What is in this article?:
- USDA highlights assistance available to hurricane victims
- Assistance programs listed
- Housing assistance
• USDA encourages farmers, ranchers, producers, landowners and rural communities to contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency Service Center to report damages to crops or livestock loss; their local Rural Development office for housing, business or community assistance information and/or their local Natural Resources Conservation Service office for help with debris removal.
Assistance programs listed
Assistance is available through the following FSA assistance programs:
• Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program for crop revenue losses from quantity or quality deficiencies only in those counties and contiguous counties declared disaster areas by the Agriculture Secretary or in cases where a farm's overall production loss exceeds 50 percent;
• Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program for producers and ranchers who previously submitted an application for coverage for noninsured crop losses;
• Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm Raised Fish for emergency relief to producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish who suffered losses from disaster such as adverse weather or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires not adequately covered by any other disaster program;
• Livestock Indemnity Program for assistance to livestock producers for livestock deaths from disaster events, in excess of normal mortality;
• The Tree Assistance Program for partial reimbursement to orchardists and nursery tree growers for replanting, salvage, pruning, debris removal and land preparation if losses due to natural disasters exceed 15 percent and
• Producers who have existing direct loans with FSA in counties declared or contiguous to counties declared as disasters are eligible to be considered for Debt Set Aside (DSA). Under the DSA program, up to one full years payment can be moved to the end of the loan.
Assistance also is available for crop producers who previously purchased crop insurance through programs offered by the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA).
RMA is prepared to authorize emergency loss procedures that streamline, on a crop specific basis, certain loss determinations and payments.
Additionally, USDA staff is coordinating closely with agricultural industry representatives to address specific needs as they arise.
Food assistance: Inventories of USDA Foods have been identified within impacted states for use as part of disaster mass feeding. USDA is working closely with state partners to help address the food needs of disaster survivors.
On Aug. 26, USDA approved a request from Puerto Rico to operate a disaster household distribution program for almost 57,000 households in seven regions where families are cut off from other access to food and shelter or retail food markets due to power outages, road closures, flooding or landslides.
Approximately 1 million pounds of non-perishable USDA Foods valued at nearly $1.2 million was approved to be provided in disaster food boxes distributed to families through community centers from Aug. 26–Sept. 2. So far the Puerto Rico Department of the Family distributed USDA foods to 16,615 families in 13 municipalities. Puerto Rico has just implemented a Disaster Nutrition Assistance Program in which they will provide a third of the August 2011 benefits in replacements for certain localities.
Additionally, as damage assessments are completed, USDA is prepared to offer the following assistance as part of the overall federal response efforts: