Tornado and Severe Weather Response
On March 3, 2020 Tennessee was impacted by widespread tornadoes and severe storms. This page offers resources for those recovering and will be updated regularly.
Federal Disaster Assistance
On March 5, 2020, President Donald J. Trump declared a Major Disaster for the state of Tennessee as a result of severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that occurred on March 3, 2020.
This declaration makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Davidson, Putnam and Wilson counties. The updated Major Disaster Declaration also makes Tennessee’s declared counties – Benton, Carroll, Davidson, Putnam, Smith, and Wilson – eligible for federal reimbursement in all available categories of the federal PA program. News releases for the disaster declaration can be found here.
If you have a homeowner’s policy, file your insurance claim immediately before applying for disaster assistance. Get the process started quickly. The faster you file, the faster your recovery can begin. Take photos and videos of all damage before you start cleaning up.
To apply for assistance, visit DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY), multilingual operators are available, press 2 for Spanish. The toll-free numbers are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time, seven days a week.
You will need the following to apply for assistance:
• Social Security number;
• Daytime telephone number;
• Current mailing address and address and zip code of the damaged property; and
• Insurance information, if available.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing assistance to those impacted by the March 3 tornadoes. The disaster declaration for severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding on March 3, 2020, covers Davidson, Putnam and Wilson counties in Tennessee which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Cannon, Cheatham, Cumberland, Dekalb, Fentress, Jackson, Overton, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White and Williamson in Tennessee.
Small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19 can apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million per applicant to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have otherwise been met.
The Economic Injury Disaster Loans are administered and processed through the SBA. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at sba.gov/disaster.
Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email email@example.com for more information on SBA disaster assistance
Tennessee Department of Human Services
The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is making two essential resources available to families with a financial need who were impacted by last week’s severe weather. Beginning March 16, TDHS will begin accepting applications for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) benefits and the Families First/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Cash Assistance program.
Home and Property Clean Up Help
A Crisis Cleanup service is in place for Tennesseans who need help with debris removal and home cleanup from the recent widespread tornadoes and servere weather. All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to the expected overwhelming need. Individuals needing assistance should use their website at https://www.crisiscleanup.org/
The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross continues to serve those affected by the recent tornadoes. Red Cross is prepared to provide financial assistance to support emergency needs to thousands of households that were destroyed or sustained major damage. Head of households may contact the American Red Cross by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS to speak to a dedicated call agent to complete an application for financial assistance.
Assistance lines are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m.–10:00 p.m., Saturday from 7:30 a.m.– 8:00 p.m., and Sunday 10:00 a.m.– 6:00 p.m. The deadline to apply for emergency assistance has been extended to April 7, 2020.
No-Cost Home Assistance to Tornado Survivors
Working with TEMA and the State of Tennessee Airbnb’s host community in Tennessee are providing no-cost accommodations to Tennessee tornado and storm survivors who need somewhere to stay.
Tornado survivors can visit www.airbnb.com/tntornado20 to find and book urgent, temporary accommodations in Airbnb’s Open Homes program.
Here’s how it works:
• Airbnb has contacted its host community in the impacted area to determine if they have extra to share at no cost with those displaced by the tornado and severe storms.
• Airbnb hosts who respond list their spaces as free-of-charge and Airbnb waives its fees also.
• All guests and hosts participating in the program will have access to Airbnb’s 24/7 customer support.
Survivors will need to register with Airbnb and provide a copy of their government issued identification and their credit card numbers for security and background checks before booking. The credit card will not be charged for lodging. More information is available on the Airbnb Open Homes site at https://www.airbnb.com/openhomes/disaster-relief. Homeowners can also offer their homes at the same website.
Notify your county emergency management agency about damages and issues, especially if you don’t have resources for repairs and need help. A list of county EMA contacts by region is available at www.tn.gov/tema/prepare/regional-ema-contacts.html
Tennesseans who need assistance with downed trees can email the Tennessee Volunteers Active in Disasters (TN VOAD) at firstname.lastname@example.org
After a disaster, letting your family and friends know that you are safe and well can bring your loved ones great peace of mind. The Safe and Well website is designed to help make that communication easier
Tennessee Statewide Crisis Phone Line
Call 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471) to speak with a caring, trained mental health professional, 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, if you are experiencing a mental health emergency. You can also text TN to 741741.
In times of disaster, financial donations are the best way to aid those in need. Cash can be used immediately in response to a crisis, and allows disaster relief organizations to purchase exactly what is needed, when it’s needed. Cash gives relief organizations the means to procure supplies near the affected area, which cuts down on transportation time and cost. Monetary contributions also support local economies and ensure that businesses can operate when relief supplies diminish.
The Tennessee Region of the American Red Cross is directly supporting tornado relief efforts in the State, https://www.redcross.org/local/tennessee.html.
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has established a Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund: https://www.cfmt.org/story/middle-tennessee-emergency-response-fund/
If you live in Tennessee and want to volunteer to help tornado survivors in Davidson County, please visit Hands On Nashville at https://www.hon.org/ or call at 615-298-1108.
