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Coping with Disaster Feature Articles

Take steps before a disaster strikes to be prepared. Articles cover a wide range of topics including financial planning, emergency food pantries, talking to children about disaster and more.



After a flood, think food safety

Floods can devastate property and have lasting effects on a community. In the aftermath, people might not think about the consequences flooding can have on food. Floodwater often contains sewage or animal waste, among other things, that could contaminate foods with harmful organisms...more


Protect yourself from contractor fraud

When storms, floods and other disasters leave damaged homes in their path, local contractors often get more business than they can handle. In many cases, out-of-town contractors will arrive in force to pick up the slack. But think twice and exercise caution before accepting the services of an out-of-town contractor...more


Disaster Recovery Resources for Missouri Families

This MU Extension publication provides information on a wide range of resources available for families trying to recover from disaster.


Talking to children and teens after a tragedy

After a national tragedy and the 24/7 media coverage that follows, adults have to quickly process the event and determine how to broach the subject with children and teens. Here is information and suggestions, based on age and development, to help youth process and cope with tragedies...more


Be prepared

With the devastation we have seen in Missouri and around the nation from tornadoes, droughts, hurricanes and even superstorms, it is always a good time to re-emphasize the importance of being prepared...more


Families coping with drought

The damage and impact from prolonged drought can be worse and can add more stress and worries to farm families than other natural disasters. Here are some tips to cope with drought...more


How to help children, youth and teens after a disaster

Natural disasters take a great toll on families and communities. Everything can be affected, from change in routine and structure to loss of property and loss of family and friends. Some families and children will be able to handle the situation better than others, with some needing extra support and help...more


Lightning fact sheet

With thunderstorm season upon us, understanding lightning can help you make safer decisions when storms threaten...more


MU Extension website features resources related to tornado and recovery efforts

A MU Extension webpage contains resources that could be helpful to homeowners, landowners, business owners, emergency responders, volunteers, partnering organizations and others...more


Property loss from disasters may be tax deductible

Disaster victims may recoup some of their uninsured losses because uncompensated property losses from natural disasters are tax deductible...more


Supporting military kids during deployment

When military parents are mobilized, their children need and deserve special support from local communities...more


Shelters, safe rooms for homes important during tornado season

The devastating tornadoes that have hit Missouri and other communities in recent years have caused many people to take a closer look at their vulnerability to nature's wrath and to make better preparations for surviving future storms...more


Missouri Operation: Military Kids supporting military children with Hero Packs

April is Month of the Military Child and Missouri Operation: Military Kids is conducting a statewide Hero Pack Drive. Missouri Operation: Military Kids provides a support network for children who have parents in the military and are living in civilian communities...more


Grab-and-go box

If you live in an area prone to natural disasters that could require evacuation, consider creating a grab-and-go box. Put in copies of everything that is in your emergency file, and add other important papers...more


Helping people in financial crisis and emotional distress

As the national economic crisis evolves, individuals, families and businesses may turn to you or your agency for advice...We are providing the following information to help individuals and agencies work with people in crisis in a safe and appropriate manner...more


Take steps to be financially ready before disaster strikes

During a time of disaster, it is difficult enough to deal with its emotional effects, much less any financial effects--like a sudden loss of income or unavoidable increase in expenses. A family in crisis generally needs more resources to get through it. That is why it is so important to take steps before a disaster strikes to be prepared financially if and when it does....more


Talking smoke detectors wake sleeping children better than shrill, beeping alarm

The piercing 85-decibel alarm from smoke detectors will wake most adults with a start, but small children might sleep right through them...more


How to Handle Food from a Flood

Flood water can be toxic so precautions need to be taken to prevent illness. There are special ways of handling cooking utensils such as pots and pans and food that have been exposed to flood waters...more


Fast Food for Emergency Meals?

Many Americans have fast food on a regular basis, making a quick stop at the drive-through. When emergencies strike, an emergency supply of food is needed – fast! When stuck in a storm shelter for hours or days, the food stored there can make all the difference. After the emergency, especially if the power is out for a prolonged period, an appropriate emergency food supply is essential...more


Prepare emergency supplies for spring storm season

Natural disasters, like tornadoes and severe storms, are things we don’t like to think about until necessary. But in Missouri, being prepared for spring storm and tornado season is a necessity...more


Be prepared for emergencies: Creating a 3-day food/water supply

Food storage is part of being prepared for emergencies and natural disasters. Individuals and families can eliminate some stress, worry and inconveniences by planning for emergency food needs. How much and which foods to store will depend on the members of your household, your preferences, special health conditions, ability to use the food in an emergency, and space for storage...more


Emotional damage from natural disasters can add to stress levels long after crisis is over

The emotional damage of droughts, floods and other natural disasters can be felt long after the immediate crisis is over, according to a licensed clinical social worker at the University of Missouri...more


Weathering the storm: How change affects families

Families who weather a particularly bad storm are likely to experience stress. Any time there is an undesired change, there is potential for stress. When children are involved, it is important that parents understand the affects of such stress and to know what they can do to help their family cope...more


Saving food after a power outage

When freezers and refrigerators are off for several hours, whether it’s from a storm or accidental, the food safety rules about what to keep or toss are the same...more


Keep your food safe during a power outage

When the electricity goes off, one important thing to know is how to save as much food as possible...more


Financial recovery and risk management

As you attempt to restore your life and home after a storm, you will face many decisions. Naturally, you’ll want to recover as much as possible through your homeowner’s insurance policy. Where insurance falls short of your needs, other types of assistance may be available...more


Smallpox - Do I need a vaccination?

The simple answer is no. The United States Department of Health and Human Services is not recommending that the general public be vaccinated for smallpox at this time. There is no reason to believe that smallpox presents an immediate threat....more


Messages for helping children during a time of crisis

Children look to adults for reassurance and guidance on how to react. What adults say and do can help distance children from the sense of threat, help them work through their emotions, and maintain or regain a sense of normalcy....more


Keep food on hand for a rainy day--Emergency Pantry

Being prepared for power outages, inclement weather or even times when you don’t feel up to shopping or cooking is a smart move....more


When Your Income Drops, Take Control

No amount of money or planning can guarantee that your family will not go through a disaster at some point. Disaster comes in many forms and can vary in the severity of its impact on your family. Disaster can strike at any time...more



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Last update: Friday, May 05, 2017