Illinois Extension, as a founding member of the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN), is part of a collaborative multi-state effort by Cooperative Extension Services across the country to improve the delivery of services to citizens affected by disasters. EDEN's mission is to reduce the impact of disasters through research-based education. 

Illinois Extension has developed a Resource Page on disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Extension also has COVID-19 information, resources, and assistance in line with the current national EDEN response.

Extension’s disaster program consists of services provided by select team members. The program is housed in the Community and Economic Development program area, under Community Planning. 

  • Illinois Extension Community and Economic Development educators and specialists work across the state in COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster) development.
  • Extension educators can support emergency management staff who serve at county-level functions in terms of disaster response.

The current EDEN Chair and Main Illinois Delegate is Carrie McKillip from Illinois Extension.

History

In 1993 when Mississippi and Missouri experienced flooding resulting in 32 deaths and billions of dollars of damage, land-grant universities that responded to the disaster took stock of the experience and realized the important role Extension outreach can have in local disaster preparedness and recovery.

By 1998, EDEN formed to partner with local, state and national agencies. 

By 2005, the entire nation, including three territories, had an EDEN member. Illinois Extension has member delegates across the state. 

County and community-level activities

  • Mitigation planning with counties
  • Assistance in grants and update plans
  • Develop Assistance/Outreach for different types of preparedness
  • Non-profits dedicated to emergency response, youth, community members, organizations, animals/veterinary
  • Public education and resources
  • COAD development and emergency action planning for the different response entity types

 

Community leaders need to know

  • What plans are in place and what is your role
  • How to support your first responders
  • How a disaster should begin and end locally (in so much as where efforts come from)
  • The amount of recovery level or capacity can compare to PREPAREDNESS and MITIGATION
  • How to keep dialogues, checks, and information circulating – all communities could have a disaster (every county has had a federal disaster declaration at some point).

 

Different types of disaster preparedness

  • Organizational Preparedness
  • Community / Family Preparedness
  • E.R. Non-Profit Preparedness
  • Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) Development
  • Domestic/Wild Animal
  • County Mitigation Plans
LEARN MORE: Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD)

COAD development is the development of committees who focus on donations, public health, volunteers, education/training, agriculture, mental health, animals/pets/vet, shelter – whatever the community chooses in regard to what their assets are. Perhaps a community COAD wants a business committee, or one focused on food or vulnerable populations. COAD members meet often to train together and stay engaged. They schedule out meetings and exercises; COADs need to work with state VOADs, invite the reps to quarterly meetings and trainings if possible.

Why have COADs? Having COADS can improve response time, effectiveness, and community recovery

Extension educators are a strong resource in COAD development, they can access resources and templates that are best models for different types of communities

More on COADs (Community Organizations Active in Disaster)

LEARN MORE: Hazard Mitigation Planning

COAD development is the development of committees who focus on donations, public health, volunteers, education/training, agriculture, mental health, animals/pets/vet, shelter – whatever the community chooses in regard to what their assets are.  Perhaps a community COAD wants a business committee, or one focused on food or vulnerable populations.  COAD members meet often to train together and stay engaged. They schedule out meetings and exercises; COADs need to work with state VOADs, invite the reps to quarterly meetings and trainings if possible.

Why have COADs? 

Having COADS can improve response time, effectiveness, and community recovery

Extension educators are a strong resource in COAD development, they can access resources and templates that are best models for different types of communities

More on COADs (Community Organizations Active in Disaster)