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Extension's Response to Disasters in Minnesota

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National Disaster Preparedness Month, celebrated in September, reminds us of the important educational role Extension and the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) play in increasing the ability of Minnesotans to prepare for and recover from natural disasters.

When record breaking amounts of rain fell in the Duluth area in June, causing unprecedented and unexpected flooding, Extension responded by mobilizing staff who provided flood-recovery information to 730 families at local disaster recovery centers. The educators shared Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit, and answered questions on recovering damaged documents, recordkeeping for insurance, food safety, septic systems, mold, and the effect of flood water on lawns and gardens.

The effort did not go unnoticed. The Governor's Disaster Proclamation stated that the state looked to Extension to provide "information on a variety of basic household questions and how to prepare food safely following a flood and guide flood victims through financial decisions related to disaster recovery."

The EDEN team will continue to evaluate and coordinate Extension's disaster response, and will ensure that our efforts are coordinated effectively among Extension program expertise and partner organizations to offer the best support and response to those affected by disasters. If you have ideas for programs, educational resources, community response or communications, please contact Bob Byrnes.  

Katherine Waters
Extension Program Leader, Food Systems

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