Hurricane Michael Resources

Farmers and ranchers throughout North Florida are picking up the pieces after Category 4 Hurricane Michael ripped through the Panhandle. Power outages are widespread and the most devastated crops include timber, cotton and peanuts.

We have collected an array of resources that may be helpful as farmers and ranchers throughout Florida begin restoring properties and businesses. As we learn more, we will add resources to this page.

We have created resources for the following categories: Relief Fund, Collection Drive, Disaster Distress Hotline, Emergency Supplies, Tax Relief, Fuel Waiver, Interstate Movement, Animal Recovery, Commodity Help, and Federal Disaster Assistance.

Relief Fund

Hurricane Michael Relief Fund for Agriculture
Hurricane Michael significantly impacted North Florida agriculture.  Florida Farm Bureau Women’s Fund is accepting tax-deductible donations to aid in relief to North Florida agriculture devastated by Hurricane Michael.   Visit https://www.floridafarmbureau.org/hurricane-relief-fund/ to learn more. 

Reporting Claims
To report a claim, please call 1-800-330-3327 or 1-866-275-7322.

Florida Farm Bureau Insurance Company adjusters from numerous states are assisting us in handling Michael claims. If you have not yet been contacted by an adjuster, be assured we are working to get your claim assigned as soon as we are able. As a reminder, if emergency temporary repairs are needed to prevent further damage, take photos prior to the temporary repairs being made and keep all receipts. For further information, please review the attached link from the Department of Financial Services regarding the topic of Assignment of Benefits:  http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Consumers/AssignmentofBenefits.htm. It provides important and useful information you should know regarding your property claim.

Collection Drive

Florida Farm Bureau’s Clearinghouse Service for Hurricane Michael
Many families in areas suffering from Hurricane Michael losses have immediate needs for various household supplies, building materials, fencing and other items.

The Florida Farm Bureau state office is serving as a clearinghouse for this information. We want to connect donors with county Farm Bureau leaders who can coordinate assistance and deliveries. Leaders in other county Farm Bureaus interested in making donations of supplies can assist by contacting us.

If you can provide a list of immediate needs in your hurricane-damaged community, or if you and other members of your county Farm Bureau family would like to donate supplies, please send an email message to michaelfund@ffbf.org

Collection for Post-Hurricane Supplies at FFBF’s Annual Meeting
Florida Farm Bureau members planning to attend the 2018 state annual meeting in St. Augustine Oct. 24-26 can donate items for victims of Hurricane Michael. All supplies collected will be transported to the Panhandle for distribution. Based upon recommended needs, Florida Farm Bureau will be collecting disposable diapers, hand sanitizer/cleaner, garbage bags, first aid kits, clothing (all sizes, kids and adults), baby dolls, ballssunscreencreen. Local Farm Bureau members have noted that residents do not need canned food or paper towels.

Feeding Florida
Feeding Florida, located in Tallahassee, is offering food assistance for those impacted by Hurricane Michael. Contact Sherri at: sherri@feedingflorida.org or 855-352-3663 (office); 850-273-9393 (cell).

Samaritan’s Purse Homeowner Assistance
Samaritan’s Purse is providing tarping, chainsaw work and debris cleanup at no charge.  For members needing assistance, please call 1-850-899-6380. 

Cattleman’s Foundation Hurricane Michael Fund
Funds collected will go towards purchasing fencing and other needed materials. Anyone wishing to assist on a chainsaw or fence crew for the affected areas are encouraged to contact Dusty Holley or Jim Handley.

Disaster Distress Hotline

The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster.

Emergency Supplies

Points of Distribution Locations
A Point of Distribution or POD is where the public goes to pick up emergency supplies following a disaster. The need for a POD is based on lack of infrastructure to support normal distribution of food, water, or other supplies. A map of PODs is available here. 

Tax Relief

Tax Relief Extension Deadlines by IRS (extension through Feb. 28, 2019) 

Fuel Waiver

EPA Approves Emergency Fuel Waiver
EPA has waived the highway diesel fuel red dye requirements to allow the use of 15 parts per million sulfur non-road diesel fuel for utility, emergency response and other diesel-powered highway vehicles responding to or assisting in recovery efforts.  Effective immediately and through October 26, 2018.

