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Public record (July 29, 2014) -7/29/2014, 8:15 AM

Gerstner: I don't love 'Lucy,' but have seen worse -7/29/2014, 8:15 AM

Disaster training exercise scheduled for Kansas cities -7/28/2014, 12:32 PM

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Public record (July 14, 2014) -7/15/2014, 10:27 AM

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Public record (July 9, 2014) -7/8/2014, 10:28 AM

'Tammy' is every kind of bad -7/8/2014, 7:57 AM

Smaller number of men victims of domestic violence -7/7/2014, 8:44 AM

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Fourth of July fireworks safety tips -6/29/2014, 2:19 PM

FHSU alumnus and chapter of year recognized for service -6/29/2014, 2:19 PM

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Business Briefcase (June 29, 2014) -6/29/2014, 4:03 PM

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Pregnancy testing cow herd pays off in the long run -6/8/2014, 2:21 PM

Summer events scheduled at the Hays Recreation Center -6/1/2014, 11:14 AM

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Don't ignore those honey-locust trees in pastures -5/25/2014, 10:43 AM

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When to castrate calves could affect weight later on -5/18/2014, 1:43 PM

Business Briefcase (May 11, 2014) -5/18/2014, 1:43 PM

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La Crosse woman completes beef training -5/4/2014, 2:41 PM

Business Briefcase (May 4, 2014) -5/4/2014, 2:40 PM

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D of I recognizes long-time members -5/2/2014, 8:39 AM

Agencies collaborate to explore Medicare basics -5/1/2014, 9:26 AM

Birthdays -5/1/2014, 9:26 AM

One good rain won't save drought-stricken farmers -4/27/2014, 3:04 PM

Business Briefcase (April 27, 2014) -4/27/2014, 3:04 PM

'Transcendence' fails to connect elements -4/22/2014, 4:39 PM

Spring gallery walk schedule -4/21/2014, 4:37 PM

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Law enforcement works to further decrease fatalities -4/20/2014, 5:48 PM

Public record, April 18, 2014 -4/18/2014, 4:39 PM

Roadwork to begin in Phillips/Smith counties -4/18/2014, 4:45 PM

Public record, April 17, 2014 -4/17/2014, 4:39 PM

Public record, April 16, 2014 -4/16/2014, 4:39 PM

Enjoying high school memories -4/16/2014, 10:27 AM

Public record, April 15, 2014 -4/15/2014, 4:39 PM

New ponies, warmer weather welcome in spring -4/15/2014, 8:47 AM

Coping strategies, including healthy eating, can reduce stress -4/13/2014, 9:46 AM

Winners chosen for Hays art exhibition -4/10/2014, 12:12 PM

Putting parent burn-out into perspective -4/10/2014, 11:08 AM

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Many factors can cause stress in families, including divorce, death -4/4/2014, 9:23 AM

God brings life to dry bones -4/4/2014, 8:27 AM

Aging issues addressed in April Extension programs -4/3/2014, 9:51 AM

Quilting, eighth-grade activities make up Eicher family time -4/1/2014, 9:15 AM

Many stressors exist in several types of families in United States -3/31/2014, 10:11 AM

Power of vegetables and fruits -3/27/2014, 8:46 AM

A few more expensive pinot noirs, but ones well worth the cash -3/25/2014, 9:27 AM

Early start to morning leads to busy day for Eicher family -3/25/2014, 9:27 AM

Families need to find proper ways to deal with stress -3/23/2014, 9:20 AM

Birthday -3/19/2014, 9:19 AM

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Wines and consumer behavior -3/11/2014, 3:03 PM

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Workplace, workforce sees changes through decades -3/10/2014, 9:56 AM

The Church is called to reflect Jesus outside of church -3/7/2014, 3:49 PM

Extension workshop features estate planning -3/6/2014, 3:49 PM

Enhance employee wellness with Walk Kansas -3/5/2014, 3:49 PM

Change your clocks, smoke alarm batteries -3/4/2014, 3:49 PM

Winter blues continue for Eicher family -3/4/2014, 1:53 PM

KDOT announces approved February bids -3/3/2014, 4:28 PM

K-23 pavement replacement project to begin -3/3/2014, 4:19 PM

Celtic guitarist Barlow performing at library -3/2/2014, 4:10 PM

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SPOTLIGHT
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Take steps before disaster

Published on -5/23/2013, 9:41 AM

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The tornado disaster in Oklahoma dominated the news this week with tales of heartache and loss. The terrible destruction should be a reminder for all of us living in "tornado alley" that we are all vulnerable to the risk of violent weather.

When the tornado sirens sound, as they did in Hays on Saturday night, are you confident you are prepared to face a storm? Would you be prepared to not only survive the damage, but also ease the process of recovery?

Many of us have taken steps to protect our home and families from emergencies. We've purchased first aid kits and fire extinguishers, installed smoke alarms and dead-bolt locks. Some of us might have stocked some extra food and water in the pantry or prepared a basic emergency supply kit. But what about your financial emergency preparedness: Would you have the records and documents needed to recover if your home was damaged or destroyed?

To be financially prepared, there are steps that can -- and should -- be taken now to protect your family and your possessions. A new program and publication from Kansas State Research and Extension encourages Kansans to make a home inventory, review insurance coverage and prepare a "financial disaster kit" to protect important information. You can find the helpful publication "Get Financially Prepared: Take Steps Ahead of Disaster" at www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/mf3055.pdf.

* Prepare a home inventory. A home inventory is an itemized list of the contents of your home, including basement, attic and garage. It also should include off-site items such as children's property in school lockers or dorm rooms and items in out-buildings or storage units. An inventory of your belongings helps set an approximate value of items owned to determine insurance coverage. In case of a loss, a listing of all items lost or destroyed might be required to settle the insurance claim.

An easy way to begin a home inventory is to take photos or video of every wall in each room of your home and storage areas. Open cabinets, drawers and closets, and take close-ups of unique or expensive items. Add a list that itemizes large or expensive items such as appliances, electronics and valuables with information of approximate age, manufacturer, model and serial number. The Extension publication "Taking Inventory" gives more information at www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/l776.pdf.

* Review your insurance coverage on your home, vehicles and possessions. Consider other types of insurance, such as life insurance and disability insurance for wage earners. If at all possible, set aside emergency funds to cover the policy deductibles.

* Create a grab-and-go box of information. This financial disaster kit should include identity information that could be needed to access or restore financial records and accounts. Include bank, credit card and other financial account numbers and contact information. Add immunization records and a listing of prescriptions for medicines, glasses and hearing aids. Important phone numbers for family members, doctors, insurance agents and financial advisers also will be useful. Add a copy of your household inventory and an extra safe deposit box key.

In Kansas, the question should not be if a storm will affect my family, but when. Disasters are devastating and unpredictable, but we know spring and summer storms put us at increased risk. Instead of just hoping to avoid a disaster, put some time and attention into preparing for the possibility. In case of emergency, you'll be happy you planned ahead.

To schedule the "Financially Prepared for Disaster" program for your group, call (785) 628-9430 or stop by 601 Main.

Linda Beech is a Kansas State University Research & Extension agent in Ellis County specializing in family and consumer sciences. lbeech@ksu.edu

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