In 2018, Hurricane Michael caused extensive damage in the Florida panhandle as a Category 4 hurricane. Cooperative Extension has a disaster preparedness and information dissemination role in hurricane response (Medford-Davis & Kapur, 2014; Washburn, 2006). Personal resilience focuses on reducing stress and increasing coping abilities in stressful situations. A basic qualitative research design explored UF/IFAS Extension agents’ hurricane experiences. Results suggested participants experienced some inability to balance personal and professional demands and were mentally and emotionally stressed. Participants felt fatigued and results suggested they experienced high levels of mental and emotional stress. There is scope to improve Extension agents’ personal resilience by: (1) strengthening individual levels of hardy attitudes and hardy strategies; and (2) reducing barriers such as mental and physical stress and performance deficits.
Ali, A. D. (2019). Personal Resilience of Extension Agents and Communication Behaviors of County Extension Directors Post-Disaster. Doctoral dissertation. Retrieved from University of Florida Digital Collections. https://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0054320/00001
Eighmy, M., Hall, T. E., Sahr, E., Gebeke, D., & Hvidsten, M. (2012). The Extension Service and Rural/Frontier Disaster Planning, Response, and Recovery. Journal of Extension, 50(4). https://joe.org/joe/2012august/a10.php
Kistler, M., Place, N., Irani, T., & Telg, R. (2006, January). Front-Line Disaster Responders: Florida Extension Professionals' Personal Needs, Professional Needs, and Communication Efforts. 22 Annual Conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education. Clearwater, FL. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237693166_FRONT-LINE_DISASTER_RESPONDERS_FLORIDA_EXTENSION_PROFESSIONAL%27S_PERSONAL_NEEDS_PROFESSIONAL_NEEDS_AND_COMMUNICATION_EFFORTS
Maddi, S. R. (2004). Hardiness: An Operationalization of Existential Courage. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 44(3), 279-298. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022167804266101
Maddi, S. R. (2013). Hardiness: Turning Stressful Circumstances into Resilient Growth. New York: SpringerBriefs in Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-5222-1
Resilience Alliance. (2013). Personal Resilience Overview. Retrieved from http://resiliencealliance.com/wp-content/uploads/Personal-Resilience-Overview1.pdf
Telg, R., Irani, T., Place, N., DeGroat, A. R., Ladewig, H., Kistler, M., & Barnett, R. (2008). Disaster Preparedness and Professional and Personal Challenges of County Extension Faculty during the 2004 Florida Hurricane Season. Journal of Extension, 46(3). https://joe.org/joe/2008june/a6.php
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