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Natural Events and Disasters

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Natural Events and Disasters Highlights

Hurricane Sandy Response and Recovery Information

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Every year natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, and tornadoes, challenge agricultural production.  Because agriculture relies on the weather, climate, and water availability to thrive, it is easily impacted by natural events and disasters. Agricultural impacts from natural events and disasters most commonly include: contamination of water bodies, loss of harvest or livestock, increased susceptibility to disease, and destruction of irrigation systems and other agricultural infrastructure. These impacts can have long lasting effects on agricultural production including crops, forest growth, and arable lands, which require time to mature. Learning how to prepare for and recover from natural events and disasters will decrease their long-term effects on agriculture and the environment.

Even though natural events and disasters can be devastating to agricultural production, it does not excuse noncompliance with state and federal environmental laws. The links below provide resources and assistance to the agriculture community in planning and preparing for and responding and recovering from natural disasters.

More information from EPA
Natural Disasters and Weather Emergencies - Information on natural events, such as hurricanes, floods, extreme heat, tornadoes, and volcanoes.
Natural Emergencies - General Information Related to Many Disasters - General information for consumers, businesses, schools, state and local governments, and others, that applies to many different natural events or disaster situations.
Natural Disasters Action Plan - Links to policy and planning, regulatory, technical, and financial tools in the event of a disaster.
Planning for Disaster Debris - Information for communities to help them plan for the cleanup of debris after a major natural disaster.
Food and Agriculture Protection - Description of the federal roles and responsibilities for decontamination and disposal in response to animal, crop, and food incidents.


Drought

General Drought Information

Drought's most severe effects on agriculture include water quality and quantity issues. Other impacts include decreased crop yields, impact to feed and forage, and altered plant populations. The following links provide agricultural compliance assistance information on how to plan and prepare for a drought, what to do during a drought, and how to respond and recover from a drought. Where there is information available, the links are also categorized by agricultural type: 1) farmstead, farm equipment, farm machinery; 2) livestock; and 3) crops.

Planning and Preparing

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery

Livestock Exit EPA

During an Event

Crops Exit EPA

Livestock Exit EPA

Response and Recovery

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery Exit EPA

Crops Exit EPA

Livestock Exit EPA

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Earthquakes

General Earthquake Information

Earthquakes can strike without warning and cause dramatic changes to the landscape of an area that can have devastating impacts on agricultural production and the environment. These impacts could include loss of harvest or livestock and destruction of irrigation systems and other agricultural infrastructure. The following links provide agricultural compliance assistance information on how to plan and prepare for an earthquake, what to do during an earthquake, and how to respond and recover from an earthquake. Where there is information available, the links are also categorized by agricultural type: 1) farmstead, farm equipment, farm machinery; 2) livestock; and 3) crops.

Planning and Preparing

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery Exit EPA

Livestock Exit EPA

During an Event

Livestock Exit EPA

Response and Recovery

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery Exit EPA

Livestock Exit EPA

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Extreme Cold

General Extreme Cold Information

Extreme cold may result in loss of livestock, increased deicing, downed power lines, and increased use of generators. Deicing can impact agriculture by damaging local ecosystems and contaminating water bodies. Downed power lines cause people to run generators more often, which can release harmful air pollutants. The following links provide agricultural compliance assistance information on how to plan and prepare for extreme cold, what to do during extreme cold, and how to respond and recover from extreme cold. Where there is information available, the links are also categorized by agricultural type: 1) farmstead, farm equipment, farm machinery; 2) livestock; and 3) crops.

Planning and Preparing

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery Exit EPA

Livestock Exit EPA

During an Event

Livestock Exit EPA

Response and Recovery

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery Exit EPA

Livestock Exit EPA

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Extreme Heat

General Extreme Heat
Information

Hot weather and extreme heat can worsen ozone levels and air quality as well as leading to drought conditions. Excessive heat and prolonged dry or drought conditions can impact agriculture by creating worker safety issues for farm field workers, severely damaging crops, and reducing availability of water and food supply for livestock. The following links provide agricultural compliance assistance information on how to plan and prepare for extreme heat, what to do during extreme heat, and how to respond and recover from extreme heat. Where there is information available, the links are also categorized by agricultural type: 1) farmstead, farm equipment, farm machinery; 2) livestock; and 3) crops.

Planning and Preparing

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery

Livestock Exit EPA

During an Event

Livestock Exit EPA

Response and Recovery

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery Exit EPA

Livestock Exit EPA

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Fires

General Fire Information

Wildfires can spread quickly and devastate thousands of acres of land, which may include agricultural lands. This devastation could lead to large losses in crops, forestry, livestock, and agricultural infrastructure. The following links provide agricultural compliance assistance information on how to plan and prepare for a fire, what to do during a fire, and how to respond and recover from a fire. Where there is information available, the links are also categorized by agricultural type: 1) farmstead, farm equipment, farm machinery; 2) livestock; and 3) crops.

