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FNS Provides a Helping Hand to Puerto Rico Residents

At USDA our mission is a vital one: to reduce hunger and increase food security by providing children and low-income people access to food, a nutritious diet and nutrition education. And that mission was put to the test in 2017, in the aftermath of a trio of devastating hurricanes that slammed into Texas, Florida, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Unwavering Preparation, Swift Response Key to Hurricane Food Relief

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria – each Category 4 – all made landfall in less than a month between August and September 2017. It will be hard to ever forget these historic disasters and the toll they took on millions of American families. In recognition of the federal government’s Hurricane Disaster Preparedness Week (May 6-12), we want to assure the nation that USDA is ready to provide vital nutrition assistance to families in need when disasters strike.

USDA Disaster Program Helps Texas Farmer Recover from Hurricane Losses

Doug Harper, a fifth-generation farmer, moved to the Texas Gulf Coast area in 2012, looking forward to the potential for increasing corn, cotton, milo, and watermelon production there.

Texas farmer Doug Harper comes from a long line of farmers. Growing up in the business, he knows there are always ups and downs, and the importance of insurance coverage to prevent against the “what ifs?”

Harvey was Strong, Texas is Stronger

No one knew when Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on August 25 as a Category 4 hurricane that it would be one of the most devastating hurricanes to make landfall in the United States. Texans along the Gulf Coast saw cities demolished, peak wind gusts as high as 130 mph, unprecedented rainfall of more than 50 inches that caused catastrophic flooding in areas, the death of 88 Texans, displacement of thousands of residents and more than $200 million dollars in agricultural losses.

Hurricanes: Challenging People and Institutions to Sustain Services and Learn to Adapt

Last September when hurricanes Irma and Maria passed through the Caribbean they caused catastrophic damage to communities and infrastructure affecting homes, businesses, farms and forests across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In the aftermath of this devastation the two great challenges facing the relief effort are to help bring back basic services and to learn from our experiences so that we are more resilient to future extreme climatic events.

After the Storm, Who Takes Care of the Trees?

Thousands of federal, state, and private agencies have been deployed to areas that were impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate. These first responders are there to help the people in the storm’s path. However, there is another group of responders that go into storm-ravaged towns to aid the trees: the Urban Forest Strike Teams (UFST).

In the Face of Natural Disaster, USDA Answers the Call to Action

Over the last few weeks, we have seen parts of our country devastated by natural disasters. People in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands experienced devastation that affected every part of their life, including food, housing, and their livelihood. President Trump called on leaders and government officials at all levels to put bureaucracy aside and lend a helping hand to those in need. At USDA, we have done our best to answer that call.