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Storm Damage and Disaster Assistance Information

We can’t change the weather, but we can be ready for it. Every day, NRCS is assisting farmers with implementing voluntary conservation practices that help alleviate, prevent, and restore the effects of drought and storm damage.

Mitigating Hurricane and Flood Events

Hurricane Sandy - Opportunities through the Emergency Watershed Protection Flood Plain Easement Program

Available in 2013 and 2014 - USDA-NRCS has funding available through the Emergency Watershed Protection – Flood Plain Easement program to purchase easements on New Jersey agricultural and residential properties that were damaged as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Eligible applicants may be awarded 100% of value of land and structures (fair market value), and NRCS will cover the cost of restoration of the easement, including the demolition or removal of structures present on the property.

Shoreline Restoration

The Cape May Plant Materials Center (PMC) was established to develop plant products and technology to enhance shoreline stabilization in coastal areas vulnerable to damage from hurricanes and tropical storms. Coastal dunes act as a barrier to storm surge and flooding, and provide a sand reserve that protects eroding beaches and can feed sand bars during storm events. Coastal dunes have an ability to change shape based on the supply of sand. This function helps dissipate storm energy minimizing the effects to landward areas. The Cape May Plant Materials Center has much to offer in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. For helpful publications and recent news features about the work at the Center, visit our Plants webpage.

Watershed Protection and Restoration

The purpose of the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program is to undertake emergency measures, including the purchase of flood plain easements, for runoff retardation and soil erosion prevention to safeguard lives and property from floods, drought, and the products of erosion on any watershed whenever fire, flood or any other natural occurrence is causing or has caused a sudden impairment of the watershed. The EWP program address watershed impairments, which may included, but are not limited to debris-clogged stream channels, undermined and unstable streambanks, jeopardized water control structures and public infrastructures, wind-borne debris removal, and damaged upland sites stripped of protective vegetation. Eligibility for the program does not depend upon the declaration of a national emergency. Please contact your local NRCS office to find out if you qualify for the EWP program.

Storm Damage Prevention through Conservation Practices

NRCS provides technical assistance for conservation practices that can help minimize damage during a storm event. Financial assistance may also be available for qualifying producers through a conservation program. For more information about receiving technical and financial assistance for conservation practices visit your local NRCS office.

Conservation Practices Destroyed During Storm Event

Producers that received financial assistance through a conservation program to implement a practice that was destroyed during a severe storm event deemed out of the producer's control may have options for reapplication. Program participants are responsible for proper operation and maintenance and repairs that are needed during the lifespan of funded conservation practices. Program participants that failed to follow operation and maintenance requirements must repair or replace the practice at their own expense. NRCS will not place the participant in violation if NRCS determines that the failure of the conservation practices was due to circumstances beyond the participant's control.

Producers are urged to contact their local field office if they feel a previously installed conservation practice was damaged out of their control through a recent storm event. Depending on the circumstances, financial assistance may be available to reapply the conservation practice if they meet basic program and eligibility requirements, installed the practice using a conservation program, and it must be determined that the failure was beyond the producer’s control. Each producer’s request for assistance will be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine the cause of the failure. In these cases, as identified above, the participant may be eligible for NRCS assistance to reapply the failed practice depending upon the availability of funding and eligibility criteria.

Additional Assistance

Other assistance options may be available through other agencies. Farm Service Agency Disaster Assistance Programs such as the Emergency Conservation Program and Emergency Loan Program may be available. The Farm Service Agency provides assistance for natural disaster losses, resulting from drought, flood, fire, freeze, tornadoes, pest infestation, and other calamities.


Assistance Provided in New Jersey