Planning and Preparing

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery Exit EPA

Livestock Exit EPA

During an Event

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery Exit EPA

Livestock Exit EPA

Response and Recovery

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery Exit EPA

Livestock Exit EPA

 

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Floods

General Flood Information

Flooding causes many impacts to agricultural production, including water contamination, damage to crops, loss of livestock, increased susceptibility of livestock to disease, flooded farm machinery, and environmental damage to and from agricultural chemicals. The following links provide agricultural compliance assistance information on how to plan and prepare for a flood, what to do during a flood, and how to respond and recover from a flood. Where there is information available, the links are also categorized by agricultural type: 1) farmstead, farm equipment, farm machinery; 2) livestock; and 3) crops.

Planning and Preparing

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery Exit EPA

Crops Exit EPA

Livestock Exit EPA

During an Event

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery Exit EPA

Livestock Exit EPA

Response and Recovery

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery

Crops Exit EPA

Livestock Exit EPA

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Hurricanes

General Hurricane Information

Hurricanes can produce violent winds, incredible waves, torrential rains, and floods. Hurricanes can have devastating impacts on agriculture, many of which are similar to those for flooding, which include loss of livestock, water contamination, damage to crops, increased susceptibility of livestock to disease, and flooded farm machinery. The following links provide agricultural compliance assistance information on how to plan and prepare for a hurricane, what to do during a hurricane, and how to respond and recover from a hurricane. Where there is information available, the links are also categorized by agricultural type: 1) farmstead, farm equipment, farm machinery; 2) livestock; and 3) crops.

Planning and Preparing

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery Exit EPA

Livestock Exit EPA

During an Event

Livestock Exit EPA

Response and Recovery

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery Exit EPA

Livestock Exit EPA

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Landslides and Debris Flow

General Landslides and Debris Information

Landslides and debris flow occur in all 50 states and commonly occur in connection with other major natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, wildfires, and floods. Some of the threats from landslides and debris flow include rapidly moving water and debris that can cause trauma; broken electrical, water, gas, and sewage lines; and disrupted roadways and railways. This can lead to agricultural impacts including contamination of water, change in vegetation, and harvest and livestock losses. The following links provide agricultural compliance assistance information on how to plan and prepare for a landslide, what to do during a landslide, and how to respond and recover from a landslide. Where there is information available, the links are also categorized by agricultural type: 1) farmstead, farm equipment, farm machinery; 2) livestock; and 3) crops.

Planning and Preparing

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery

Livestock

During an Event

Livestock

Response and Recovery

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery

Livestock

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Tornadoes

General Tornado Information

Tornadoes can appear without much warning and have the potential to devastate an area very quickly. This devastation can impact agriculture by contaminating water and destroying crops, livestock, and other farm property. The following links provide agricultural compliance assistance information on how to plan and prepare for a tornado, what to do during a tornado, and how to respond and recover from a tornado. Where there is information available, the links are also categorized by agricultural type: 1) farmstead, farm equipment, farm machinery; 2) livestock; and 3) crops.

Planning and Preparing

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery

Livestock

During an Event

Livestock

Response and Recovery

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery

Livestock

 

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Tsunamis

General Tsunami Information

Tsunamis can strike anywhere along most of the U.S. coastline. Some of the hazards associated with tsunamis that can impact agriculture include flooding, contamination of water, and fires from gas lines or ruptured tanks. These events can cause crop damage, livestock losses, facility damage, and loss of fishery stocks. The following links provide agricultural compliance assistance information on how to plan and prepare for a tsunamis, what to do during a tsunamis, and how to respond and recover from a tsunamis. Where there is information available, the links are also categorized by agricultural type: 1) farmstead, farm equipment, farm machinery; 2) livestock; and 3) crops.

Planning and Preparing

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery

Livestock

During an Event

Livestock

Response and Recovery

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery

Livestock

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Volcanoes

General Volcano Information

Volcanic ash can travel hundreds to thousands of miles downwind from a volcano. Ash can be hazardous to grazing livestock and can damage or shutdown drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities. The following links provide agricultural compliance assistance information on how to plan and prepare for a volcanic eruption, what to do during a volcanic eruption, and how to respond and recover from a volcanic eruption. Where there is information available, the links are also categorized by agricultural type: 1) farmstead, farm equipment, farm machinery; 2) livestock; and 3) crops.

Planning and Preparing

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery

Livestock

During an Event

Livestock

Response and Recovery

Farmstead, Farm Equipment, Farm Machinery

Livestock

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Disaster Assistance

Information from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Farmers who have suffered a loss due to a natural disaster may be eligible for assistance under one or more of the following FSA programs:

More Information from USDA

More Information from Other Organizations Exit EPA

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