Category: EDEN Newsletter

Posted on January 29th, 2020 in EDEN Newsletter

The EDEN-FADI team will soon be drafting the request for proposals (RFP) for the EDEN Competitive Grant Program. This RFP will be influenced by input from external stakeholders as gathered through the upcoming listening sessions, but input is also needed from Extension professionals. A survey has been developed for all of Extension to complete, regardless of affiliation with EDEN. Please complete the survey and share within your Extension System and professional Extension networks. 

The investment in the development of educational resources and other high priority products that can advance the work of EDEN and the broader Extension system across the nation is a focus of the EDEN-FADI team under the current Cooperative Agreement. In addition to incorporating the needs identified in the listening sessions and survey, these grants are meant to foster collaboration among land- and sea-grant institutions. Funds will be used for the development of new resources and the updating of old resources. Cross-institutional collaboration will be encouraged within the grants. The first round of proposals will open in late spring, with the competitive grants program becoming an annual process for the duration of the Purdue facilitation of the FADI funds. 

Take the Survey

 Pat Skinner, EDEN web manager, is blog post author.


The networking support team at LSU is pleased to have Debbie Hurlbert putting her energy into these two important growth areas, working primarily with the Information Clearinghouse Committee and the youth-focused members of EDEN’s Family and Consumer Science/4-H Youth PAWG. If you’ve been to either of the last two EDEN Annual Meetings you’ll remember Debbie as the person behind the 4-H youth
themselves presenting their mitigation program in Alabama (a first youth presence at an EDEN Annual meeting), and helping to convene a small youth programs group in Las Cruces, to see if the recent surge in youth programs is sustainable, and warrants a separate PAWG. As a result of that meeting EDEN now has a Youth and Disasters Pinterest board. The board can be found at

What YOU can do to help EDEN work better for you

Here are two things you can do!

The first thing you can do.

If you have youth-audience programs and educational/exercise/training materials, make sure Debbie knows about them. She has already scoured the past annual meeting agendas and found quite a bit, but we know there’s more going on than we hear about at these meetings. She reached out to Lynette Black, Ryan Akers and Susan Kerr, who have submitted a proposal for PILD. She’s even started posting in EDEN’s Youth and Disasters Pinterest channel. You can make simple entries here, and Debbie will get back to you for the details!

And now for the second.

If you have educational resources (all audiences) you’d like to recommend to other delegates, help Debbie get them into the Resource Catalog.  Start by seeing if they’re already IN the catalog.  From the Resource Catalog home page, , search for your state name. Find your Institution on the left “Filter List.”  For example, the search for Louisiana returns 29 items, of which 28 are for the LSU Institution and one is for Louisiana Sea Grant. Click on your institution name for a list of your institution’s resources.  Send Debbie your catalog suggestions here.

Screenshot 2016-01-12 10.32.45



What Kinds of Resources is EDEN Looking For?

Access to shared state resources was very high on the list of benefits of EDEN in the recent delegate survey, and the catalog is a primary means of doing that. As you have time, explore the tags, and see how the filters use tags to refine search results. The more you know, the more we’ll grow!

If you’re wondering what resources can be cataloged, here are the resource types:

  • Audio Production
  • Book-Handbook – Manual
  • Course – Curriculum
  • Demo – Showcase Facility
  • Disaster Plan
  • Disaster Report
  • Display – Exhibit – Poster
  • Fact Sheet – Small Brochure
  • Image Collection
  • Memorandum – Agreement
  • News Release
  • Newsletter-Bulletin
  • Presentation Materials
  • Program – Initiative
  • Promotional Items
  • PSA
  • Published Paper – Article
  • Resource – Data Collection
  • Tool – Application (Interactive)
  • Training – Exercise Materials
  • Video Footage
  • Video Production
  • Webinar
  • Website – Blog
  • White Paper
  • Worksheets – Guidebook

Post by Claudette Hanks Reichel, Ed.D., LSU AgCenter Professor, Extension Housing Specialist and Director, LaHouse Resource Center  |  |  (225) 578-2378

healthy homes

With the spreading floods and other disasters, I want to alert EDENites to a set of new, free educational materials from HUD for dealing with damaged homes. These differ from many other materials I’ve seen in that the core thread is “health”, both during and after recovery.

