Success StoryIn The Face of Disaster - Disaster Kit Programs

In The Face of Disaster - Disaster Kit Programs

Author: Kayla Watts

Planning Unit: Breathitt County CES

Major Program: Flood Relief & Recovery

Plan of Work: Unrelated to a specified County Plan of Work

Outcome: Intermediate Outcome

Kentuckians have experienced firsthand how natural disasters can occur any time and often with little warning. Disasters take many forms, and we can feel their impacts across most areas of family life. Because there is no “one-size-fits-all” disaster model, planning community outreach can be challenging, and Cooperative Extension is often involved in disaster preparation and response at the local level. 

As a result of regional needs, Kayla Watts, County Agent on Special Assignment for Community Recovery and Resiliency hosted eight disaster preparation programs. The focus of these events was on coping with trauma after a disaster, and how to prepare home disaster kits. Participants were recruited by radio, social media, local newspapers, and newsletters.  118 participated in the program; many of which live in the counties most recently impacted by historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky.

Following the event, participants completed evaluations.  100 percent of participants gained a better understanding of steps they could take in preparation for natural disasters.  100 percent of participants increased their understanding of how to find reliable resources on disaster preparation and/or response. Further, 100 percent of participants can better identify what items they should include in a disaster kit. Most importantly, all 118 participants reported they intended to assemble a disaster kit that fits their needs and all 118 participants shared they intend to create a disaster response plan. 

Participants specifically shared the most significant things they learned from the event were, “Being prepare takes planning,” “Basic needs are most important,” and “That I need to think of this as a plan, instead of oh well, things happen.” 

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