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Drought disaster task force headed by Purdue expert

The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) is crafting a plan to deal with this year’s drought.

The new task force is working on short-term and long-term response actions for helping farmers, ranchers and communities get back on their feet.

Steve Cain with Purdue’s Extension Disaster Education Network is heading up the effort. He says one immediate response is getting feed hay to livestock producers who need it.

"The short term goal is to have a complete report in two months on what the NVOAD can do. After that two months, we'll look at long term recovery and that will go on for at least a couple years, probably."

Cain says the dollar amount of damages from the drought could be $100 billion, which is the second-most costly natural disaster in the United States, behind Hurricane Katrina.

He says the effects of a drought are much different than a hurricane, tornado or flood, which have well-established disaster response plans.

"We're trying to figure out how to apply those millions of dollars of volunteer hours to a drought."

Cains says, by comparison, the drought of 1988 had damages of about $78 billion. He says this year's situation is more widespread, taking in many more states.

Information about NVOAD and the task force is HERE.

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