0831SeptemberPreparednessMo.cfm Malatya Haber Planning ahead of disasters can reduce problems for families
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Planning ahead of disasters can reduce problems for families

Tornadoes, flooding, ice storms and more. If it's not one thing it's another. But families can lessen the impact of disasters by being as prepared as possible before one strikes.

"What we call a disaster can take many forms," said Jamie Rathbun, with K-State Research and Extension. "It could be individual, as in a fire to one's home, or local, as in a tornado that hits a community. It could also be regional, such as a flood that follows the trail of a river, or even statewide, such as an ice storm that knocks out power to a large percentage of residents."

Just as good businesses plan ahead to mitigate the impact of disasters, so should families, said Rathbun, who is a family and consumer sciences extension agent in Ellsworth County, Kan. She is part of a team of Extension agents who recently published a fact sheet, "Get Financially Prepared: Take Steps Ahead of Disaster." The four-page publication is available online free of charge at http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/library/famec2/mf3055.pdf.

Rathbun, who has presented workshops on emergency preparedness to residents of Ellsworth County, is a delegate to the Extension Disaster Education Network www.eden.lsu.edu, a network of universities that share resources in order to help citizens prepare for and recover from disasters.

The fact sheet was made available in time for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Preparedness Month in September. It is full of tips on a variety of subjects, including preparing and storing a household inventory, reviewing insurance coverage with specific tips for homeowner's, auto, disability and life insurance, creating a "grab-and-go" box, as well as information useful after disasters.

Date: 9/17/2012

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