Note these resources that can help you rebuild after disaster strikes
Planting isn’t even over, and already Arizona and New Mexico have seen about twice as many wildfires as the same period in 2015. As if that’s not ominous enough, the especially hot and dry summer many expect threatens to keep that tally climbing across the U.S.
The National Interagency Fire Center reported 22 new large fires since March 25 in diverse geographies that include Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
Though farm families are famous for their outpouring of generosity at times like these, you can’t count on it, and your needs could require more assistance than your friends and family can provide. If disaster strikes, what can you do to start to recover financially?
Fortunately, several public programs are available to help get you and your operation back on track.
Your first step after a fire disaster should be to contact your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office, says Wayne Myers, farm program services director with K • Coe Isom.
“Many livestock producers in particular might not be continually going to their FSA office, so there’s a chance they may not be aware of some of the programs available to them,” he says.
These programs include the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Livestock Forage Assistance Program (LFP) and a “catchall” program called the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) for losses not covered by LIP or LFP. Farmers and ranchers can also tap into the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) or Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) for assistance in repairing fencing, watering areas and dead tree removal.
Don’t delay in asking for assistance, Myers says. And be sure to document any losses with evidence such as
photos, FEMA records, private insurance and loan documents, and production records.
Want to know the risk of wildfires in your area? Access the interactive map at: www.FarmJournal.com/WildfireMap