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Weather the Storm: FEMA app provides weather alerts, safety tips

• May 12, 2018 at 10:00 AM

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently launched a free mobile app that will instruct the public on what to before, during and after emergencies.

The app is available for download for Apple, Android and Blackberry mobile devices. Download the app to: Receive alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations, Get safety reminders, read tips to survive natural disasters and customize your emergency checklist, Locate open shelters and where to talk to FEMA in person (or on the phone), Upload and share your disaster photos to help first responders. For more information about the FEMA app, visit fema.gov/mobile-app.

In other news...

Preauthorized debit available for farm loan borrowers: USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has implemented pre-authorized debit (PAD) for Farm Loan Program (FLP) borrowers. PAD is a voluntary and alternative method for making weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual payments on loans. PAD payments are pre-authorized transactions that allow the National Financial and Accounting Operations Center (NFAOC) to electronically collect loan payments from a customer’s account at a financial institution.

PAD may be useful for borrowers who use nonfarm income from regular wages or salary to make payments on loans or adjustment offers or for payments from seasonal produce stands. PAD can only be established for future payments.

To request PAD, customers, along with their financial institution, must fill out form RD 3550-28. This form has no expiration date, but a separate form RD 3550-28 must be completed for each loan to which payments are to be applied. PAD is offered by FSA at no cost. Check with your financial institution to discuss any potential cost. Preauthorized debit has no expiration date, but you can cancel at any time by submitting a written request to your local FSA office.

If a preauthorized debit agreement receives three payment rejections within a three month period, the preauthorized debt agreement will be cancelled by FSA. The payment amount and due date of your loan is not affected by a cancellation of preauthorized debit. You are responsible to ensure your full payment is made by the due date. For more information about PAD, contact your local FSA office. To find a local FSA office, visit http://offices.usda.gov

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FSA and RMA to prevent fraud, waste, abuse: FSA supports the RMA in the prevention of fraud, waste and abuse of the Federal Crop Insurance Program. FSA has been, and will continue to, assist RMA and insurance providers by monitoring crop conditions throughout the growing season. FSA will continue to refer all suspected cases of fraud, waste and abuse directly to RMA. Producers can report suspected cases to the county office staff, the RMA office, or the Office of the Inspector General. 

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Save Time — make appointment with FSA: To insure maximum use of your time and to insure that you are afforded our full attention to your important business needs, please call our office ahead of your visit to set an appointment and to discuss any records or documentation that you may need to have with you when you arrive for your appointment.

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Update your records: FSA is cleaning up our producer record database. If you have any unreported changes of address or zip code or an incorrect name or business name on file they need to be reported to our office. Changes in your farm operation, like the addition of a farm by lease or purchase, need to be reported to our office as well. Producers participating in FSA and NRCS programs are required to timely report changes in their farming operation to the County Committee in writing and update their CCC-902 Farm Operating Plan. If you have any updates or corrections, please call your local FSA office to update your records.

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