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Extension offers disaster recovery expertise

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Hurricane IreneCourtesy NOAASatellite image of Hurricane Irene

In the wake of Hurricane Irene, news media looking for information on a variety of hurricane topics can turn to North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s disaster page at or they can directly contact Extension experts in the following areas. Information will also be available on Twitter @ncce_news.

Dr. Mike Yoder, an animal science specialist, is Cooperative Extension’s point person when it comes to disasters, and he can address a range of issues related to both crops and livestock. He can be reached at 919-801-8243 or

Food Safety
Keeping food safe after a storm knocks out power can be a challenge. Dr. Ben Chapman, an assistant professor and Extension food safety specialist at N.C. State University, can discuss what foods keep the longest, and when it’s best to toss. He can be reached at or 919-809-3205. Look for his storm safety preparation info and more information on his website at or through Twitter @benjaminchapman. He also has a news release on food safety when the power’s out and an infosheet on produce from flooded gardens.

Home Safety
What can you do after a storm to reduce risks of mold, mildew and other hazards? Dr. Sarah Kirby, an associate professor and housing specialist, can address these questions and others related to disaster recovery. Her phone number is 919-515-9154, and her email address is Kirby’s fact sheet on inspecting your home before disasters is online at She also has a news release “Making flood-damaged homes habitable” at and one on mold prevention and cleanup at

Dr. Wilma Hammett (919-515-9153 or can discuss how to clean household furnishings such as furniture, curtains and linens.

Disaster-Resilient Housing
Dr. David Tilotta, extension specialist and director of the American Home program, can discuss ways to speed the return of residents to their homes in the wake of natural disasters. He can be reached at 919-515-5579 or

Issues for Children and Latino Families
Disasters can be scary times for all of us, but especially so for children. Dr. Andrew Behnke, an assistant professor and Extension human development specialist, is bilingual, and he can speak to a wide range of disaster-related issues facing Latino families and parents. He can be reached at 919-515-9156 or

Dr.  Kimberly Allen can discuss the effects of disasters – including hurricanes and floods – on children and parents, and how to help parents assist their children in recovering from a disaster. An assistant professor and Extension human development specialist, she can be reached at 919-515-9139 or

Allen and Behnke have a news release, “Dealing with stress in the wake of the storm,” at

Along with wind and rain, hurricanes can bring critters. Dr. Mike Waldvogel, Extension associate professor and entomology specialist, can discuss these pest problems and what to do about them. He has information on the web at, and he can be reached at 919-515-8881 or His news release “Take steps to avoid mosquito bites” focuses on post-disaster cleanup recommendations:

Safety on Farms and With Electricity and Generators
Wet electrical devices, downed power lines and even generators, if not operated correctly, can be hazardous. Dr. Grant Ellington, assistant professor and Extension specialist, can offer tips in these areas, as well as on general farm safety. His contact info is 919-515-6793 or

Tax issues for farmers with agricultural losses
In many cases the damage to farms, rural businesses and private homes qualifies as a casualty loss due to the unexpected damage, says Guido van der Hoeven, a North Carolina Cooperative Extension specialist at N.C. State University. He can be reached at 919-515-9071 or

Extension specialists Dr. Samantha Rich and Dr. Stacy Tomas can discuss the impact natural disasters play on the coastal tourism industry. Rich can be reached at 919/513-0351 or and Tomas can be reached at 919/513-7407 or

Trees and Timber Resources
Forestry and Environmental Resources Extension specialist Dr. Robert Bardon can discuss the economic damage to the timber industry and how any salvage operations might be conducted. He can also discuss tree care and cleanup related to urban trees and storm damage. Bardon can be reached at 919-515-5575 or Other Extension forestry specialists are: Dr. Dennis Hazel, or 919-515-5573, Dr. James Jeuck, or 919-515-5574; and Dr. Mark Megalos, or 919-513-1202. They have disaster-related fact sheets and other material online at A news release on minimizing problems with shade trees and timber is online at

Water Quality
Hurricanes can effect drinking water quality and cause runoff from farms and urban areas. Dr. Greg Jennings, a professor and Extension specialist in water quality, can address these areas. He can be reached at 919-600-4790 or Consumers with questions about drinking water safety can get info from their county health department.

Cooperative Extension is a partner with other land-grant universities nationwide in the Extension Disaster Education Network, which offers myriad disaster preparedness, response and recovery information at

Cooperative Extension is an educational partnership of North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, county governments and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Cooperative Extension has centers in all 100 North Carolina counties, and its programs focus on agriculture, natural resources, community and rural development, family and consumer sciences and 4-H youth development.

For contact information for your Cooperative Extension county center, see

-Dee Shore, 919-513-3117, 919-604-3164 or

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