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Mary Lamberts, Carlos Balerdi, and Karen Eskelin

Producers of perishable commodities periodically experience natural disasters. Growers in Dade County, Fla., have suffered losses from hurricanes, freezes, and floods. Public agencies and grower groups are often asked to provide immediate estimates of loss to both official sources and the news media. Following the Jan. 1997 freeze, a method was developed to provide this information within 1 day of the disaster. This has also been used to estimate job losses for agricultural workers.