Military Families & Disaster Preparedness: Series Wrap-Up

Friday Field Notes banner image: Featuring engaging stories from practitioners about how partnerships with Cooperative Extension help build Community Capacity to support military service men and women and their families.

We have spent time recently on the blog learning about disaster preparedness by touring each MFLN concentration area and sharing what each can contribute in terms of resources that will ultimately benefit military families.  At the end of this series, we want to thank all of you who have joined us on this tour!  If you missed any Friday Field Notes, you can catch up at militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/category/community-capacity-building.  Now, let’s take a look at some of the key points from this journey.

Winding Road

Overview: We started this journey with a broad overview of the topic of disaster preparedness.  Even though anyone can face a disaster, military families have some unique situations that need special attention during emergencies.  Organizations and resources like EDEN, Ready, USDA NIFA, and the Cooperative Extension System all have pertinent information for disaster readiness and/or military family readiness.

Nutrition & Wellness: The first concentration area we focused on was MFLN Nutrition & Wellness.  In a variety of disasters, the food that we consume can be impacted in a major way.  Fortunately, the team had many resources within MFLN as well as outside of the network, such as the USDA and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, to make sure service providers have plenty of resources on topics of food safety and shopping before a disaster strikes.

Personal Finance: Next in the tour, we toured MFLN Personal Finance and learned that the team has resources for financial preparedness in all stages of life with blogs about how to file insurance claims and a webinar about insurance principles.  The team also offered fantastic resources from FEMA and Military OneSource.

Family Transitions: The MFLN Family Transitions team focuses on fostering resilience through life cycle transitions that are unique to military families.  This team shared that learning about behavioral health concerns that can arise after a disaster can be beneficial for military service providers to intervene with evidence-based practices, such as psychological first aid.

Military Caregiving: The MFLN Military Caregiving team offers resources for caregivers of wounded warriors and individuals with special needs.  During a disaster, extra planning can be involved to ensure that caregivers and their loved ones are prepared.  Disaster information from TRICARE, NOAA, FEMA, and the CDC was offered.

Early Intervention: As we took some time to address young children (birth to age 5) with MFLN Early Intervention, we saw that this concentration area was packed with resources when preparing young ones for emergencies.  If you work with children, be sure to check out this blog and the EI team for resources within MFLN and through other government agencies.

Family Development: The MFLN Family Development team takes a holistic approach to family strengthening and preventing family violence.  The team offered several webinars including the Resilience series and Kids Serve Too!

Network Literacy: For the final stop in our disaster preparedness tour, we visited  the MFLN Network Literacy team.  While not directly related to disaster preparedness, the NetLit team is a great example of how strengthening networks serves military families.  The Family Readiness System was highlighted as an example of organizations and individuals building networks that ultimately benefits the military families that we serve.

The Community Capacity Building team hope that these Friday Field Notes have proven beneficial in your profession and work with military families.  The topic of disaster preparedness is useful for all individuals, but military families may require extra support.  This series provides tools and resources to use for many years to come in a variety of situations.

We are working on an upcoming series about Outdoor Rx and how cooperative extension programs are encouraging positive interactions with the environment with a focus on military families.  As a refresher, review our past Friday Field Notes about Total Force Fitness.  In the meantime, follow us for updates and reminders about this exciting series!

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