Working Differently: North Dakotans Honored by White House


Bob Bertsch and Becky Koch of North Dakota State University Agriculture Communication, along with Myriad Devices, were honored as White House Champions of Change Sept. 24 for their two phone apps. The Winter Survival Kit and Disaster Recovery Log apps first were honored by FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division as the 2012 Innovative Use of Technology winner.

Bertsch said, “When people travel in the winter or must evacuate their homes, they almost always take their smartphones with them. We developed both of these apps to integrate the functions of the phones, not just be mobile websites of content. It’s great to develop resources that can help people in disaster situations and exciting to be recognized for the work.”

Koch said, “I was really honored to represent our team at the White House ceremony – and the apps truly were team efforts. I also was proud to share with the FEMA staff and other winners from across the country about Extension’s disaster work in states and through the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN).”

More information is online about the Winter Survival Kit and Disaster Recovery Log apps, and a news release about the FEMA and White House recognition.