When homes are damaged, disaster survivors face the daunting and dangerous task of clean-up and repairs – often with little or no professional help. All are eager to restore their homes and lives quickly, yet many are not aware of all the hazards that can be worsened by the process.

To alleviate that, various educational resources were recently developed through the U.S. Dept. of HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes working with Cooperative Extension Service and others. They’re now available from web site’s Post Disaster Recovery and Resources link under Popular Topics.

The flagship “how-to” guide is Rebuild Healthy Homes: Guide to Post-disaster Restoration for a Safe and Healthy HomeIt’s a detailed, highly-illustrated reference to help homeowners, volunteers and other workers safely restore homes damaged by any type of natural disaster – from floods and storms, to wildfire and earthquakes – to end up with more than just a livable home, but to protect the future wellbeing of their families.

Screenshot 2016-01-08 14.11.51
Content includes the Top 10 Tips; personal protective gear; assessing structural and health hazards; work preparation; best practices for clean-out, gutting, decontamination and repair; ways to “restore for more than before” with resilient, energy-saving and healthy home improvements; and, other resources. Content conforms to new federal interagency recommendations for dealing with mold, lead, asbestos and radon after disasters.

This 72-page guidebook was extensively reviewed and refined by disaster survivors and stakeholders from across the nation, including Extension housing specialists; I was primary author. It’s available as a free online pdf file that can be printed in whole or part, as well as a free mobile app for both iPhone and Android devices (search Rebuild Healthy Homes in the app stores).

Other Disaster Resources

Don’t forget about the app!

Screenshot 2016-01-12 10.56.21

Posted on January 4th, 2016 in Communication, disasters, EDEN Newsletter, Hurricanes

Treye Rice describes how he did it. 

How can you motivate large groups to spread Disaster Preparedness information for you on social media networks such as Twitter? You do it by providing EVERYTHING they need in one, ready-made campaign. In this poster, I visually showcase the ready-made Twitter campaign produced for distribution in Extension coastal districts in Texas. The campaign includes ready-made Tweets, shareable graphics, schedules for distribution, and tracking methods using hashtags and link shorteners. This type of ready-made campaign can easily be duplicated and used as a model for promoting any Extension program, event or resource.

View the campaign materials and how-to video here:

VisitingNew York

Posted on July 16th, 2015 in Avian Influenza, EDEN Newsletter

In This Issue

From the Chair

Dr. Mike Yoder formal photographAs we reach the mid-point of summer, it is time to register for the 2015 EDEN Annual Meeting, to be held October 6-9, in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  This year’s meeting logo is “Enroute to the Next 20 Years,” a recognition of our efforts during the first 20 years and look at our vision for the next 20.

An exciting pre-conference tour is being planned by the Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Management Center.  This tour promises an up-close and personal view of the issues facing border states.  Participation in this tour is limited, so register soon.

The planning committee has put together a great program with workshops, workgroup meetings, a report from NIFA and an update about the new EDEN Strategic Plan, a look at the opportunities EDEN has for collaboration with our 1984 Land Grant institutions, and more.

Following the Friday workshop, “Making EDEN Work for You,” those who are interested are invited to travel to Albuquerque, NM for the 2015 Balloon Fiesta.  This tour promises to provide a memorable ending to the week.

The EDEN Exercise Ad-Hock Committee has been busy this past year and while I don’t want to steal the thunder from their presentation at the annual meeting, their recent survey, measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of EDEN’s ability to disseminate information, provided impressive results.  To hear specifics, you will need to listen to Michael Gaffney’s (committee Co-Chair) presentation Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

Since January, the EDEN Executive Committee has been planning for a September meeting with selected Extension Directors,   and Beverly Samuel, NIFA National Program Leader, Jane Schuchardt, Executive Director, ECOP/APLU, and Nick Place, EDEN’s representative to ECOP.  The purpose of the meeting is to allow the Extension Directors to provide input regarding the future direction of EDEN.  Input from this meeting will be included in the future strategic planning process.  We have never had this opportunity to bring the directors to the table for these discussions and look forward to a productive and informative meeting.

