready to eat food to have, visit this website. For a safe water supply fill up tubs for water to flush toilets. For safe drinking water fill up large containers, estimate a gallon of water a day per person for a few days. For more water tips visit here.

food safety3. Ensure (cold) food safety
One easy way to keep cold food safe is to turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting and keep the doors closed. If the fridge temperature rises above 40 degrees for more than two hours go ahead and discard any perishable foods such as meat, poultry, leftovers, fish, and eggs. If your freezer rises above 40 degrees for an extended period of time and the food no longer has ice crystals on it throw it out. Never taste food to see if it is still good. Remember this handy tip: when in doubt, throw it out!

4. Evacuation
If you are considering evacuation, evacuate early. It reduces the stress on you and your family from traffic. If an evacuation becomes mandatory, know your evacuation routes and have a plan in place on how to reach them if they become congested. Don’t forget to already have a planned place to evacuate to, and contact them ahead of time.

I hope these tips help you feel more confident in preparing for when a hurricane is approaching your area. Remember: It is never too early to prepare!

Disasters and Environment: Science, Preparedness, and Resilience – 13th National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment

NIFA shared booth space with EDEN at the 2013 NCSE national conference
NIFA shared booth space with EDEN

Each national conference hosted by the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) has a specific theme. This year’s theme focused on preparedness and resilience. Held in Washington, DC, it was attended by leaders from the scientific, diplomatic, emergency management, conservation, business, disaster response, educational, and policy communities. It was a big meeting.

You’ll find on the conference web page recorded interviews with plenary panelists, a link to C-SPAN footage of the first day of the conference, and links to some of the speakers’ PowerPoint presentations. The C-SPAN footage features Margareta Walhstrom (Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations), Craig Fugate (Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency), and three plenary sessions (Japan 2011: Cascading Disasters; The Gulf Coast: Diverse Converging Issues; and Aridity and Drought and their Consequence).

On day two of the conference, Rick Atterberry, Steve Cain, Pat Skinner and I hosted a breakout workshop—Building Community Resilience and Capacity through Extension Programs and Youth Corps.

Our breakout session was enriched by including Joe Gersen (Public Lands Service Coalition) and Levi Novey (The Corps Network). Their names and the addition of Youth Corps to our session attracted several people we would not have otherwise met. One of the most important themes I saw in our session was that college students and young professionals don’t believe they are taken seriously when it comes to disaster resilience. Their talents and experience are not fully used even though they have much to offer. EDEN should consider how to improve the integration of youth and young professionals with recovery and mitigation efforts.

Hosts of each of the 23 breakout workshops were asked to compile a list of recommendations for new initiatives, partnerships, collaborations, or actions. The synthesized list will be distributed to the Administration, Congress, state and local government, and a myriad of other agencies and groups. The full list of breakout workshop recommendations is available for download.

Which, if any, recommendations do you think EDEN should address?

Family Preparedness Friday

Even Sesame Street Isn’t Immune to Disasters

First of all, let me apologize for having missed a few weeks. As some of you know, I am based out of Purdue University in Indiana. And March is out to prove that old idiom right this year; in like a lion, out like a lamb.

Starting February 29 and continuing through March 3, Indiana – along with several other states – was riddled by severe storms and tornadoes. I have since been responding in the southern part of Indiana.

But now it’s time to get back on track a bit, at least keeping the blog updated again.

Having been working with families affected by the storms, I remembered a great resource for helping children cope with the effects of a disaster. Yes, I know this is a preparedness post, but it all ties together.

Your children’s favorite furry red friend and big yellow bird, Elmo and Big Bird, along with the rest of the gang have great resources for dealing with disaster. If you haven’t checked them out before, slide on over to www.sesameworkshop.org and give all of Sesame Street’s workshops a look.


Photo Courtesy of www.SesameStreet.org

Along with their great preparedness toolkit, Let’s Get Ready! Planning Together for Emergencies, Sesame Street has developed programs helping children deal with loss.

Sesame Street designed an entire series around hurricanes, which in fact relates very well to sever storms and tornadoes. In the series, Big Bird’s nest is destroyed in the hurricane. Through activity books and videos we follow Big Bird through his experience. We watch the Sesame Street community comfort Big Bird when he experiences the initial shock and sadness of losing his home, continue with the story as everyone pitches in to clean up Sesame Street and build a new nest for Big Bird, and finish up with Big Bird settling into his new nest.

Still from www.SesameStreet.org's video Hurricane - Part 2

By incorporating familiar characters in your family preparedness efforts, your children will want to become more involved. The characters can also help create a sense of comfort and safety when recovering from a disaster.

For more information about EDEN, visit www.EDEN.lsu.edu.