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.
Were you impacted by Hurricane Ida or Tropical Storm Fred? Find disaster recovery resources specific to Hurricane Ida here and Tropical Storm Fred here.
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
- Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery – RAFI-USA’s Resources for Resilience links to USDA programs
- Navigating Disaster Assistance for Farmers – summary of issues and programs prepared for Farm Aid by the Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG) and RAFI-USA
- Helpful Advice for Helpers 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 chainsaws 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.
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.Take a look at the USDA’s Disaster Assistance Programs At a Glance to see which agencies administer disaster assistance programs.
- View all USDA press releases for additional information and updates Disaster Assistance Deadlines
- Risk Management Agency: Information on crop insurance. Most federal farm disaster assistance programs require prior participation in RMA crop insurance programs or non-insured crop disaster assistance programs.
Assistance for Households after a Disaster
- Federal Emergency Management Agency: Applying for Assistance: assistance with housing, unemployment, and counseling.
- The Small Business Administration provides disaster loans for repairing homes or businesses, or repair or replacement of household possessions or business inventory following a disaster.
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available for individuals, including farmers, who are prevented from working because of a disaster, and is available through your state Employment Security Commission. Learn more in this FEMA Disaster Unemployment Assistance Factsheet.
- The IRS has information on the tax implications of disasters. Learn more on the IRS Disaster Assistance page.
- North Carolina Cooperative Extension Disaster Information Center: fact sheets on dealing with daily needs, stress, and financial recovery for your family and farm.
- USDA Rural Development Agency Disaster Programs
Information for Poultry and Livestock Growers
- Info for Poultry Growers: Learn what to do if you lose birds, including documentation, reporting losses, and options for disposing of carcasses.
- North Carolina Guidance for Composting of Mass Animal Mortality (October 2016) and NCDA & CS Mass Animal Mortality Management Plan for Catastrophic Natural Disasters (October 2016, for hog and poultry operations)
- Disaster Recovery for Pasture-Based Livestock by Dr. Matt Poore of NCSU Department of Animal Science and NC Cooperative Extension
- Mass Poultry Mortality Disposal Options for Farmers [delete?]
Additional Resources for Disaster Recovery
- The Farmer’s Legal Action Group provides information on a variety of disaster-related topics.
- Farm Aid connects farmers to direct services, including financial counseling, technical assistance, legal advice and more.
- NCAT ATTRA National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service has extensive links to resources.
- Floods and Organic Producers: A summary of some of the issues that organic producers may face during a natural disaster – and in particular with a flood.
- Hurricane Preparedness for Producers of Horticultural Crops including for high tunnels.
- Information about asbestos exposure during natural disasters and health impacts
The US Drought Monitor provides a map of current drought conditions across the country, updated every Tuesday.
Livestock producers who have suffered a loss in grazed forage due to drought may be eligible for the Livestock Forage Program.
Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network (FIMAN) –map of current water elevation levels showing where the water is still high or where there is still a risk of flooding
For more information on disasters, visit the following RAFI-USA blog posts