I hope to see everyone in Las Cruces in October.  Take a minute right now to register and reserve your hotel rooms! –Mike Yoder, EDEN Chair

HPAI Update

On July 7, 2015, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Nutrition held a public hearing on the impacts of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) on the U.S. poultry sector. The key witness, Dr. John Clifford, Deputy Administrator of Veterinary Services at the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), started his testimony with a chilling statement: “Today, we are facing the largest animal health emergency in this country’s history. We are dealing with an unprecedented outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) that is taking a heavy toll on the poultry industry.” Indeed, USDA has Commercial Broiler House with Birdsconfirmed HPAI in 21 states, which includes nine states where HPAI was identified in commercial poultry. Of the 232 total poultry premises with confirmed cases of HPAI, 211 are commercial facilities where 7.5 million turkeys and 42 million chickens and pullets have been depopulated. USDA has committed over $500 million – an amount more than half of APHIS’ yearly discretionary budget – in addressing this outbreak.

How did this devastating outbreak occur in the first place? According to USDA scientists, the HPAI H5N8 virus originated in Asia and spread rapidly along wild bird migratory pathways in 2014. Dr. Clifford reported that wild ducks and geese brought the disease first to the Pacific flyway, and later to the Central and Mississippi flyways. Initial detections in the United States were in wild birds and backyard flocks, and may have resulted from direct contact with sick migratory birds. USDA epidemiologists believe that wild birds were responsible for introducing HPAI into the environment, and from there it was spread into commercial poultry houses. Further investigation by USDA scientists showed that the virus was introduced into commercial poultry facilities from the environment or from farm-to-farm transmission on human sources such as boots or equipment. Dr. Clifford pointed out that APHIS cannot associate transmission of the disease with any single one of those factors, but it seems clear that lateral spread occurred when biosecurity measures that are sufficient in ordinary times were not sufficient in the face of such a large amount of virus in the environment.  While the results of USDA’s preliminary epidemiological investigation did not show a single source of transmission, it did emphasize the importance and need for improved biosecurity. Dr. Clifford also stressed that USDA is treating the potential threat of more infections in the fall with the utmost seriousness as it is very likely that wild birds will carry the virus with them when they begin migrating south in the fall.  When asked about the use of vaccines to prevent and control HPAI, Dr. Clifford said this is being studied but cannot be adopted until a suitable vaccine is found and trade implications are clarified with countries that import U.S. poultry products.

Poultry industry representatives also testified at the hearing and thanked USDA for its support while stating that indemnification guidelines and depopulation and disposal measures need to be improved. No new outbreaks have been reported since the last confirmed detection of HPAI in a layer flock in Iowa on June 17, 2015 and many affected farms are beginning to repopulate their flocks.

Article by Nathaniel Tablante – EDEN Delegate and University of Maryland Point of Contact

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On this April Fools Day, we’ll be discussing hail. Hail is widespread throughout the world, but doesn’t often have the top of mind awareness of other storm-related topics…unless, that is, you’re growing crops or insuring buildings or vehicles. According to the National Weather Service’s hail page, the average loss from hail each year is about a billion dollars. However, in 2001 there was one storm event that eventually stretched from Kansas City to Illinois that caused $2-billion damage on a single day.

Hail is not normally considered a major threat to human life. The last reported fatality in the United States was in 2000 when a Texas man died after being struck by a softball sized hail stone. Two children reportedly perished in Russia in 2014. Livestock losses are reported from time to time.

The National Weather Service rates hail from less than a quarter inch or pea sized to over 4 inches or softball sized. The preferred references are actual measurements or approximations based on fixed sizes such as a quarter or a regulation sized softball. “Grapefruit sized” is a far less precise term. One of the reasons for using common objects as references is it allows storm spotters and others to report the size without venturing out into a storm with its associated risks to take actual measurements.

vivian_hailThe largest hail stone reported in the U.S was over 8 inches in diameter with a circumference of over 18 inches.


Phil Katz-MSU Extension

Crop loss from hail is a significant risk to producers. Depending on where crops are in the growth cycle and the extent of the damage, growers are often cautioned to have a little patience to determine if the crops can bounce back. Many state extension services can provide more information.


hail carDamage to vehicles is usually pretty obvious in terms of dents and broken glass. There are some DIY fixes for smaller dents including letting the vehicle sit in the hot sun so the metal expands a bit. The best advice though is to contact your insurance carrier and/or a competent body shop. A worst case scenario is when a new car dealer’s lot or other parking lot is hit. Damage can easily escalate into six figures or more. Several years ago here in the Champaign-Urbana area, dozens and dozens of cars parked at the local airport were badly damaged.

thHail can also damage roofs constructed of various materials. Again, working with your insurance carrier to arrange for an inspection by a qualified roofer is always a good idea. Some damage may be hard for the untrained eye to see and ladder work is often best left to professionals anyway.

