Hurricane Preparation and Recovery Guides for Virginia Producers

Virginia agriculture generates approximately $4 billion in sales each year, and in most years agricultural productivity is not reduced due to hurricane damage as they occur, on average, once every 17 years within the state. However, when hurricanes do occur, the loss of life and property can be devastating. The occurrence of less frequent hurricanes can reduce preparedness, and further increase storm impacts. This guide is designed to establish and maintain hurricane preparation regardless of storm frequency.

Hurricanes have always been a threat to Virginia, but new research suggests that their intensity is increasing as ocean temperatures continue to rise. Increasing water temperature will not necessarily result in more hurricanes per year. As recent events have shown, it will likely mean more slow-moving, higher category storms that produce destructive winds and flooding. To address this threat, and allow producers to remain resilient and productive, The USDA Southeast Climate Hub, along, other USDA agencies and university Extension experts, developed the following guides to help you prepare for and recover from hurricane events.

We want to hear from you. To provide you with the best available guidance, we will update the guides in early 2021 after producers and specialists have had a chance to implement the guidance, assess recommendations, and provide feedback. Please send all comments and suggestions for improving these guides to Michael Gavazzi, USDA Southeast Climate Hub, at michael.gavazzi@usda.gov.



  • This guide will focus on:

    • Mitigating the impact of a hurricane on cattle and facilities and reducing financial losses through proper planning
    • Preparing and securing facilities to protect people, cattle, and property
    • Ensuring proper cattle management and care following a hurricane

    Coming soon

  • This guide will focus on:

    • Pre-hurricane planning for Beekeepers
    • Guidance for post-hurricane recovery
    See full text of the Beekeeping Guide
  • This guide will focus on:

    • Hurricane preparation for nursery facilities
    • Management response during and after hurricanes
    See full text of the Commercial Nursery Guide
  • This guide will focus on:

    • Routine maintenance activities and planning to enhance overall resilience to hurricanes and the ability to recover
    • Long-term and in-season crop management decisions to benefit the outlook of a corn crop relative to hurricane risk
    • Coordinating farm and crop assessment and recovery efforts following a hurricane
    See full text of the Corn Producers Guide
  • This guide will focus on:

    • Site establishment and operations
    • Considerations for defoliation and harvest of bolls before and after a hurricane
    See full text of the Cotton Producers Guide
  • This guide will focus on:

    • Storm preparation for crawfish production facilities
    • Management response during and after storms
    • Day-to-day, Long- and short-term recommendations for building resilience to hurricanes in crawfish aquaculture
    • Key response considerations during and following hurricanes for crawfish producers

    Coming Soon

  • This guide will focus on:

    • Facility and infrastructure considerations to minimize disruptions due to power loss and heavy rain
    • Preparing and securing facilities to protect cattle and property
    • Initial recovery following a hurricane
    See full text of the Dairy Producers Guide
  • This guide will focus on:

    • Day-to-day, long- and short-term recommendations for building resilience to hurricanes in pond-based aquaculture
    • Key response considerations during and following hurricanes for pond aquaculture producers

    Coming Soon

  • This guide will focus on:

    • Preparing forage crops, conserved forage, and grazing areas for potential hurricane damages
    • Alleviating hurricane damages on forage crops and grazing lands - the aftermath
    See full text of the Forage Crop Guide
  • This guide will focus on:

    • Tree apple, peach, pecan, and other Prunus species orchard establishment considerations where hurricanes and tropical storms are potential threats
    • Annual, season and imminent considerations due to hurricane threats on orchard management
    • Orchard management recovery after hurricanes or tropical storm damage

    Coming Soon

  • This guide will focus on:

    • Seedbed Production – Pre-hurricane planning considerations
    • Seedbed Production – Post-hurricane recovery

    Coming Soon

  • This guide will focus on:

    • Long- and short-term planning and preparation to mitigate the impacts of hurricanes on peanut production
    • Potential impacts of wind and water on peanut production
    • Rebuilding and recovery after a hurricane

    Coming Soon

  • This guide will focus on:

    • Pre-hurricane planning for long-term preparedness when managing pine forests
    • Short-term pre-hurricane forest planning
    • Post-hurricane evaluation and recovery
    See full text of the Pine Forest Landowners Guide
  • This guide will focus on:

    • Emergency Planning for your poultry farm
    • Long- and short- term recommendations for preparing for and recovering from hurricanes and flooding events on poultry farms
    • How to carefully assess your farm after a hurricane and what steps to take if it is possible to manage your birds safely and effectively until the flood waters recede
    See full text of the Poultry Producers Guide
  • This guide will focus on:

    • Evaluating the growth stages of rice and forecasting the time to physiological maturity in relation to hurricane landfall
    • Preparations to minimize downed, lodged, or shattered rice panicles
    • Evaluating storm damage and a plan of action post-storm

    Coming Soon

  • This guide will focus on:

    • Recommendations for managing soybean to minimize hurricane-related damages
    See full text of the Soybean Producers Guide
  • This guide will focus on:

    • Recommendations to mitigate, prepare for, and recover from hurricane associated flood and wind damage in strawberry production
    See full text of the Strawberry Plasticulture Producers Guide
  • This guide will focus on:

    • How Swine producers should plan for a hurricane
    • Facility design to minimize hurricane damage
    • Steps to take to minimize disruptions in production
    • Equipment needed for operation during a hurricane

    Coming Soon

  • This guide will focus on:

    • Greenhouse security
    • Harvest management decisions
    • Standby power equipment for curing barns
    See full text of the Tobacco Producers Guide
  • This guide will focus on:

    • Pre-event steps to minimize loss due to a hurricane event in tomato, pepper, and eggplant crops
    • Short term recommendations for reducing loss of tomato, pepper, and eggplant crops after a hurricane event
    See full text of the Tomato, Pepper, and Eggplant Producers Guide
  • This guide will focus on:

    • Pre-event steps to minimize loss due to a hurricane in fall watermelon crops
    • Short term recommendations for reducing loss of watermelon crops after a hurricane event
    See full text of the Watermelon Producers Guide
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