If you live in Tennessee and want to volunteer to help tornado survivors in other counties, please visit the Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (TN VOAD), https://tnvoad.shutterfly.com/. If you'd like to volunteer and live outside of Tennessee, please visit the national site for the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, https://www.nvoad.org/
Putnam County volunteer information at https://putnamcountytn.gov/emergency-news/1159/volunteer-to-help!-
Mt. Juliet volunteer information at https://mjpdnews.org/tornado/
While many people seek to help during times of disaster, unfortunately there is also an increased risk for scams and fraud. Watch out for upfront fees to help you claim services, benefits, or get loans. The Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs can be reached at (615) 741-4737 or online at www.tn.gov/consumer.
The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance licenses many of the professionals who play a role in rebuilding, including contractors, home inspectors, and insurance agents, among others. If you witness unlicensed activity or other potential violations of laws and rules involving our licensees, visit www.tn.gov/commerce to file a complaint.
Filing Insurance Claims
After a disaster, file your claim as soon as possible. Call your insurance company or agent with your policy number and other relevant information. Your policy may require that you make the notification within a certain time frame. Save all receipts, including those from the temporary repairs covered by your policy. TDCI’s Insurance Division can be reached at (615) 741-2218 or online at www.tn.gov/commerce.
Before hiring a professional such as a contractor, consumers should first verify that the individual is properly licensed to work in Tennessee by visiting www.verify.tn.gov to conduct a license check. Keep a record of your property damage and any repairs made to your property.
If you are dealing with a company or person who promises to remove debris from your property, ask them to list the services they will provide in writing. The Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors can be reached at (615) 741-8307 or online at www.tn.gov/commerce.
Always buy from a licensed seller and do your due diligence before you buy. The Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission can be reached at (615) 741-2711 or online at www.tn.gov/commerce.
Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions
The Department of Financial Institutions is in contact with financial institutions located in the communities affected by the tragic tornadoes of March 3, 2020. The Department is aware that affected financial institutions are operating through their main offices or other branch locations not affected by the tornadoes and is facilitating communications between these financial institutions and government agencies.
The Department continues to monitor the situation and is partnering with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and other state and federal agencies in this effort.
Consumer Questions can be directed to:
Consumer Resource Section
Tennessee Department of Education
Districts prioritize safety and make local decisions around school closures in inclement weather. Please check your local district office to confirm school closures.
Tennessee Department of Tourism
While Tennessee has been greatly impacted by recent weather events, we encourage visitors to keep their plans. Come, experience first-hand what makes Tennessee the best state to live, work and play. Most major attractions remain open including the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium and others.
All 16 Tennessee Welcome Centers are operating normally.
For specific information in the impacted communities and travel information, go to:
If travelers are concerned about upcoming plans, they can message us on social @TNvacation or call our offices directly at (615) 741-2159.
Visit TNvacation.com for traveler resources for all impacted areas and how you can help: https://www.tnvacation.com/articles/middle-west-tennessee-tornado-relief-recovery-and-travel-resources
Through its “Displaced Job Assistance Program,” Hospitality TN is coordinating efforts to keep the hospitality and tourism community employed while the area recovers. If you are currently displaced from your job, contact email@example.com with needs. Simultaneously, if you are open for business and able to offer temporary employment, please email those opportunities to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tennessee Housing Development Agency
Individuals or households that have been displaced by storm damage can use this resource to locate short-term or permanent rental housing options. The listings have been provided by property managers and landlords and the site includes the information about specific needs, like income restrictions, pets and accessibility. The site is also available in Spanish.
Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance
Hotline for homeowners- (615) 741-2218 or (800) 342-4029
U-Haul is offering 30 days of free self-storage to residents affected by the tornado and severe storms. U-Haul Company of Nashville has made three stores available to offer the disaster relief assistance program. The locations are: 3741 Annex Ave., 615-356-2550; 506 Fesslers Lane, 615-736-5231; and 14535 Lebanon Road, 615-754-6246.
To support disaster recovery efforts, Uver is offering free rides to and/or from shelter locations (up to $20 each). Information available here.
Mortgage and Rent Assistance
Mortgage/Rent Assistance Available from National Association of Realtors REALTORS® Relief Foundation. For program information, click here.
Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Workers whose place of employment is in a declared a federal disaster area can apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). Currently, in Tennessee, the federal government has declared Davidson, Putnam, and Wilson counties major disaster areas. Workers who typically do not qualify for state unemployment insurance may be eligible for DUA. This includes the self-employed and other workers whose source of income has been interrupted by the disaster.
Employer Phone Number: 615-551-3501
Employee Phone Number: 615-247-5138
Callers can leave a voicemail 24 hours a day and a staff member will return the call as soon as possible.
Tennessee Department of Revenue
Consistent with the IRS’s decision to extend federal deadlines for those businesses located in a designated disaster area, the Department of Revenue has extended the franchise and excise tax and Hall income tax filing and payment deadlines to July 15, 2020. This extension applies to all taxpayers located in any disaster area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Other tax deadline extensions are available, but they are not automatic. For more information, please see important notice #20-04 .
State law also allows certain sales tax refunds to individuals receiving disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you are an individual receiving FEMA assistance as result of the Middle Tennessee severe storms and tornadoes, you should complete this form to apply for a refund of sales tax paid on major appliances, residential building supplies, or residential furniture.