Lafayette Area Technician Dianne Robert and her son, Elijah, help package food and supplies at their local shelter.
Last month, many parts of Southern Louisiana were faced with disastrous flooding that submerged thousands of homes and businesses and also resulted in 13 reported deaths. The flood has been called the worst U.S. natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Seeing homes where families have spent their entire lives destroyed along with gutted furniture piled on neighborhood sidewalks is truly heartbreaking. While distressing, I do believe that through the strength of the community, Louisiana will continue to rebuild and move forward. I am most proud to see residents working together each day after such a tragedy. Some of the USDA Rural Development (RD) Louisiana staff members have volunteered their time with the American Red Cross at local shelters or have helped clean out their neighbors’ damaged homes. Despite the devastation, these RD staff volunteers have approached this work in a positive and kind-hearted manner. Read more »
During the Midwest floods in 1993, many livestock and animals were rescued from high water levels. Photo courtesy of FEMA.
It’s important to have a plan in place ahead of severe weather to protect your animals and livestock. Pets, farm animals and livestock rely on their humans to protect them and keep them safe in all types of emergencies. The steps we take or don’t take will directly impact their well-being. 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, your family and your animals as you just don’t know when a disaster will strike your community.
According to Dr. T.J. Myers, Assistant Deputy Administrator for the USDA APHIS Surveillance, Preparedness and Response Services, “Having a plan in place to protect animals and livestock is the best defense against severe weather. Re-evaluating that plan periodically can make a huge difference and save valuable time during an emergency.” Read more »
The Healthy Homes Partnership is helping flood victims in Louisiana recover and rebuild. USDA photo
(This guest blog describes how the Healthy Homes Partnership helped residents affected by recent flooding in Louisiana. Healthy Homes Partnership is an interagency program funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes and is housed at the University of Missouri – Extension. 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 as you just don’t know when a disaster will strike your community.)
By Michael Goldschmidt, national director of Healthy Homes Partnership, University of Missouri Extension
In mid-August, residents of Southern Louisiana were deluged by about two feet of rain. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the resulting flooding caused at least 13 deaths and damaged more than 100,000 homes. Several federal agencies and partners sprang into action to help, including Healthy Homes Partnership (HHP). 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 »
Joe Fillaus and sons, Cole and Carter, standing in front of their June 2013 corn crop after restoration was made to their field. USDA photo.
Two years after the Missouri River flooding of 2011, several Charles Mix County, S.D. producers are still working to get their flooded crop land back to full production. When the flood waters receded in the fall of 2011 portions of the river bottom crop land were covered with one to six feet of sand debris. The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) for debris removal was one tool that was utilized in this restoration effort.
The Emergency Conservation Program assisted the flooded farmers with cost-share of up to 75 percent for the expense of removing this debris. Charles Mix County farmer Joe Fillaus and sons Cole and Carter had substantial sand debris to deal with. He used his own equipment to spread out and till in the areas with a foot or less sand. Read more »
For years, the community of Warren, Minn., has experienced regular flooding problems from the Snake River. The events have endangered residents, their property and the surrounding farmland.
Working with the city and the Middle-Snake-Tamarac Rivers Watershed District, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has designed a flood control system for Warren with an off-river channel impoundment and a floodway that is helping to mitigate these inundations. Read more »