MSU responds to Louisville disaster area
Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 3, 2014
Mississippi State University recently sent personnel to assist in clean up efforts, damage assessments and large animal issues,
Senior Extension Associate Agricultural Communications Linda Breazeale said.
Extension Center Veterinarian Carla Huston, is also part of the team to assist with the needs of large animals.
Breazeale said that Extension employees have training in Incident Command System protocol. Among other things, it teaches personnel the importance of responding through the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency or the local Emergency Management Agency office.
Upon receiving official requests for support, 10 teams of at least two people have gone to Winston County to assist with Agriculture Disaster Assessments, she said. “
They talk to farmers about losses, structures, animals and equipment. They have forms they fill out and assist with other needs,” Breazeale said.
Assessment team members are not from the county affected. This allows people who live in the county to respond to personal needs resulting from the tornado.
“Our agent in that county knew most of those who died,” Breazeale said. “He is unable to deal with the day to day issues arising from this event; our team members are stepping in and giving those affected much needed support.”
Breazeale said that Hurricane Katrina spurred the pace in disaster preparedness and response.
“We are not first responders; we support those who are first responders,” she said.
It is important to remember that every community in the state has an Extension Service office that is ready to assist after a disaster.
“We have offices in every single county and we are a part of the community. When a community gets hurt, we have resources and plans in place to be of assistance,” Breazeale said.
MSU President Mark E. Keenum said, “I’m glad we can be of help and share some of the expertise we have on our campus with our surrounding communities during this recovery effort. Terrible things like this bring out the best in people, and we have campus operations crew members and Extension personnel who can be of service to those in need.”