Siding on homes also can be easily damaged. Steel or aluminum siding can be dented and still maintain its structural and weatherproof integrity.Bad_Siding_Hail_Damage Hail can absolutely shred vinyl siding and immediate action to cover exposed underlayment or insulation is necessary to avoid more widespread water damage.




NOAA Graphic

One question that is often asked is, does the presence of hail, especially large hail, tell us anything about the structure of a thunderstorm? Since hail is formed when water droplets freeze as they are lifted above the 32-degree line by updrafts, it stands to reason that the presence of ever larger hail stones in a storm reflects the strength of that updraft so it can be an indicator of both the strength and height of a thunderstorm cell. Hail is easily seen on radar because of its dense mass. Many videos shot by storm chasers show large hail as part of some tornadic thunderstorms.

In This Issue

Cappadocia Balloons Thinkstock2015 EDEN Annual Meeting
Call for Proposals Deadline April 10


From the Chair


March 2-4, the EDEN Executive Committee conducted its mid-winter meeting in Saint Dr. Mike YoderAugustine, Florida.  This meeting is an opportunity for the committee to evaluate EDEN’s progress towards the fulfillment of current projects, evaluate partnerships, membership and any other ships that may be appropriate.

As EDEN begins assess its role for the next 20 years, the primary topic of discussion was development of a new strategic plan.  Plans were developed to conduct this strategic plan during the summer and fall of 2015.  To conduct this plan, we have asked Dr. Nick Place, EDEN’s representative to ECOP, to bring a number of State Extension Directors to the table, to meet with the EDEN Executive Committee and our NIFA representative.  Since the Directors have been major supporters of EDEN, it is imperative that we have an understanding of their vision for EDEN’s relationship with Extension.  Once the strategic plan has been developed, it will be presented to the membership for approval at the EDEN Annual Meeting in October, in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

A number of agenda items were discussed at this year’s mid-winter meeting including but not limited to:

  • Use of “Response Notes” during a disaster to inform not only our Federal partners but EDEN delegates and State Directors.
  • EDEN’s response to “climate variability.” As Extension seeks to determine it’s proper role in addressing the issues of climate variability, what can EDEN bring to the table?
  • Inviting greater participation in EDEN by our 1994 sister institutions.
  • Re-writing our “standard operating procedures” to help direct operations and guide new officers.
  • Strengthening support for EDEN delegates at the state level. Being sure delegates receive needed support for participation in EDEN activities, including the annual meeting

As EDEN prepares for the next 20 years, it is important that we remember our roots, an integrate lessons learned into the strategic planning process.  We look forward to this process and to sharing the results with all delegates at the 2015 Annual Meeting.

Best wishes,

Mike Yoder

EDEN Chair

America’s PrepareAthon!

Disasters can happen at any time and take us all by surprise, so the time to prepare is now. America’s PrepareAthon! is working to help people, just like you, prepare ahead of time.

National PrepareAthon! Day is April 30, 2015 and there will multiple ways to prepare for six specific disasters: earthquake, flood, hurricane, tornado, wildfire, and winter storm. The purpose of America’s PrepareAthon! is to help people understand what type of disasters can happen in their community, how to prepare for those disasters, how to recover from damage from those disasters, to increase their preparedness in general, and to prepare as a community.

Preparing for disaster is extremely important so America’s PrepareAthon! makes it easy to join. Just go to their website and join a group, then begin telling others about what you are planning. Participants can plan an event for themselves, their families, or their communities whatever they are comfortable doing. There are discussion forums for participants to share event ideas, along with disaster preparedness tips.

If you are interested in finding out more information, see their fact sheet and frequently asked questions. Don’t forget to join a group, follow the conversation at #PreparAthon, and be prepared to get prepared on April 30! —  Written by Michelle Buffkin, AU Agriculture Communications Student/EDEN Community of Practice Social Media Assistant.


