How we work: The Three Stages of RAFI’s Hurricane Relief Efforts
Stage 1. Immediate Response-Providing information and assistance from 48 hrs before through the days immediately after hurricane landfall to assure farm and family safety, and to lay the groundwork for recovery
Respond to direct calls from farmers for help with crisis situations and navigating the chaotic world of disaster recovery.
Contact or visit farmers involved in our programs to make sure they are safe, to connect to others in their area, and to understand the needs of the diversity of farms in the area.
Once families and farms are safe, we emphasize documentation and record-keeping to help families access the resources that will help them get back on their feet.
Stage 2. From relief to recovery: Building hope from chaos and a path to recovery
Our Direct Services team assists farmers in assessing and documenting their situation following the storm, and provides assistance with filling out the paperwork, interpreting program requirements, and creating a viable path to recovery.
We provide outreach to farming operations that may be overlooked by disaster relief or other agencies to make sure they are included in both disaster damage assessments and program administration.
The RAFI staff provides training for partner farm, ag and rural services agencies to help them serve their communities better, and to build the capacity of folks in the community to assist each other.
Stage 3. Advocacy on policy and program implementation
Based on our connection to farmers across the region, our staff work with policy makers from local, state and federal agencies to make sure that assistance gets to where it is needed most, including those who are most often missed. Disasters are a time when all segments of our community and all of agriculture come together.
RAFI’s work on disasters builds bridges between farmers, community-based organizations and agencies that create relationships that will be drawn on for many years to come.
As we learn together, RAFI works with communities to seek longer term changes to disaster, risk management and credit programs that will improve the outcomes for farmers in the next hurricane, and the one after that on into the future.
RAFI-USA staff are currently working remotely. As we plan for how COVID-19 will change both how we do our work, and what work needs to be done, please know that we are still here. Our Farmer Hotline (866-586-6746) will operate from Monday-Saturday from 9am to 6pm. Stay tuned for more updates and information.