Disaster Resources Guide
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Federal and State Assistance Efforts
- Those registered for assistance are encouraged to remain in touch through the toll-free FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing impaired to file an appeal, update information on your application, and get answers to your questions.
- Applicants who are not satisfied with FEMA's decision on assistance or have been denied can also call the FEMA Helpline to receive answers to questions and obtain instructions for filing an appeal.
- FEMA may offer rental assistance to eligible applicants for up to 18 months following the declaration of a disaster. Call the Helpline number above for additional information.
- Anyone who applied for an SBA loan and was denied or withdrew their application has six months to request a review or have their application reopened. Call SBA for more information at 800-659-2955.
Please use this page as a guide to help you find resources on the following topics:
Federal Disaster Aid
Resources & Tips for Storm Victims
- Disaster Assistance
- If the Federal Emergency Management Agency has declared your area eligible for federal assistance, the process starts with a phone call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. Online, it’s www.DisasterAssistance.gov or through smartphones at m.fema.gov .
- Housing Locator Assistance for Displaced Individuals
- To help displaced residents find housing quickly, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency is urging all property providers to list available rental housing on the free, statewide housing locater service www.TNHousingSearch.org as soon as possible. The process of listing takes about 10 minutes and is completely free.
If you have available housing, please list it on www.TNHousingSearch.org or contact a toll-free call center to add properties today at 1-877-428-8844. Listing and searching are always completely free. The service can be accessed at no cost online 24 hours.
- Tennessee Emergency Management
- The Ready TN smartphone application helps citizens know the hazards in their community and the preparations they should take to be ready for emergencies. Ready TN provides location-based information on weather conditions, road conditions, open emergency shelters and local public safety contacts. Ready TN is available in the Google Play Store for smartphones running the Android operating system.
- FEMA and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) has an online hub for collaborative information-sharing through Facebook for the response and recovery to disasters in Tennessee. The page, TN Disaster Info, hosts an online community where those affected by the disaster and those active in the response can find information to share with their communities. .
- Toll-Free Adult Statewide Crisis Telephone Line
- 1-855-CRISIS-1 or 1-855-274-7471
- 2-1-1 Tennessee
- One of the easiest ways for Tennesseans to get non-governmental help is to call Tennessee’s community services help line by dialing 2-1-1. When you call, you’ll get a real person; one who’s trained to help you sort out your needs, and then give you phone numbers and addresses.
- Dealing with Insurance Companies
- Filing insurance claims in the wake of devastating storms can be an overwhelming task. The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance has offered consumers some suggestions that will make dealing with insurance companies a little easier. See a complete list of tips.
- Insurance Carriers - Hotline Numbers & Contact Information
- The Tennessee Department of Commerce has been reaching out to insurers about resources available to affected Tennesseans. Insurers have set up hotlines and have shared contact information. See list of insurance companies.
- Rebuilding? Be Sure to Verify
- Call the Department of Commerce and Insurance with insurance issues at 800-342-4029 or the Consumer Affairs hotline for non-insurance issues at 800-342-8385. Tennessee's Board for Licensing Contractors has found that unscrupulous, unlicensed contractors like to take advantage of homeowners anxious to rebuild after disasters. Be sure to hire only licensed contractors and check them out with the Board. Consumers may verify a license status by calling 800-544-7693, or searching the database for various trades.
- Scam Alert
- Never hesitate to ask someone who says they represent FEMA or another federal or state agency to show proper identification. Legitimate FEMA representatives set up appointments with flood victims before showing up to homes, and have personal data related to the homeowner.
- Use Caution When Buying Used Cars
- In light of the historic flooding throughout the state, the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission encourages consumers to be cautious when buying used cars. Scam artists may use this time to attempt to sell cars with flood damage to unsuspecting consumers. The Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission advises consumers to only buy from dealers that hold a Motor Vehicle Dealers License issued by the Commission. To search for a license, visit http://verify.tn.gov.
Volunteering & Donating
- Want to volunteer?
- The Tennessee Volunteer Mobilizer gives Tennessee the ability to quickly identify and assist in the coordination of volunteers in the event of public health emergencies. For more information, contact county health departments or register.
- Know How to Provide Help That Makes a Positive Difference
- Donated goods and volunteers that don't meet the specific needs that exist in a disaster area can hurt more than help, sometimes causing what disaster officials call a "secondary" disaster. Ask how you can best help with a simple telephone call to 866-586-4483.