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Featured Resources

  •  Flooding: The Big Picture describes the phases of disaster response on the context of floods. Each phase links to additional information. Brought to you by the EDEN flood NEIL and CoP.
  • America’s PrepareAthon! also has flood resources, including a playbook for an organizational tabletop exercise.
  • Need a resource on basic disaster preparedness? Check out these two courses from EDEN. One is for families and the other for businesses.
  • Grant opportunities
    • State Farm Service Learning Grant. Closing date is May 1. Steve Cain is coordinating discussions.
    • Strengthening the Public’s and/or K-12 Students’ Environmental Literacy for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Changes. Contact Keith Tidball if you’re interested in this opportunity.
    • Specialty Crop and Organic Agriculture Research and Extension. Steve Cain is coordinating discussion on applicability of drought education to specialty and organic crops. Contact Steve for more information.

Posted on December 8th, 2014 in EDEN Newsletter


In this Issue

From the Chair

Disasters and Human Behavior

Dr. Mike YoderAs educators, EDEN delegates and Cooperative Extension educators are all too familiar of the “human factor” in the educational process.  Put three people in a room give them fifteen minutes of information, and chances are that no two individuals will leave the room with exactly the same message. Understanding how people receive and process information has changed the way educators teach.

Listening to one of the great presentations offered at the 2014 EDEN Annual Meeting, this past October, this thought struck me.  There are so many agencies and organizations involved in disaster preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery, each with its own message, that inundation and any inconsistencies in the messages may result in apathy, a dangerous condition in a real emergency.  As a boy, I was often reminded about what happened to the little boy who cried wolf.  Constantly sounding the alarm may result in the warning no longer eliciting the same desired response.  People become conditioned to the alarm and when the warning is sounded too often, with no real disaster to follow, they may become apathetic or at the very least, careless.

On the other hand, practice makes perfect.  First responders constantly conduct exercises to perfect technique and hone the response process until it becomes second nature.  Over the past two years, the EDEN Exercise Committee, developed and conducted two response exercises, to determine EDEN’s ability to quickly disseminate information to our varied audiences.  It turns out that most of our participants are very efficient and effective in getting information to the masses quickly.  With a little more practice we could probably improve further.  However, disseminating information quickly does not guarantee that the recipient of that information will respond in the desired manner.  We need to find that fine line.

Practice is important but so is message content.  No one who has ever experienced a tornado, hurricane, flood or fire will ever ignore a future alarm.  But the millions of Americans who have never experienced a true disaster must be reminded that response capacity can decrease but not eliminate the impact of a disaster.  Just as all disasters are local, individuals must understand that preparedness is a personal responsibility.  The recovery process is often long and aid, if available, may be slow in coming.  Relying on government agencies or any other organization to step in and save the day, should not be anyone’s plan “A” for disaster recovery.

Educating our citizens about disaster preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery is about the message.  What we say and how we say it will go a long way in determining how the recipients of that message apply it to their own situations.

That thought was driven home by speaker after speaker at the EDEN Annual Meeting.  Get the message out, get the right message out and do so in a timely manner.  I thought the meeting this year was outstanding, with excellent presentations, great networking opportunities and a keynote presentation on unmanned aircraft systems that kept us all up in the air.  Thank you to Virginia Morgan White, her colleagues and volunteers for being such terrific hosts.   I hope you will consider joining us for the 2015 EDEN Annual Meeting, October 6-9, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. — Mike Yoder, EDEN Chair and POC, North Carolina State University

Oso Strong: The Role of Extension in Community Recovery after a Natural Disaster

On March 22, 2014, a landslide devastated a residential neighborhood near the tiny rural western Washington State community of Oso, killing 43 people. The multi-agency post-disaster response cost the state an estimated $7.7 million to date. After the rescue and search/recovery phases of response ended, members in communities affected by the slide needed long-term assistance determining and achieving the future direction they envisioned for their towns.

Washington State University (WSU) President Elson Floyd tasked Snohomish County

WSU students, Snohomish County Extension Director and WSU President

WSU President Floyd and Snohomish County Extension Director Moulton with student interns. Photo by Mike Gaffney

Extension with coordinating the University’s post-disaster outreach to Oso and the neighboring communities of Darrington (upstream) and Arlington (downstream). WSU EDEN delegates, faculty colleagues, and community leaders formed a task force that designed and delivered outreach to the affected communities. Efforts included student internships, summer youth programming, fundraising, community work days, economic development, and community meals. The task force continues to have bi-weekly meetings to review progress and determine the nature of future outreach.

