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NMSU Supplement Focuses on Parenting in Troubled Times

LAS CRUCES - What would your family do if faced with a natural disaster, or an act of terrorism? A special bilingual newspaper supplement from New Mexico State University looks at what families can do to be prepared.



Cecile Traversy of Las Cruces, center, and her children Jody Tori Traversy, left, and Mark A. Traversy Jr. prepare a disaster supply kit. Family preparedness is a theme of the recent issue of "Family Times," a publication of New Mexico State University. (08/24/2004) (NMSU Agricultural Communications Photo by J. Victor Espinoza)

Beginning Sept. 5, some 460,000 copies of the third edition of "Family Times" will be distributed in newspapers across New Mexico. The timing, near the third anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is not coincidental.

"Americans have had a very uneasy atmosphere lately," with terror threat warnings and the Florida hurricane on their minds, said Esther Devall, an NMSU associate professor of family and child science. "Family Times" helps provide answers to questions families may be facing during these uncertain times.

Tips on preparing a disaster kit, protecting important documents and safe handling of food if the power fails are included.

"The special issue is intended to help you and your family be self-sufficient and be able to cope with things like terrorism or natural disasters if you have to," Devall said.

It's important to talk to children about terrorism, and one article gives a list of ideas. It also provides advice to help couples discuss their feelings of uncertainty.

The special section is a publication of New Mexico State University's Family and Consumer Sciences Department and the Extension Home Economics Department. It will be distributed in 39 newspapers in the state. Copies also will go to offices of the Women, Infants and Children program; Income Support Division offices; county parenting classes; and some schools.

Additional copies can be found at NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service offices in each county and other agency offices throughout the state. For more information about parenting programs, contact the nearest county Extension office or NMSU's Strengthening Families Initiative at (505) 646-3434.