The USDA, in partnership with FEMA, is taking robust measures to assist communities, farmers, and small businesses in the trajectory of Hurricane Idalia. A significant move is the introduction of the Disaster Resource Center. This consolidated platform provides disaster-specific resources and support, tailor-made for rural and farming issues.
One major concern during hurricanes is power outages and the consequent compromise of stored food safety. The USDA advises keeping freezer and refrigerator doors shut, using appliance thermometers, and leveraging frozen water bags to maintain food temperatures during power outages.
Animal safety, including pets and livestock, is another vital area addressed by the USDA's APHIS. Evacuation plans for animals, especially livestock, should be in place. And if livestock movement across state lines is necessary, it's crucial to inform the respective State Veterinarian’s Office.
USDA's holistic approach also covers agricultural operations. They provide disaster assistance, especially for crop damage. It's vital for producers to report damages timely and maintain accurate records for the best assistance.
Online platforms like farmers.gov from the USDA offer invaluable tools for producers during such challenging times, ensuring swift recovery and support.
Also, the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service is ready to work with FEMA to provide food assistance when needed. Source : wisconsinagconnection