It’s Cold Out There!

Many of us are waking up this morning to ice, snow and dangerous wind chills. Taking preventative steps is your best defense when dealing with extreme cold weather. Prepare your home and vehicles in advance of weather emergencies. Keep abreast of changing weather and road conditions. Practice safety during these times of bitter cold and you’ll reduce your risk for weather-related health problems or injury.

If you absolutely have to venture outdoors, make sure you are dressed for extreme cold weather conditions.

How to dress in the cold

Learn to recognize the symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires immediate emergency medical assistance. Check on neighbors, family and friends who may be susceptible to the cold. Learn more: Continue reading


Your vehicle gets HOT! Leave them at home, not in the car!

Never leave children, the elderly, persons with disabilities or pets in a parked vehicle on hot days! What’s hot? …

Did you know that even on an 80 deg F day, temperatures in a vehicle can raise to unsafe levels in just a couple of minutes. In studies, cracking the windows makes very little difference.

From the National Weather Service:

A vehicle heats up quicker than you might imagine. A dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180 to over 200°F. These objects (e.g., dashboard, steering wheel, child seat) heat the adjacent air adjacent air by conduction and convection and also give off longwave radiation (red in the images below) which is very efficient at warming the air trapped inside a vehicle.

Shown below are time lapse photos of thermometer readings in a car over a period of less than an hour. These photos demonstrate just how quickly a vehicle can become a death trap.

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Collect! Share! Practice! Family Communication Plans

In May 2004, the “Hallam Tornado” (video) took a devastating path through southeast Nebraska. The tornado was on the ground for more than 100 minutes, covered 52 miles and was at points 2.5 miles wide. During the storm, we hunkered down in the basement heeding the tornado sirens going off in Wilber. My kids weren’t home at the time so of course I worried … “what if” moments. Is everyone safe? How do we let family know we are OK? 

Don’t wait for an emergency to think about the “What if’s”. The time to prepare is before something happens. Whether you are a work, school or home, it’s important to have a Family Communication Plan in place in the event of any emergency! Every member of your household should know how to reach each other and where to meet in the event of an emergency.

Once you have your plan, practice – practice – practice!

America’s PrepareAthon! highlights ten actions you can take to help keep your family safe in the event of an emergency. The Family Communication Plan has a checklist and a form where you can input your important contacts, print and share with family.

“TEXT IS BEST! If you are using a mobile phone, a text message may get through when a phone call will not. This is because a text message requires far less bandwidth than a phone call. Text messages may also save and then send automatically as soon as capacity becomes available.”

If there is an emergency, your mobile phone can be an important asset: Continue reading

Severe Weather Preparedness – Start Today!

The best time to prepare for a storm is before it happens. Storms may be severe across parts of the nation on Tuesday, April 26 and Wednesday, April 27 (map). Know the difference between a “Watch” or a “Warning” – Be Weather Aware!

What can you do? Prepare and/or restock your family emergency kits . Don’t forget pets and consider what steps you’ll take for livestock and large animals. Review your safe-place plans with family.

Make sure flashlights are working, grab extra batteries and get out the weather alert radio. Keep your cell phone charged – during an emergency, you may not be able to make a cell phone call but you might be able to text.

For help visit and

Stormy Weather

As always, check with your local emergency management agency for specific resources in your community. You can also contact your local university extension office for assistance locating the appropriate resources or agencies in your community. To find your local office, visit

Have a great day!


Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Severe Weather Awareness Week

Tornado Damage - Hallam, Nebraska May 2004

Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 21-25. We’ve all seen our share of “weather aware” conditions around the nation this week! On Wednesday, Nebraska had heavy snows, rain, hail, lightning and strong wind. There were blizzard warnings and tornado watches on the same day. As unpredictible as the weather can be, you aren’t completely powerless if you are prepared.
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The July Issue of the NEBLINE is on-line!

The NEBLINE Newsletter

Check it out! The July issue of The NEBLINE newsletter is now on-line. Read it free! Here are some of the articles featured in this issue – – – – Visit and click on the link to the July 2015 NEBLINE!

  • Reduce Bullying and Cyberbullying Through Social and Emotional Learning
  • Fireworks Safety
  • Laundry Stain Removal
  • The Weather Challenges for Haying
  • Protecting Trees from Borer Damage
  • There is Still Time to Control Bagworms in Early July
  • Cleaning Up After Raccoons is Serious Business
  • Avoiding Chiggers
  • 4-H News, Resources
  • …. and much more

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!


Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Damp Basement? Using a dehumidifier

Many basements are damp after all the moisture we have had the last few weeks. Reducing the moisture level in the damp areas is very important. Depending on where you live, summers bring high humidity and extra rain does not help for those trying to keep living areas dry. One method to use is a dehumidifier.

It is recommended to keep the humidity level between 30 and 50 percent in the summer and 30 to 40 percent in the winter.

There are two forms of humidity: absolute humidity and relative humidity. Absolute humidity refers to the mass of water vapor divided by the mass of dry air in a volume of air at a given temperature. As such, the hotter the air, the more water it contains.

Some facts to consider when purchasing a dehumidifier: Continue reading