Farm Disaster Assistance


    State Farm Disaster Assistance

    Before a disaster can be federally declared, a governor usually declares a state of emergency in the affected area. Then the state emergency management agency assesses damages and submits the assessment to federal officials.

    If a disaster is severe, and damages are widespread, it will likely be declared a federal disaster. But many times a disaster declaration remains at the state level. In those cases, farmers may be eligible for state aid which may include funds from the state emergency management agency, state Department of Agriculture, or other state- run agencies.

    In addition, each state has a group of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, or "VOAD." This coalition of agencies, which varies from state to state, may include the American Red Cross, faith-based disaster response organizations, Habitat for Humanity, and other groups. The VOAD is in close contact with the state emergency management agency through a Volunteer Agency Liaison, or "VAL." The VAL keeps volunteer groups informed about people's needs and also helps volunteer groups coordinate how they'll help.

    Many state emergency management agencies also offer tips on disaster preparedness, as well as weather warnings and forecasts which enable farmers and others to better tell when a disaster is likely to strike. State emergency management agencies coordinate their work with state-level offices of the National Weather Service. Weather warnings and watches come out of state-level offices of the National Weather Service.

    Just because a disaster isn't federally declared doesn't mean there is not aid available to farmers in need. Farmers can find out about aid available to them by contacting their state-level emergency management agency. And if state aid is not enough, a farmer may be able to get help from organizations involved in the state VOAD.

    The following links will provide an overview of some state-based disaster response services:

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    To suggest a state-based disaster-related resource you believe should be included on this page, please send an email with the URL to:

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