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Program designed to help prepare for droughts

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – The Obama administration says it’s starting a program that will help communities prepare for future droughts and respond more effectively when they happen.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack tells The Associated Press that the National Drought Resilience Partnership will involve seven federal agencies. It’s being formed in reaction to the 2012 drought, the most severe in 70 years.

Vilsack says with climate change likely to bring more serious droughts, the government must do better at getting information to state and local officials while there’s still time to get ready.

Among the partnership’s goals for 2014 are creating a one-stop information website, designating a go-to contact person for each participating agency and improving soil moisture content measurements.

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