Interstate Movement

FDACS Temporarily Suspends Intrastate Animal Movement Requirements
FDACS has informed us that the intrastate movement requirements for the transportation of animals from the areas expected to be impacted by Hurricane Michael have been temporarily suspended until October 31, 2018.

Animal Recovery

State Agricultural Response Team (SART) Coordination
Requests for animal needs in recovery, should be directed first to local, County Emergency Management offices and then SART will be contacted if the need cannot be met with local resources.

Commodity Help

State Beekeepers Association Emergency Hotline for Beekeepers
It is vital that the FSBA know which beekeepers are affected, where the affected apiaries are, how many colonies they represent, and what resources are needed as they organize assistance. Call the bee emergency hotline at 985-664-9606. If you are a beekeeper affected by the storm, limited beekeeping supplies will soon be available at distribution centers in the counties that are affected. Contact Tony Hogg 904-545-1072 or Elmore Herman 850-557-3409 with any questions related to the distribution of needed supplies.

Assessing Hurricane Damaged Timber
The storm has no doubt taken its toll on timber stands across the Florida Panhandle. In addition to timber value and infrastructure loss, many forest landowners are also concerned about other potential problems, such as bark beetles and wildfire, which could become issues in the coming months. For more info on assessing timber stands after the storm, see http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr154.

USDA Disaster Relief Programs

Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool
USDA recently launched a disaster discovery tool through its new website Farmers.gov that walks producers through five questions to help them identify personalized results of which USDA disaster assistance programs can help them recover after a natural disaster.

The following disaster assistance programs are available at the federal level. All programs are administered by the USDA’s Farm Service Agency:

Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) – cost share payments up to 75 percent, but limited to $200,000 per entity, to rehabilitate farmland following a natural disaster, including:

  • Debris removal
  • Grading, shaping, or leveling land
  • Restoring fences
  • Restoring conservation structures
  • Providing emergency water during periods of severe drought (for confined livestock)

Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) – cost-share payments up to 75 percent, but limited to $500,000 per entity, rehabilitate private forests following a natural disaster, including:

  • Debris removal, i.e. down or damaged trees, to replant or allow natural regrowth
  • Site preparation, planting materials and labor
  • Structures to protect trees from wildlife
  • Wildlife enhancement
  • Restoration of forest roads and fire lanes

Tree Assistance Program (TAP) – eligible trees include nursery trees, i.e. ornamental, fruit, nut,  and Christmas trees, produced for commercial sale

  • AGI limitation of $900,000 per entity
  • Acreage limitation of 1,000 acres
  • Eligibility further stipulates 1) suffered tree, bush, vine losses beyond 15 percent mortality, 2) ownership of the trees, bushes, vines, and 3) must replace within 12 months of TAP application approval
  • Payment calculation is 65% of actual replanting cost in excess of 15 percent mortality, and 50 percent of actual rehab costs in excess of 15 percent damage
  • No longer a per-entity payment limitation
  • Must apply within 90 days of the disaster

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish (ELAP) – financial assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish for losses due to certain adverse weather events, among other things

  • Eligibility: livestock death losses, feed/grazing losses not due to drought/wildfires on federal lands, cost of transporting water to livestock due to drought, hive losses, costs associated with cattle tick fever treatment, honeybee feed, colony and hive losses, farm-raised feed and death losses
  • AGI limitation of $900,000 per entity
  • Provided for losses not covered by LFP or LIP
  • ELAP payments, along with LFP payments, may not exceed $125,000 per entity

Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) – financial assistance for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather

  • Livestock injuries or deaths in excess of normal mortality as a result of the disaster
  • Payments based on national payments rates at 75% of market value
  • List of eligible livestock is attached.

Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) – this program is triggered by a qualifying drought and not applicable to damage from Hurricane Michael.

Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) – this program is administered by the USDA’s Natural Resource and Conservation Service (NRCS) and offers technical and financial assistance to help local communities relieve hazards caused by natural disasters.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) – administered by USDA NRCS, EQIP provides financial assistance to repair and prevent soil erosion caused by high rainfall and flooding.