WSU extended one-year tuition waivers to students from the affected area and identified more than $200,000 for support of community outreach and recovery assistance. Twelve student interns spent the summer of 2014 working on projects such as area water source mapping, web site development, assisting city administration, conducting youth programming, and much more. A benefit banquet and silent auction held on the Pullman campus contributed to the funds available to support engagement, including a WSU student work weekend in Darrington.

Although WSU Extension’s services were not needed during the acute rescue and search/recovery phases of the disaster response, no other entity was better situated to offer the depth and range of post-disaster community outreach in this rural area. Community residents especially appreciated that programs were held in their community instead of requiring them to go elsewhere; they credited this aspect of programming with helping them—especially children—develop a sense of normalcy.

Many of the 12 student interns who served in the area in the months after the mudslide shared what a life-changing experience their internships were. Some even changed career plans as a result of the experience. WSU plans to continue targeted outreach to the affected area as determined by need and available funding.

For in-depth information on the mudslide and related stories, visit WSU and the Seattle Times. —  Article by Susan Kerr (Livestock and Dairy Extension Specialist and EDEN delegate) and Michael J. Gaffney (Director, Division of Governmental Studies and Services and Emergency Management Coordinator and EDEN Point of Contact) , Washington State University

EDEN 2014 National Communication Exercise

466850679Every disaster and emergency incident draws attention to the need to have a reliable and efficient means of providing information to the affected public, whether in the form of warnings, notifications, or response and recovery information.  The Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) is perfectly situated to communicate critical disaster information to the public and target audiences. Why EDEN? Because it has a mission to reduce the impact of disasters through education, and Extension is long-time disaster education partner.  EDEN is a collaborative multi-state effort by Extension Services across the country that is the premier provider of disaster education resources delivered through the Land Grant University system and works to improve the delivery of services to citizens affected by disasters.

The Exercise

As a way to demonstrate EDEN’s capacity as an information mechanism in times of emergency a national EDEN communication exercise was conducted in 2014. This exercise highlights EDEN as a significant communication conduit for transmission of important information in times of crisis, emergency or disaster.  The project was designed to see how many individuals could be reached with disaster-related information through the EDEN system and to quantify the time necessary to transmit a message from the EDEN central office to contacts maintained by state level delegates across the country.   The exercise involved actual distribution of a test disaster message to EDEN state contacts.  Those contacts simulated activating their networks to distribute the message within their states.  To capture the reach within those networks, a survey was administered via a web-based questionnaire accessed through a link on the EDEN website. The successful survey-based assessment of EDEN communication confirms the important capacity represented by EDEN.

Exercise Reach

The exercise reach was extremely high. Conservatively estimating, the simulation confirmed that an actual message could reach several million direct and indirect contacts, proving that a full activation of the EDEN network would provide massive reach for the dissemination of critical information.  The success was measured by assessing the types of communication mechanisms available and the number of contacts which could be achieved through each mechanism.  The number of EDEN representatives totaled more than 300 in 25 states.  The representatives using each communication mechanism and the cumulative number of estimated contacts are listed in the following chart.  NOTE, not all respondents specified a number reached.

Communication Mechanism Number Reporting Use (n=318) People Predicted to be reached
E-mail 249 >195,000
Website 174 >660,000
Social Media 192 >306,000
Phone Tree 97 >448,500
Radio 93 >2,555,000
Flyer/Mailing 76 >290,000
Public TV 48 >3,740,000
TOTAL >8,195,000

Article by Christina Sanders (Associate Director, Division of Governmental Studies and Services and EDEN delegate), Michael J. Gaffney (Director, Division of Governmental Studies and Services and Emergency Management Coordinator and EDEN Point of Contact) , Season Hoard (Research Coordinator, Division of Governmental Studies and Services), and Ben Doran (Graduate Student)  Washington State University, and Steve Cain (EDEN Homeland Security Project Director) Indiana.

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Posted on September 2nd, 2014 in EDEN Newsletter


  In this Issue


From the Chair

Taking Care of Our Own: Evacuation/Sheltering Plans for Extension Offices

Reviewing blueprints 2Do your local Extension offices have emergency plans? They should. And an important part of those plans are the procedures for sheltering-in-place or evacuation.

There are several components to creating the shelter-in-place elements. More than one threat may be considered. The plan for severe thunderstorms/tornadoes may be very different from one toxic smoke from a nearby fire or for an active shooter. Consider the types of threats you face and plan accordingly. It is always best if the plan can be simplified so one set of instructions works for all threats if possible.

