Beat the heat

Whether you’re showing livestock at a county fair, picnicking at the park or working outdoors, University of Missouri Extension has research-based resources to help you stay safe when summer temperatures sizzle. Keeping your cool News releases

Heatstroke can kill quickly in hot cars

COLUMBIA, Mo. – When the news has another tragic story about a child accidentally left in a hot car, parents might believe they could never make a mistake like that. “It’s not just negligent parents or indifferent caregivers. When juggling the demands of work, parenting and daily life, it’s easier than you might think to make a simple but fatal mistake,” says Karen Funkenbusch, University of Missouri Extension health and safety…

Severe-weather resources from MU Extension

News releases, videos, publications and more.  Publications In-depth information is available from these MU Extension publications, which are available for free download. (To access publications, use the links below or go and search by publication number.)

Winter weather resources from MU Extension

Editors: University of Missouri Extension has compiled a list of websites, extension publications, news releases and other online resources for coping before, during and after winter storms.   MU Extension news releases

Flood-related resources from MU Extension

News releases, publications and more.  News releases

3 keys to emergency preparedness

COLUMBIA, Mo.– While security experts and law enforcement personnel are determined to make sure events like the Boston Marathon bombing never happen again, emergency preparedness and personal safety begin with the individual, says a University of Missouri Extension emergency management specialist. Whether it’s an explosion, flooding or a tornado, Eric Evans says there are three basic things people need to be prepared for any emergency…

Creating an Emergency Kit

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Greene County 4-H is partnering with the Greene County Office of Emergency Management to help youth and families get prepared for emergencies, and to get more youth interested in public safety careers. Teaching youth about emergency preparedness is important for several reasons according to Willa Williams, the new 4-H youth specialist in Greene County and also the Missouri 4-H youth preparedness program manager.

After the deluge

ROCK PORT, Mo. – Historic flooding along the Missouri River in 2019 has left many still repairing damage this fall.Cold, snowy weather in early 2019 set the stage for significant flooding in northwestern Missouri as spring approached, said University of Missouri Extension state climatologist Pat Guinan.

Develop a family crisis plan

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The best time to prepare for an emergency is when there is no emergency, says Karen Funkenbusch, University of Missouri Extension health and safety specialist. National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is held annually in September and is a good time to develop a crisis plan, says Funkenbusch.

Lessons learned during 2007 ice storm can help deal with stress of sheltering in place

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- If experience is a great teacher, then the 2007 ice storm that hit southwest Missouri taught us some valuable lessons. The storm left many families stranded indoors for a week or more without electricity and other modern conveniences.

Be prepared for the next big storm

BETHANY, Mo. – Be prepared for the next big storm BEFORE it happens in your area.“That means having a safe place, with a supply of food, water and other items ready to use when and where you may need them,” says University of Missouri Extension nutrition and health education specialist Janet Hackert.“If an underground shelter is not available, move to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor,” she says. “Stay away from windows.”

Talking smoke detectors wake sleeping children better than shrill, beeping alarm

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The piercing 85-decibel alarm from smoke detectors will wake most adults with a start, but small children might sleep right through them.That’s why parents might want to consider an alarm that talks to their children in case of a fire, said Karen Funkenbusch, a University of Missouri safety specialist.

MU expert recommends precautions to avoid frozen pipes

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Temperatures hovering near zero could mean problems with frozen water lines. Homeowners should take precautions to prevent pipes from freezing and know to how to thaw frozen pipes safely, according to University of Missouri Extension experts.

Elderly at special risk during frigid weather

COLUMBIA, Mo. –Frigid weather across the Midwest puts the elderly at special risk, said a University of Missouri Extension safety specialist. “Elderly in poorly heated homes or those of low income may unknowingly keep temperatures in a dangerous range in attempts to lower their heating bills.” said Karen Funkenbusch.

Winter power outages can lead to generator concerns

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Severe winter weather can bring widespread power outages, which means many Missouri families might be firing up their generators. University of Missouri Extension emergency management specialist Eric Evans urges people to use common sense when using a generator.

Ice melters may harm nearby trees

COLUMBIA, Mo.- Homeowners should be careful when using ice melters close to trees this winter, said a University of Missouri Extension forester. "Nearly all ice melters are salts," said Hank Stelzer. They work by lowering the freezing point of water to well below 32 degrees.

MU Extension expert recommends replacing older smoke detectors

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Even if you regularly check the batteries and test your home smoke detectors, you may not be alerted if a fire breaks out.Residential fires accounted for 83 percent of fire deaths in the United States during 2011-2013. Deaths are twice as high in homes without smoke alarms or with nonworking alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

How to replace lost documents after a disaster or loss

CARTHAGE, Mo. –Replacing important family documents after a tornado or flood can be a time consuming and costly exercise in frustration, according to Janet LaFon, family financial education specialist for University of Missouri Extension.“If a disaster recently destroyed your important papers there are ways to get new documents. The process can take a while, and there may be fees involved, but obtaining replacement copies is possible…

Preparing for disasters: Take it one step at a time

COLUMBIA, Mo. – This year Missouri has seen flooding, severe winter weather and devastating tornadoes. Meanwhile, two earthquakes struck in the U.S. within hours of each other even as a major hurricane moved toward the East Coast. In September, as the nation marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and partners are observing the eighth annual National Preparedness Month.

Disaster-readiness resources from MU Extension

University of Missouri Extension has resources to help you and your family prepare for and recover from disasters.

Before the flood: Prepare household items for long-term storage

TRENTON, Mo.- As people brace for floodwaters and the damage they might cause, it's important to know how to properly prepare household items for long-term storage, said a University of Missouri Extension housing and environmental design specialist.

First aid for leaky basements

COLUMBIA, Mo. – If your basement sprung a leak during recent intense rainfalls, you’re not alone.

Property loss from disasters may be tax deductible

Related video: Coping with disaster,, Mo. – Disaster victims may recoup some of their uninsured losses from natural disasters, said former University of Missouri Extension consumer and family economics specialist Brenda Procter. Uncompensated property losses in presidentially declared disaster areas are tax deductible.

Be prepared for flooded roads

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo.– Flooding is a potential threat in many parts of Missouri. And even if your house is not in a flood plain, you may drive through one on your way home.