It’s never too early to protect you, your farm and ranch from disaster. Freezes, drought, fires, disease, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes pose a continual threat, so preparedness can help ensure that your business is protected.
Start2Farm.gov, a beginning farmers and ranchers development program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Library, offers disaster preparedness resources online at http://start2farm.gov/topic/Disaster-Preparedness. Help is available with power outages, drought, flood, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, barnyard animal evacuation plans, and risk management.
Seventeen government agencies offer disaster assistance in both English and Spanish, according to DisasterAssistance.gov. The website also provides the latest news on declared disasters, offering information about evacuations, shelters, finding loves ones, plus finding food, water, and medical services. It gives information about recovery and local community resources.
Sixteen programs are available through the USDA, including crop insurance, farm emergency loans, farm operating or ownership loans, non-insured crops disaster assistance, business and industrial loans, and more. When disaster occurs, fill out an anonymous questionnaire to find out what assistance program may help. You can find it here: http://www.disasterassistance.gov/disaster-assistance/take-questionnaire#benefits&qc=cat_8.
Food is available for qualified individuals through the Food for Florida program; individuals must not already be receiving food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Column by BAXTER TROUTMAN
BIO: Baxter Troutman is founder and chief executive officer of Labor Solutions, a staffing company with offices in Bartow, Winter Haven, Lake Wales, and Arcadia. A citrus grower who served in the Florida House of Representatives, Troutman understands the challenges and concerns of today’s farmer.