For severe weather, assess facilities to locate a suitable shelter. Look for an interior space on the lowest floor with an opportunity to get under a heavy piece of furniture for protection from falling objects. At a minimum, the space should have a noisemaker, such as an air horn or whistle, to help anyone who is trapped be heard. Hard hats are also a possibility and keeping a kit containing basic first aid supplies, water, etc. nearby is a good idea. Employees should be encouraged to keep a pair of sturdy shoes in the office and wear those when the situation becomes threatening. There have been many unnecessary injuries from people wearing rubber sandals or other soft soled shoes in a debris field.

A shelter location for noxious fumes or dangerous smoke may be the same as for storms. An interior room, away from windows, which could be quickly sealed by duct tape and/or wet towels can serve in such circumstances. Always follow the advice of first responders, but shutting down air conditioning and heating systems if one has time, is usually a good idea. Again, a kit with basic supplies including water and some non-perishable snacks is a necessity. This kind of shelter-in-place could last considerably longer than for severe weather, so keep that in mind.

Sheltering for an active shooter or similar threat should also be considered. Consult with law enforcement in advance to identify a location and procedures. At a minimum, secure all outside entrances, move to a room away from windows and doors, and lock as many doors between the shelter space and the outside as possible.

As for evacuation, establish at least a basic plan so it is easy to account for all employees and guests. Remember when your grade school teacher took the attendance book outside during fire drills? Think of your planning in the same way. Someone should be designated to know which employees are in or away from the office and how many guests are in the building at a given time. Sign in sheets or portable magnetic in/out boards are helpful. Choose a nearby landmark to serve as a gathering place. It may be a tree, a mailbox, sign, etc. Avoid fire hydrants because they might be the center of the action. Get far enough away from your building to be safe.

Report to first responders any employees or guests who are unaccounted for or the fact that everyone is present. If you are in a building with multiple tenants, work with the others to choose unique gathering spots for each business or organization if possible. Review your plans at the start of any larger meeting with guests who are unfamiliar with your space. Explain the location of the exits, shelter locations and evacuation procedures.

The procedures outlined above are very basic and general. It’s always a good idea to seek the advice of emergency planners, police and other first responders when creating plans specific to each location. — Rick Atterberry, Marketing/Communications Specialist, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, EDEN Chair  top

Wondering If You Should Worry about Ebola?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state, “Ebola poses no significant risk in the United States.” It is spread through direct contact and not through air, food or water. Ebola hemorraghic fever is a severe, often fatal disease of humans and non-human primates caused by a virus. The natural reservoir host of the virus is unknown but bats are a likely reservoir (as they are for several other zoonotic viruses such as rabies). Ebola was first identified in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sporadic outbreaks since then have been limited to central and western Africa. This year’s outbreak is unusual in that it infected people in densely populated areas of several countries in west Africa: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. Spread is generally limited to family members of infected individuals and to health care workers, including foreign aid workers, who have extensive direct contact with patients. Unlike flu, this virus is not spread well by aerosol. The virus is excreted in blood, bodily secretions and fluids including urine, saliva, feces, vomit and semen and can infect another through contact with mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth, cuts in the skin or sexual contact. Health care and aid workers are being trained on proper use of personal protective equipment to avoid infection and spread of the disease. In addition to the CDC, you can visit the World Health Organization’s website for current information about the disease. — Julie Smith, Extension Dairy Specialist, University of Vermont Extension, EDEN Point of Contact (POC)top

Preparing for a Volcano
Volcanic Activity in Pacific August 2014.fw

Image from

Have a volcano nearby, even a quiet one? EDEN delegate Ashley Stokes, University of Hawaii Extension and Research Veterinarian talks about volcanoes and preparations for volcanic activity.

Aloha from the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii where our land mass is growing every day through the deposition of lava from the Kilauea Volcano. It is a magnificent and spectacular process, but one that also poses many dangers. Volcanoes are found in numerous places in the U.S. and can lie quietly for years before they release built up pressure from gasses, steam, and/or lava. Just because the volcano in your area is dormant or quiet, doesn’t mean it can’t erupt. Mauna Loa, also found on the Big Island of Hawaii, has been quiet since 1984 but is well overdue for an eruption based on closely-monitored data. Our island residents are always aware of its activity and must be prepared at all times. The image above from the USGS shows the location and information for every volcano found in the US. Take note if you live, do business, have loved ones, or travel in these areas. Remember, volcanoes can impact communities hundreds of miles away.

