Each year, hurricanes cause billions of dollars in agricultural and forestry losses, and these losses grow as climate change continues to contribute to more severe hurricane seasons. Producers—farmers, ranchers, and foresters—need to minimize their losses and reduce their post-hurricane recovery time to remain profitable. Existing information on hurricane preparedness and recovery has tended to be scattered and inconsistent. The USDA Southeast Climate Hub worked with university Extension, USDA Forest Service, and Farm Service Agency subject matter experts to develop a centralized resource and make current knowledge and best practices more accessible. The result is a series of 23 guides, focused on the most economically important commodities for all coastal states in the southeastern U.S.
The guides include management practices and are designed to reduce economic loss and decrease the time to full recovery. Each guide begins with steps to build operational resilience to hurricane impacts. This is followed by short- and long-term preparation guidance to help prepare for personal, worker, and operational safety before a hurricane strikes. Finally, each guide provides post-hurricane recovery steps to maximize safety and speed up recovery. As climate change creates more frequent and severe hurricanes, the importance of resources such as these guides will only grow.