Hurricane

Has your agricultural operation been impacted by a hurricane? USDA is here to help you prepare for and recover from hurricanes, Tropical Storms, Tropical Depressions, etc.

Recovery on Your Operation

USDA offers a suite of disaster assistance programs that can help with recovery, including:

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program

The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish. It covers losses due to an eligible adverse weather or loss conditions as well as expenses associated with transportation of water and feed to livestock.

Livestock Indemnity Program

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides benefits to livestock owners and contract growers who experience livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by specific adverse weather, disease, or animal attacks.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program

The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses or prevents crop planting. Producers must have obtained NAP coverage for the crop year in which the loss occurs.

Tree Assistance Program

The Tree Assistance Program (TAP) provides cost-share assistance to replant or rehabilitate trees, bushes or vines lost during the natural disaster.

This program provides assistance for trees, bushes or vines not covered by the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program or crop insurance.

Emergency Conservation Program and Emergency Forest Restoration Program

The Emergency Conservation Program and Emergency Forest Restoration Program provide financial and technical assistance to restore conservation practices like fencing, damaged farmland or forests.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices. Common practices to help recover from hurricane include obstruction removal, clearing and snagging, land smoothing, repair of access roads and repair of fences for prescribed grazing and protecting sensitive areas.

Farm Loans

USDA offers a variety of direct and guaranteed loans, including operating and emergency loans to eligible producers unable to secure commercial financing. Loans can help producers replace essential property, purchase inputs like livestock, equipment, feed and seed, cover family living expenses or refinance farm-related debts and other needs.

Additionally, several loan servicing options are available for borrowers who are unable to make scheduled payments on their farm loan program debt to the Agency because of reasons beyond their control.

Emergency Watershed Program

The Emergency Watershed Protection Program– with recovery and floodplain easement options – provides personalized advice and financial assistance to relieve imminent threats to life and property caused by floods, fires, windstorms, and other natural disasters that impair a watershed.

EWP Recovery addresses erosion related watershed impairments by supporting activities such as removing debris from stream channels, road culverts, and bridges; reshaping and protecting eroded banks; correcting damaged drainage facilities; repairing levees and structures; and reseeding damaged areas.

EWP Floodplain Easement offers an alternative method to the traditional EWP Program Recovery. NRCS recommends this option to landowners and others where acquiring an easement is the best approach (more economical and prudent) to reduce threat to life and/or property.

Protect Your Operation

If you do not have crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage, consider these risk management options to help protect your operation.

  • For crop insurance, use the Agent Locator to find a crop insurance agent near you. USDA’s Risk Management Agency works closely with Approved Insurance Providers, who sell and service the policies that producers purchase, to ensure efficient loss adjustment and prompt claims payments.
  • Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, contact your USDA Service Center to obtain coverage.
  • For counties within or adjacent to the area of sustained hurricane-force winds, the Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) Hurricane Insurance Protection – Wind Index (HIP-WI) covers a portion of your underlying crop insurance policy’s deductible. HIP-WI covers 70 crops and is available in counties near the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, and Hawaii.

Prepare Your Operation

Take precautions to prepare and protect your family and operation.

  • Develop an Emergency Plan - Ensure your household and employees know your hurricane plan, including meeting points, emergency contact lists, and alternate evacuation routes in case infrastructure is damaged.
  • Remove Debris and Secure Large Objects - Clean out culverts, ditches, and other drainage areas, especially before and during peak hurricane season to reduce water damage. Most injuries to animals, people, or structures during a hurricane are caused by flying objects. To lessen the risk, minimize the presence of equipment, supplies, and debris that may become airborne during high winds or encountered in floodwaters.
  • Secure Important Records and Documents - Pre- and post-hurricane documentation is extremely important for insurance compensation and recovery assistance. You’ll want to have thorough records of damages and losses sustained on your farm as well as documentation of your cleanup and recovery efforts.

It is critical to document inventory of farm buildings, vehicles, equipment, and livestock before a disaster occurs. Take photos, videos, or make written lists with descriptions. Keep copies of this inventory in multiple places: computer, off-site in a safe location, and on a cloud-based server where information is transmitted and saved weekly.

  • Know Your Insurance Options - Regularly review your insurance policies with your agent to be sure you have adequate coverage, including flood insurance, for your facilities, vehicles, farm buildings, crops and livestock. Note, there are limitations on how soon insurance coverage will take effect. Generally, insurance policies will not cover damage if the policy was not in place before a disaster.
  • Gather Supplies - Have drinking water, canned food, a generator, batteries, a flashlight, and fuel available in case you lose power. For widespread outages, credit and debit cards may not work, so have cash handy.
  • Access Real-time Emergency Information - Download the FEMA app for free on the App Store and Google Play for safety tips on what to do before, during, and after disasters.

Reporting Losses/Submitting Applications

If your operation was impacted by a natural disaster and you have an interest in participating in an available disaster assistance program, you should report losses and damages to FSA and/or your Approved Insurance Provider for crop insurance claims.

Timelines to file notices of loss and submit applications differ by program or coverage:

  • Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-raised Fish Program: File with your Service Center within 30 days for livestock and fish and within 15 days for honeybees.
  • Tree Assistance Program: File a program application with your Service Center within 90 days.
  • Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program: File notice of loss with your Service Center within 15 days, except for hand-harvested crops, which should be filed within 72 hours.
  • Crop Insurance: Contact your agent within 72 hours of discovering damage and follow up in writing within 15 days.

Resources

Translated Resources

Visit our Translations page to find translated disaster resources and other USDA resources in languages other than English.

Find Your Local Service Center

We are committed to delivering USDA services to America’s farmers and ranchers while taking safety measures in response to the pandemic. Some USDA offices are beginning to reopen to limited visitors by appointment only. Service Center staff also continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit offices.usda.gov.

Visit the Risk Management Agency website to find a regional or compliance office or to find an insurance agent near you.