Disaster Recovery Resources for Farmers

Farmers: If you need to speak with someone immediately, please call our Farmer Hotline toll-free 866.586.6746. The hotline is open Monday-Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Immediate Relief

Before worrying about the farm, make sure that you and your family are safe and taken care of. If you are in any immediate danger, call 911. Once your family is safe, recovery can begin. RAFI-USA focuses on long-term recovery. For more immediate help, visit the links below.

After a Disaster

Documenting Disaster Losses

After a disaster, remember this rule: camera first, chainsaw second.

Disaster programs will only assist with documented damage. Disaster assistance programs often take place years after the disaster, so you should document losses even if programs are not immediately available.

Federal programs sometimes pay for unexpected expenses.  For instance, the Emergency Conservation Program can cover your use of chain saws and front-end loaders in recovery efforts, but only if it is pre-authorized and well-documented.

The first step is to check in with your local FSA office to talk through possible programs.

Learn more in this “Documenting Disaster Losses” document prepared by RAFI-USA

Government Assistance for Farmers after a Disaster

  • Check to see if your county has been declared or designated a disaster. Many government programs only provide assistance after federally declared or designated disasters. Check the FEMA website to find out if your area qualifies.
  • Different agencies provide assistance for different types of damage.

Damage to Households

Information for Poultry and Livestock Growers

Additional Resources for Disaster Recovery

RAFI-USA developed a series of videos about how to prepare for, deal with, and recover from a disaster. They are most relevant to farmers, but lessons can be applied to others as well. Watch all four videos (including an introduction to the series, “Documenting Disasters,” “Distribution of Labor during a Disaster,” and “Working with Farmers in Disaster Recovery”) here.

Drought Resources

The USDA has initiated fast-track disaster designations for counties suffering in the 2012 drought based on the US Drought Monitor. Counties that have been designated by the Drought Monitor as suffering from Severe Drought for 8 consecutive weeks will be designated as a disaster automatically, rather than having to apply for disaster designation. Click here to see the current USDA disaster designations.

The US Drought Monitor provides a map of current drought conditions across the country, updated every Tuesday.

The USDA has a website that contains information on all of USDA’s disaster assistance programs and updates.

Disaster Assistance web site for all damage, not just agriculture: disasterassistance.gov

Flood Maps

Disaster-specific Resources

Hurricanes Florence and Michael

For more information on disasters, visit the following RAFI-USA blog posts:

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