- Attorneys Interested in Providing Pro Bono Services Encouraged
- Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Janice Holder has encouraged attorneys to offer pro bono legal assistance following the devastating floods throughout Tennessee. Attorneys who would like to offer pro bono legal assistance may do so through local pro bono programs or by signing up with the Tennessee Bar Association or Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services. A list of resources is available at the Tennessee Bar Association Web site.
- Road Closure Information
- Visit the SmartWay Web site or call 511 from your telephone.
- Disaster Assistance Programs
- The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) may offes disaster assistance programs to crop and livestock producers throughout Tennessee who have experienced severe damage from tornadoes and flooding. Learn more.
- Agriculture Tips for Flood Victims from UT Extension
- These tips from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture can be helpful as farmers begin the recovery process.
Clean-up Safety, Procedures & Services
- Information About Mold
- Molds can be found most anywhere – indoors and out. The Department of Health provides information and links to other resources about mold clean up and health effects. Learn more.
- Get Rid of Mold
- After a flood, mold can grow in your house and make you sick. Learn how to clean your house to get rid of Mold.
Get Rid of Mold (English)
Get Rid of Mold (Spanish)
- Rescuing Flood Damaged Collections
- The Tennessee State Library and Archives offers tips for rescuing flood damaged family documents and photos and the Tennessee State Museum offers links to resources for water-logged heirlooms.
- Flood Impacted Rivers and Streams
As flood waters inundate parking lots, agricultural fields, pastures, etc., they will pick up contaminants from those surfaces as well. That could include fuel from parking lot surfaces, pesticides and fertilizers from yards and agricultural fields and animal waste from pasture lands. Flooded industrial sites can also contribute contamination to flood waters.
While dilution is significant due to the volumes of water involved, flood water can carry a variety of contaminants. The department urges people to avoid contact with flood water, if possible, and to wash with soap and warm tap water if contact cannot be avoided.
Drinking Water Safety
- Flood Guidance from Environment & Conservation
- The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is in regular contact with drinking water systems in flood impacted areas. All Tennessee drinking water facilities are producing water that meets drinking water standards.
Courts and Justice
- Resources from the Office of Attorney General
- The Office of Attorney General Bob Cooper has compiled information for those impacted by natural disasters. In an emergency situation, it's important to be vigilant against the unscrupulous few who seek to take advantage of those who are dealing with a crisis situation. Learn more at Disaster Recovery Information
- Legal Assistance for Flood Victims
- A toll-free legal assistance line is available for victims of recent storms and flooding in the counties that have been designated as federal disaster areas. Victims facing legal issues may call (888) 395-9297. Victims who qualify for assistance will be matched with Tennessee lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal help. View other legal resources.
- Tax Relief for Victims of April 25 Storms in Tennessee
- The IRS can postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in a disaster area.
- Mental Health Resources Available Across the State
- In the aftermath of a disaster, many Tennesseans find their lives changed in ways they have never before experienced. After experiencing such trauma, many people experience the feelings that their safe, routine lives are now suddenly dangerous and unpredictable. If stress or anxiety is taking a toll on your or loved one, get in touch with a crisis center near you.
- Basic Health Services
- Tennessee's health departments offer basic health services including children's special services, family planning, immunizations, well child visits, WIC and nutrition services, HIV sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment and communicable disease control. Many also offer primary care for uninsured adults, with fees based on income. Call your local or county health department for assistance.
- Connecting With Programs to Meet Your Health Care Needs
- Health Assist Tennessee helps Tennesseans overcome barriers to receive necessary health care services. The Tennessee Primary Care Association links Tennesseans to federally qualified health centers across the state that serve the uninsured, underinsured, and those with private insurance.
- Reported Suspected Illnesses or Outbreaks
- The Communicable and Environmental Disease Services conduct surveillance activities in order to monitor new emerging infections or identify clusters of cases that could be related. For more information, contact county health departments or call the After Hours Emergency Consultation hotline at (615) 741-7247.
- Nutritional Help for Mothers or Children
- The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC, provides food, nutrition counseling, and access to health services to low-income women, infants, and children. For more information, contact county health departments or call 1-800-DIAL-WIC (1-800-342-5942).
- Need a certified copy of a personal record?
- Certified copies of birth, death, marriage and divorce records are available through the Office of Vital Records or you can contact county health departments.