Under Secretary Michael Scuse, North Carolina FSA State Executive Director Bob Etheridge, and FSA County Executive Director Kenny Johnson stand with farmer Kent Smith to assess flood damage to his sweet potato crop in Tarboro, North Carolina.
When Hurricane Matthew hit last month, disaster struck as high flood waters devastated communities up and down the East Coast. Agricultural producers in Eastern North Carolina were hit especially hard and suffered devastating losses to crops, livestock, and property.
Secretary Vilsack recently designated 39 counties in North Carolina as primary natural disaster areas, in addition to 15 contiguous counties. This week, I traveled to the state to visit some of the communities that were affected. I saw a peanut farm littered with uprooted plants and cracked shells. I met with an organic tobacco producer whose top soil had completely washed away. I visited a sweet potato and soybean farm that suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. We drove by washed out roads and gutted homes with waterlogged furniture piled high on the side of the road. Read more »
Venise LeGrande, a Greenbrier County resident, awaits processing of her D-SNAP application.
It was late July in Greenbrier County, W.Va., almost one month to the day since torrential rain and flooding struck most of the state. In response to the disaster, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service approved the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) request to operate a Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) in several of the most severely impacted counties, including Greenbrier. At several of the D-SNAP application sites throughout the state, dozens of DHHR staff prepared for what they anticipated to be a busy week of conducting interviews, determining eligibility, and issuing D-SNAP benefits to residents who lost food, income and property due to the flooding. Read more »
Purdue Extension’s “Don’t Be a Zombie” exhibit is traveling the country to illustrate the need to prepare for emergencies. Photo by Abby Hostetler
In this guest blog, Abby Hostetler urges people to prepare for emergencies and describes an innovative display that Purdue Extension used at the Indiana State Fair to drive home that point. Because September is National Preparedness Month, it is a good time to think about emergency planning. Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make an Emergency Communication Plan for you and your family because you just don’t know when disasters will impact your community.
By Abby Hostetler, EDEN Disaster Communications Specialist, Purdue University
Nearly 60,000 visitors to this year’s Indiana State Fair encountered zombies lurking around in the corners. Actually, they saw cartoon zombies that were part of an interactive exhibit, Don’t Be a Zombie – Be Prepared. The exhibit consists of a walk-though maze and interactive video game designed to simulate a zombie apocalypse.
The goal is to help families learn about disaster preparedness in a fun way. In 2011 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched their Zombie Preparedness campaign to much acclaim and success. The CDC campaign was a gory take on zombies and aimed at a teenage demographic. Once the Extension Disaster Emergency Network (EDEN) got permission from the CDC to adapt the materials into an interactive display, Purdue Extension used third grade classrooms to help tie into the rise of the zombie fad in pop culture while still keeping the materials friendly to all ages. Read more »
Psylia King provides needed application information for D-SNAP benefits in Washington Parish, La.
Incidents described as “thousand year storms and floods” and “the worst U.S. disaster since Hurricane Sandy” claimed the lives of more than 58 people in Louisiana, West Virginia and South Carolina over the last year. These disasters often remind us of the devastating impacts that families and their communities face after they strike.
After emergency life saving operations, food and shelter assistance are the most important priorities with which emergency managers must contend. It was during these times that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) responded to 22 incidents by providing needed nutrition assistance. More than half of these disasters involved severe and widespread flooding, including the most recent floods that affected residents in 22 parishes in and around Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Read more »
Employees with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Animal Care program work with State and Federal partners on an Animal Care Emergency Exercise in Baton Rouge, LA.
We are reminded often throughout the year of the devastating impacts that families and their communities experience when natural disasters such as, floods, mudslides, tornadoes, wildfires, earthquakes and hurricanes strike. Because September is National Preparedness Month, it is a good time to think about emergency planning. Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make an Emergency Communication Plan.
There is a lot of information out there on what to do in the event of a natural disaster, and how to prepare in advance for an emergency – what to bring, what to have in your vehicle and so on. Read more »
As part of National Preparedness Month and Hurricane Preparedness Week, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released a video featuring a team that traveled to South Carolina in October 2015 to cover the floods that affected more than half of the state. People lost their jobs, cars, and some even lost their homes. USDA takes pride in knowing that along the way we were there, along with our partners in disaster feeding, the South Carolina Department of Social Services and The Salvation Army, to help those most in need.
The team also traveled to New Jersey, a state ravaged by Hurricane Sandy and still recovering from its impact, to show how FNS’ Disaster Household Distribution Program and congregate feeding efforts were able to provide meals to more than 26,000 people. Following the recent flooding in Texas and Louisiana, the 2015 flooding in South Carolina, and Hurricane Sandy, FNS’ Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) provided benefits to eligible individuals who did not qualify for regular SNAP benefits, but who experienced disaster-related expenses, such as loss of income and property. With D-SNAP these families received a little extra help to put food on the table for their families. Read more »