Disaster Resources for Markets and Farmers
As we watch the unfolding and aftermath of natural disasters like hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Florence and the recent California, Oregon, and Washington wildfires, many ask “how can I help?” and “am I prepared for a similar disaster?”
Consider donating to the emergency farmer support campaigns administered by FMC members and partners in the impacted area. Funds like these help local farmers get back up on their feet following natural disasters.
When it comes to preparation, there is no way to truly prepare for the impact of natural disaster, but you can prepare your market, vendors, and shoppers for what comes next. Farmers markets across the country have navigated the recovery and rebuilding process and learned some key lessons.
Please note: We will be adding resources to this page for farmers and markets as they become available.
General Disaster Recovery Resources:
The exhaustion and grief that attends disasters is immense, but help is available. A critical first step to accessing help is to document losses and complete the paperwork necessary to qualify for and access federal, state, and local assistance.
Our colleague Scott Marlow, the Executive Director of RAFI and a national expert in disaster assistance programs, recently penned an open letter to his colleagues in Texas that is a must-read for all markets. As Marlow emphasizes, it is essential to understand the agencies and programs designed to assist producers and markets recover from natural disasters.
- Protecting Farms & Ranches from Wildfires – Before, During, After Fires for Farmers from Texas A&M
- Wildfire Risk Mitigation Course from OSU Extension Service
- Ranching during Wildfires from Fire Adapted Network
- Wildfire Smoke Safety for Employees from US Davis
- Webinar: Post-Fire Food Safety (roughly 1 hour long)
- Produce Safety After a Fire
- Food Safety and Reopening Your Business After a Fire
- Hurricane Florence Disaster Relief Assistance, Emergency Food & Water, and What to do After Disaster Resources (USA.gov)
- Programs and Assistance for Farmers and Communities Impacted by Hurricane Florence (USDA)
- Tips to Prepare Your Farm and Stay Safe (RAFI)
- Tips for Food Safety and Protecting Livestock During a Disaster (USDA)
- National Hurricane Center
- Maryland Emergency Management Agency (Follow on Twitter)
- North Carolina Department of Public Safety (Follow on Twitter)
- South Carolina Emergency Management Division (Follow on Twitter)
- Virginia Department of Emergency Management (Follow on Twitter)
- West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (Follow on Twitter)
FMC Training and TA Director Dar Wolnik helped New Orleans markets recover after Hurricane Katrina and recently shared some of her experiences implementing Disaster SNAP (D-SNAP) after the storm.
“Just like our work in farmers markets, the most direct help is often painstaking to set up but builds better connections. I can say that many of the folks who reached out to our NOLA market team directly after the levee breaks of Hurricane Katrina became dear friends and we had a stronger relationship with many of our peer markets because of that contact.”
Additional Helpful Links:
- Ag Community Relief
- Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners (TOFGA) Disaster Relief Fund
- Texas Center for Local Foods—Harvey Relief Fund
- Farm Aid Family Farm Disaster Fund
- The Farmer Fund (Georgia)
- Louisiana Small Farmer Fund from Big River Economic and Agricultural Development Alliance (BREADA)
- Texas Department of Agriculture STAR Fund