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A palm tree during a hurricane. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Extension Disaster Education Network Provides Important Resources

Nifa Authors
Margaret Lawrence, Writer-Editor

Hurricane season has just begun, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast predicts an "above average" hurricane season this year.  

People living in states impacted by hurricanes often lack all the information they need on how to deal with these storms. Extension, based at Land-grant Universities, serves as a vital conduit for resources and expertise related to preparedness, recovery and mitigation for not only hurricanes but many other types of disasters.  

Extension efforts are bolstered by the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN). Supported by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, EDEN is a collaborative national effort by Extension services across the country to improve the delivery of services to people affected by disasters. EDEN’s mission is to reduce the impact of disasters through research-based Extension education. Additionally, EDEN ensures that Extension can respond to local, state, regional, national and international education needs during a crisis. 

“EDEN was created because Extension professionals did not always have the capacity and resources to effectively deal with the magnitude of requests they were receiving,” said Dr. Ashley Mueller, the NIFA national program leader for EDEN, which is funded through the Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative. “EDEN’s strength rests on the network of multidisciplinary Extension professionals representing every state, territory and insular areas.” 

EDEN’s website provides Extension professionals with access to resources on disaster preparedness, recovery and mitigation to enhance their programming efforts. Additionally, EDEN maintains a shared database of disaster-related resources that are available from member states. While it was designed for use by Extension agents and educators, anyone can access these resources.   

“EDEN allows Extension professionals to pool their technical and educational resources to more effectively respond in times of a disaster,” Mueller said. 

With the threat of a challenging hurricane season looming, Extension professionals across the nation are helping prepare their states for potential storms and are ready to respond following these disasters. 

Highlighted Efforts 

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Agriculture economics and rural communities

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