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UF/IFAS Extension prepared to help Floridians facing Hurricane Irma

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension is working closely with Florida’s emergency operation centers to provide emergency information and assistance to those in the path of Hurricane Irma.

“The local UF/IFAS Extension office is a disaster response resource in every community in Florida,” said Angie Lindsey, assistant professor of family, youth and community sciences. Lindsey is the UF/IFAS point of contact for the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN), a national organization of Extension educators who work to prepare communities for disasters.

In her role as point of contact, Lindsey helps UF/IFAS Extension agents develop disaster response tools and further collaboration between agents and local officials.

While every UF/IFAS Extension office coordinates differently with city and county officials, each has a plan in place. “Helping out during times like these is part of Extension’s role in communities. We are in a state that is surrounded by water—we have to be prepared,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey, who previously worked with communities on Florida’s Gulf Coast recovering from the 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill, became the point of contact for EDEN last year, which saw two hurricanes, Hermine and Matthew. She said she’s learned a lot just by watching UF/IFAS Extension agents come to their community’s aid during an emergency.

“What UF/IFAS Extension brings to disaster preparedness and recovery is our breadth of expertise. From crops, landscaping, livestock, families, food safety, we cover a very broad range of topics that make our faculty a valuable resource for residents,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey encourages residents, including those who work in agriculture and natural resources, to contact their UF/IFAS Extension county office directly for information and assistance before and after the storm. Contact information for local offices is available through http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/map/index.shtml.

UF/IFAS Extension information about how to prepare for and recover from a hurricane is also available online.

Home and infrastructure

Family health and wellness

Agriculture and natural resources

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By: Samantha Grenrock, 352-294-3307, grenrosa@ufl.edu

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