Farmer Assistance When Natural Disasters Occur

latest storm preparation, RESPONSE AND RECOVERY INFO:

CAROLINA FARM STEWARDS HURRICANE FLORENCE RESOURCES

ncdisaster.ces.ncsu.edu

EDEN.lsu.edu 

NCDA&CS Disaster Website 


Hurricane season is upon us once again and farmers need to be as prepared as possible both before and after the storms hit.   If you are a farmer and find yourself needing assistance after a natural disaster, you should check out some of the resources below that South Carolina’s Lowcountry Local First shared a few years ago.  Stay safe everyone!

Farm Aid

Farmers Legal Action Group

RAFI-USA

USDA / Farm Service Agency

The following links contain tables that summarize the federal programs.

 

General Information and Resources

#1
First Steps

Make sure it is safe by checking the weather/alerts, look for downed power lines, keep an eye on trees in soft ground, look out for exposed manhole covers and sink holes and watch out for dangerous displaced animals (snakes, fire ants, etc.) Assess the damage, take pictures, take notes and document everything. This includes conversations with anyone doing assessment, claims, etc. Here is a good document on this process. 


#2
Aid and Insurance

The agencies that can provide support will vary based on the ownership and structure of your business and property. There is a distinction between a business and a farm business as well as farm property and private property. 

Read more here: http://rafiusa.org/programs/farmsustainability/disaster-programs/disaster-recovery-resources/

https://www.farmaid.org/

General Disaster relief agencies (non-farm): 

http://www.fema.gov/ (If your state or county is not listed it can really change what aid is available.)

http://www.disasterassistance.gov/


#3
Food Safety

There have been a lot of questions about food safety in regards to flooding. Regardless of existing and pending regulations and mandates, it will likely be up to each of you in your own operations to document, evaluate and determine the risks and decide if you want a third party food safety inspector to inspect your property or test soils/plants. There is a difference between a heavy rain event and flooding, so it is important for you to understand the risks associated with each. Please read more about this in a post from Carolina Farm Stewardship Association:  https://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/expert-tip-how-to-handle-flooded-fields/  as well as here http://www.uvm.edu/extension/agriculture/pdfs/post_flood_produce_safety_ver21mar12.pdf 


#4
Recovery and Repair

As soon as it is safe to get back outside and get to work on the repairs, it is important to continue to beware of the risks and best practices. Clemson shared some great resources from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System:


Management

If you do not already, we encourage you to have a disaster protocol in place for your farm based on likely weather events in your area. This would include priority tasks for prep and who is responsible for what (this includes things like securing equipment, shutting off wells, digging emergency ditches, evacuating animals and taking pictures before the disaster hits) as well as information on the nearest shelters and hospitals.

Louisiana offers an emergency preparedness guide for families. http://www.getagameplan.org/

 

If you are aware of other resources or management plans available to farmers who have experienced loss due to disaster, please contact us at info@ssawg.org.