‘Prepare Kansas’ challenge gets families disaster-ready

Sometimes, life in the heartland is not for the faint of heart. At least that’s the way it seems when we experience tornadoes, flooding, fires, ice storms and other disasters like Kansas communities can.

“For every disaster that makes the news, there are many more fires, storms and other disasters that we don’t hear about. They can be just as devastating to an individual, a family or a neighborhood and recovering from them all is difficult,” said Elizabeth Kiss, family financial specialist with K-State Research and Extension.

Linda Beech

Linda Beech

Prepare Kansas is a new online challenge offered by K-State Research and Extension during September. The free Prepare Kansas challenge is designed to help individuals and families be better prepared ahead of disasters– which can make recovery easier afterward. To sign up, visit this KSU website.

September has been declared National Preparedness Month by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The program focuses on a few activities to do every week during September, including developing a household inventory, reviewing insurance coverage, putting together a financial “grab and go” kit and tips for after a disaster.  Challenge activities will be announced each week via email and an Extension blog. Participants record their efforts online.

Prepare Kansas may be just the motivation needed to get started on– or complete– a disaster plan for your home or workplace. The weekly challenge format breaks preparedness tasks down to a few activities to do every week, which makes it easier than if you’re trying to do many activities from a long list.  Working on each activity gives families or co-workers an opportunity to not only work together on becoming better prepared, but can spark discussions about preparedness in general and the best ways to handle future emergencies.  A little work now can make recovering from a disaster less difficult.

Join me, and others across the state, as we take the Prepare Kansas online challenge and get prepared for disaster. Sign up at http://bit.ly/1pwiiFE by September 1 (or no later than September 6) to participate.  We all can feel more organized and a bit more at ease should our homes or businesses encounter disaster.

Free home inventory books, insurance guides, and disaster preparedness information will be available at the Ellis County Extension Office for all who enroll in Prepare Kansas. Those who complete at least 3 of the 4 challenges will be entered into a drawing for prizes.

For more information, check out the Prepare Kansas blog from K-State Research and Extension or call the Ellis County Extension Office at (785) 628-9430.  I’ll be glad to answer your questions or schedule a presentation for your group or club to share more about the Prepare Kansas challenge and getting prepared for disaster.

Linda K. Beech is Ellis County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences.