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Local Knights of Columbus announce essay winners -11/21/2014, 8:57 AM

Grocery collection for ECMA on Saturday -11/21/2014, 8:56 AM

Feast on these holiday savings this season -11/20/2014, 8:13 AM

Birthdays (Nov. 20, 2014) -11/20/2014, 8:13 AM

HPMH partners with counties for outreach -11/19/2014, 3:49 PM

Kansas Next Step announces honors -11/19/2014, 2:09 PM

Senior volunteers honored for years of service to communities -11/19/2014, 9:09 AM

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KHP gives tips for safe Thanksgiving travel -11/17/2014, 1:06 PM

Latest donations move FHSU closer to goal -11/17/2014, 1:06 PM

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Moran receives Legislator of Year Award from home care association -11/17/2014, 11:26 AM

Hammond named to fraternity commission -11/17/2014, 9:45 AM

No stepfamily is immune to holiday stress -11/17/2014, 9:26 AM

Community Bulletin Board (Nov. 17, 2014) -11/17/2014, 9:26 AM

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Clubs and meetings (Nov. 16, 2014) -11/16/2014, 12:52 PM

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God and Ebola -11/14/2014, 9:05 AM

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10 tips for stress-free Thanksgiving cooking, planning -11/13/2014, 8:30 AM

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'Warcraft' preview stirs excitement; 'Interstellar' is solid -11/11/2014, 8:40 AM

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Time for film's encore, German cooking at library -11/10/2014, 9:09 AM

Business Briefcase (Nov. 9, 2014) -11/9/2014, 4:30 PM

Westview hosting youth lock-in -11/7/2014, 8:22 AM

A prayer that stands the test of time still holds true today -11/7/2014, 8:22 AM

Extension program gives tech tips for parents -11/6/2014, 9:24 AM

Birthdays -11/6/2014, 9:24 AM

Foreigners must report land holdings -11/5/2014, 3:39 PM

Jana's Campaign fundraiser nets $33,000 -11/5/2014, 10:29 AM

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Email issues resolved -11/4/2014, 11:43 AM

Gloria's birthday present, followed by barbecue pizza -11/4/2014, 8:41 AM

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Taking care in providing proper animal health -11/2/2014, 8:31 AM

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After 5 gathering Nov. 10 in Hays -10/31/2014, 7:50 AM

Time for trick or treating -10/31/2014, 7:49 AM

Gella's to show Turning Points film encore -10/30/2014, 1:53 PM

State's Cold Weather Rule takes effect Saturday -10/29/2014, 9:33 AM

'John Wick' is efficient excitement for flick -10/28/2014, 9:07 AM

Serving up homemade cinnamon rolls -10/28/2014, 9:07 AM

Hansen Foundation awards grant to HaysMed Foundation -10/27/2014, 10:20 AM

HaysMed's cardiovascular-stroke team earns award -10/27/2014, 10:11 AM

Signs of suicide in teens should be dealt with quickly -10/27/2014, 8:58 AM

c_ -10/26/2014, 5:57 PM

Rosary rally takes place in Liebenthal -10/24/2014, 8:37 AM

Pink Impact conference coming to North Oak -10/24/2014, 8:37 AM

Living by the law of love in today's society -10/24/2014, 8:37 AM

Dominican Sisters host annual mission benefit bazaar -10/24/2014, 8:37 AM

'The Ogallala Road' author to speak at FHSU -10/23/2014, 9:40 AM

Industry support leads to welding awards for NCK Tech -10/23/2014, 9:24 AM

Birthday -10/23/2014, 9:24 AM

Natoma group elects new officers -10/23/2014, 9:24 AM

Tricks to making jams and jellies for holiday giving -10/23/2014, 9:24 AM

'Fury' is visceral and slightly shapeless -10/22/2014, 10:20 AM

Singing, making cheese and doing laundry all part of chores -10/21/2014, 8:51 AM

Parenting adolescents no easy chore for parents -10/20/2014, 9:47 AM

Breaking down using distillers grains on the ranch -10/19/2014, 1:12 PM

Business Briefcase (Oct. 19, 2014) -10/19/2014, 1:12 PM

Clubs and meetings (Oct. 19, 2014) -10/19/2014, 2:24 PM

2014 Kansas Speaks Survey finds wide dissatisfaction with politics -10/17/2014, 3:54 PM

Stamper memorial scholarship awarded at KSU -10/17/2014, 2:24 PM

Adding Christ's love to everyday situations wards off harm -10/17/2014, 9:14 AM

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Finding out you're technologically challenged -10/15/2014, 8:51 AM

Phillipsburg couple part of new Beach museum exhibit -10/15/2014, 4:25 PM

Medicare open enrollment begins Wednesday -10/14/2014, 3:21 PM

A corn roast and mountain pies -10/14/2014, 8:16 AM

'The Judge' bends and breaks -10/14/2014, 8:16 AM

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Mother-daughter relationships can be difficult -10/13/2014, 9:04 AM

Business Briefcase (Oct. 12, 2014) -10/12/2014, 11:33 AM

History, known management available in SunSup -10/12/2014, 11:33 AM

Clubs and meetings (Oct. 12, 2014) -10/12/2014, 11:33 AM

Let go of unhappiness -10/10/2014, 8:12 AM

Money personality affects life, relationships -10/10/2014, 8:12 AM

Spring cleaning in the fall -10/8/2014, 8:13 AM

'Gone Girl' jump starts end-of-the-year cinema -10/7/2014, 10:04 AM

Amish PTA and fried rice -10/7/2014, 8:16 AM

Palco native Romine to retire from KSHSAA -10/6/2014, 2:30 PM

Dealing with argumentative teens a challenge -10/6/2014, 9:02 AM

Clubs and meetings (Oct. 5, 2014) -10/5/2014, 2:51 PM

Business Briefcase (Oct. 5, 2014) -10/5/2014, 2:51 PM

BVD testing could pay off big for farmers and ranchers -10/5/2014, 2:42 PM

To whom do we listen -10/3/2014, 8:49 AM

Hays After 5 meeting Oct. 13 -10/3/2014, 8:49 AM

Ellis County FSA with limited staff this week -10/2/2014, 1:56 PM

Holiday instant scratch tickets now on sale -10/2/2014, 9:44 AM

Former Obama press secretary launches Sebelius Lecture Series -10/1/2014, 2:18 PM

Photographs of rural life in China on exhibit in FHSU's Memorial Union -10/1/2014, 10:32 AM

myTown Calendar

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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