2023 SLO County Disaster Relief

January 15, 2023

The local agriculture community should take three steps to report damages from January 2023 storms. Details are described below. While SLO County Farm Bureau does not administer disaster relief programs, we are here to help! Please contact our office if we can answer any questions at 805-543-3654 or email info@slofarmbureau.org

FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION, READ OUR LATEST WEEKLY EMAIL NEWSLETTER (EVERY MONDAY) BY CLICKING HERE. 

SLO County Disaster Resource Center - Starting January 24, SLO County has a Disaster Recovery/Local Assistance Center open seven days a week, from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM at the Veterans Memorial Building, 801 Grand Ave in San Luis Obispo. The center is expected to be open at least 2 weeks. More info here

·       Step 1: Contact the USDA Farm Service Agency office in Templeton at 805-434-0396

·       Step 2: Report Agricultural Damage Estimates to the County of San Luis Obispo for FEMA

·       Step 3: Report Property Damages (non-agricultural) to the County of San Luis Obispo for FEMA

 

Step 1: Contact the USDA Farm Service Agency office in Templeton

The first step farmers and ranchers in SLO County should take is to call the USDA Farm Service Agency office in Templeton at 805-434-0396. Note that some FSA staff have been unable to travel to the office due to storm damage, so calling may be preferable to coming in-person to the office. FSA will ask for your name, mailing address, phone number and email address. FSA staff will send the disaster application information and fact sheets with program information. Information on applicable programs are summarized below, and you can access background information on USDA Disaster Programs at farmers.gov/recover 

 

Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)

The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) provides funding for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland, replace or repair fences damaged by natural disasters and to carry out emergency water conservation measures during periods of severe drought. Our local FSA staff in Templeton also provided the following guidance:

·       Farmers and ranchers are advised to take a lot of pictures of all damages when it is safe to do so. Examples include mudslides, debris in cropland and grazing land, erosion, and damage to access roads, fencing, corrals, barns, etc. These pictures should be submitted with your application to FSA. 

·       This Emergency Conservation Program is for Cropland including vineyards, orchards, hay, grain, vegetables and other row crops, and grazing land.

·       Farms of all sizes should apply. The Adjusted Gross Income cap of $900,000 does not apply for ECP program. This means if your AGI is over $900,000.00 you are eligible to apply for the program.

 

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP)

The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides financial assistance to eligible producers for livestock, honeybee, and farm-raised fish losses – such as death, feed, grazing, and associated transportation costs – due to disease and certain adverse weather events or loss conditions. The program addresses losses not covered by other USDA disaster assistance programs. Our local FSA staff in Templeton also said that if your hay or other feed was damaged by water take pictures of the damage when safe to do so.

 

Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides benefits to livestock owners and contract growers who experience livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by specific adverse weather, disease, or animal attacks. Our local FSA staff in Templeton also provided the following guidance:

·       Take photos of livestock deaths when it is safe to do so. 

·       Eligible livestock must: (1) Have been maintained for commercial use as part of a farming operation on the day they died; and (2) Not have been produced or maintained for reasons other than commercial use as part of a farming operation. Excluded livestock includes wild free-roaming animals, pets or animals used for recreational purposes, such as hunting, roping or for show.

Tree Assistance Program (TAP)

The Tree Assistance Program (TAP) provides financial assistance to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines lost by natural disasters. TAP is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). To qualify for TAP, eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers must:

  • Have suffered a qualifying tree, bush or vine loss in excess of 15 percent mortality for the stand (adjusted for normal mortality) due to an eligible natural disaster;
  • Have owned the eligible trees, bushes and vines when the natural disaster occurred, but eligible growers are not required to own the land on which owned eligible trees, bushes and vines are planted; and
  • Replace eligible trees, bushes and vines within 12 months from the date the TAP application is approved.

 

Step 2: Report Agricultural Damage Estimates to the County of San Luis Obispo for FEMA

On Sunday, January 15, the County of San Luis Obispo working with the County Department of Agriculture / Weights & Measures released an agriculture-specific FEMA damage estimate form online. Find it here. By completing this form you are helping SLO County qualify for a USDA disaster declaration and possible subsequent aid. If you need assistance completing this form, call the County Agriculture Department at 805-781-5910.

 

Step 3: Report Property Damages (non-agricultural) to the County of San Luis Obispo for FEMA

In addition to reporting agriculture damages, all property owners are being asked by the County of San Luis Obispo to report damages on RecoverSLO.org (direct link to the form is here)

 

Other Resources and Information:

On Tuesday, January 24 at 12:00 PM, a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) and Local Assistance Center (LAC) will open in San Luis Obispo to provide resources to residents who were affected by the storms. The DRC/LAC is a partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), and County of San Luis Obispo.

The DRC/LAC will be open seven days a week, from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM at the Veterans Memorial Building, 801 Grand Ave in San Luis Obispo. Residents can get help applying for federal assistance and disaster loans, update applications, and learn about other resources that are available. Spanish and ASL interpreter services will be present. If you need transportation to the DRC/LAC, please call the County Office of Emergency Services at (805) 781-5678. More details here


·      Evacuation Orders: Find the latest evacuation area information here.

·      Road Closures: A significant number of local roads remain closed. Find the latest list here. The County reported a number of incidents where drivers have become stranded, suffered significant damage to their vehicles, and impeded disaster response activity by ignoring road closure signs. Even when no standing water is present, roads designated as closed may be at risk of collapse.

·       Volunteer to Help: In addition to the ongoing hard work of our first responders and County staff, we’ve seen neighbors helping neighbors across SLO County. If you are interested in volunteering with relief efforts signup here

·       Donate: The Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County has activated a Disaster Support Fund in response to recent storms, floods, and earthquakes in California. 100% of contributions will support efforts to respond to the disasters. Donate here.

·       Community Alliance of Family Farmers has a statewide California Family Farmer Emergency Fund that is accepting contributions. More information online here or contact CAFF staff Amber Schat at amber@caff.org

·       California Department of Food and Agriculture - Flood Recovery Resources for Agriculture https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/FloodRecovery/

·       USDA Rural Development - Grants for home repairs

Back to Business to Business News