One of the best ways to prepare is to get to know your local authorities and their methods of communication for current or future volcanic activity. They monitor seismic activity, pressure, lava levels and caps, gas composition, and steam emissions that can inform these volcanologists of impending danger. When authorities notify you of warnings, take them seriously and follow their recommendations because there is no guarantee when, where, and how severe the volcanic activity will be. Dangers from eruption include earthquakes, landslides, mudslides, ash accumulation and inhalation, release of dangerous gases, steam vent openings, devastating lava flows that quickly change direction, flying debris and rocks, intense heat, flash floods, and tsunamis. As an example of the dangers, volcanic gases can contain high levels of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and even fluorine gas that can cause short and long-term health risks to people, animals, and plants. These gases can fall out of the air on their own or in the form of acid rain.

The areas within 20 miles of a volcano are considered the most vulnerable to volcanic dangers; however, eruptions often significantly impact communities more than 100 kilometers away. During the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens there was only a 15 second delay between a 5.1 magnitude earthquake and the catastrophic eruption that sent ash over 22,000 square miles and lava with mudslides that moved more than 50 miles an hour down the mountain. Local authorities had been closely monitoring the mountain and were convinced an eruption was imminent. Regular communications with nearby communities thankfully reduced the numbers of people on or near the mountain during the eruption.

Make sure your family and business are ready with an evacuation plan and a disaster preparedness kit. If an eruption occurs, follow evacuation orders right away and stay tuned in to your local authorities for updates. Local authorities may recommend you shelter-in-place so make sure you have a means to listen to local announcements (i.e. have a working battery-powered radio if cell service and power are lost). If you are to evacuate the area, avoid low-lying areas because these are most prone to dangerous slides, floods, lava, and tsunamis. Be aware of air quality concerns and protect those most likely to have respiratory challenges. Don’t forget your pets and livestock during these events and make arrangements in advance for needed transportation and a place to shelter animals.

Here are some resources with excellent information about volcanoes and how to best prepare and respond to volcanic events. Stay safe and be prepared!

General information:


Planning information:



Food Safety at Tailgate Parties

sausages on the grillWeather is getting cooler and this means tailgate season is here. Although tailgate gatherings and sports events can be great fun for family and friends, you need to make plans to keep your food safe during these events. Because refrigerators and running water are not always available for outdoor events, you should become familiar with the safe food handling practices for these events and plan ahead so you will have enough coolers and all the tools you need to cook food safely.

Packing foods for tailgating and sports events

  • Be sure to have enough insulated coolers packed with ice or frozen gel packs to hold all your food and beverages.
  • Pack cold perishable food, both raw and cooked, in a cooler and keep raw meat and poultry separate from ready-to-eat foods by either using separate coolers or wrapping them securely to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Bring a food thermometer to test food temperature during cooking, and place another one in the cooler so you can check if the food inside cooler stays at 40 degrees F or below.
  • Bring water, soap, and wet disposable towels for handwashing and cleaning in case none are available at the site.
  • If you bring hot take-out food, eat it within 2 hours of purchase, or within 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees F.
  • Bring only the amount of food that will be eaten to avoid having too much left over.

Cooking foods at tailgating and sports events

  • Wash your hands with warm running water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
  • Cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful pathogens. Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb steaks, chops and roasts to 145 degrees F or higher, all raw ground meats to 160 degrees F or higher, and all poultry to 165 degrees F or higher as measured with a food thermometer. Using a thermometer is the only way to confirm the internal temperature of meat.
  • Meat should be either cooked completely at home and then reheated at the game, or cooked completely at the game. Partially cooking meat or poultry ahead of time without reaching a safe temperature will allow harmful pathogens to survive and grow.
  • When taking cooked food off the grill, use a clean platter and utensils. You should not use the platter or utensils that were used for raw meat or poultry.
  • Cooked food should be consumed within 2 hours or within 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees F.

Discard any leftovers that are not properly chilled and any food that was left out of the cooler or off grill more than 2 hours (1 hour when the temperature is above 90 degrees F).

Enjoying food at a tailgate party can be a great fun. By following safe food handling practices, you will keep your food safe! More information can be found at USDA Tailgating Food Safety. — Soohyoun Ahn, assistant professor in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Studies, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0370top

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