9/11 anniversary underscores need for disaster preparedness
Johanna Hicks | Extension Agent/Family and Consumer Sciences

Sept. 10, 2006 -- Whether providing food or supplies for victims of the hurricanes, providing information on clean-up and food safety after a flood, helping producers after wildfires, or advising producers on management of pastures during the drought, Texas Cooperative Extension Service has been a part of many recovery efforts across the state of Texas. Texas Cooperative Extension officials will spend September trying to help people statewide focus on being prepared for disaster -- whether by natural forces or terrorism.

The fifth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the anniversary of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and recent wildfires all make National Preparedness Month more meaningful for many Texans. Kyle Smith, Extension Associate Director of County Programs in Texas, reminds us that preparation and plans need to be made in homes, businesses, schools, farms, and ranches.

Extension will host numerous events around the state and offer a variety of instructional materials as part of the preparedness campaign. According to Janie Harris, Extension housing and Environment Specialist, being disaster prepared is more than just knowing what to do in case of a tornado or a fire -- it's about preparing to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours after a disaster.

Texas Cooperative Extension is in a unique position to respond quickly, because every county in the state has Extension staff and volunteer programs. The agency also offers free programs that teach life skills, health and nutrition -- all skills that may be needed on the road to recovery.

Your Hopkins County Extension staff will host an exhibit during Fall Festival on Friday, Sept. 15, and Saturday, Sept. 16, in the Sulphur Springs High School. Extension materials can help families put together a 72-hour disaster supply kit for the home, office and car. A booklet called "Preparing for the Unexpected" will be available to those who visit the exhibit. Information on developing and practicing a family emergency plan is included in the booklet.

The Extension Disaster Education Network web site at http://texashelp.tamu.edu has information on topics from avian bird flu to wildfires, much of it in English and Spanish. The site teaches about community warning systems and evacuation routes, as well as information on getting involved and supporting community emergency preparedness.

Be sure to visit the Texas Cooperative Extension exhibit on emergency preparedness. While you're there, also stop by Extension's "Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes" exhibit. We are your place to go for quality, research-based information!


UPCOMING EVENTS

-- Monday, Sept. 11 -- Stars of Texas 4-H Club meeting, Ag Workers' Building, 6:30 p.m.

-- Thursday, Sept. 14 -- Register Household Arts entries, Sulphur Springs High School Conference Center, 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m.

-- Friday, Sept. 15 -- Register Household Arts entries, Sulphur Springs High School Conference Center, 7:30 a.m.-10 a.m.; Arts & Crafts Show, Extension Exhibits open, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Household Arts Entries displayed, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. SSHS

-- Saturday, Sept. 16 -- Arts & Crafts Show, Extension Exhibits open, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Household Arts entries displayed, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., winners' pictures at 2 p.m.


CLOSING THOUGHT

Bibles that are coming apart usually belong to people who are not.

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