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Flooding and Severe Weather Response

On February 23, 2019 Tennessee declared a State of Emergency following widespread flooding and severe weather. 

Tax Deadline Extensions
Taxpayers affected by the February 2019 Tennessee floods may request extensions on their tax filing deadlines.  The Tennessee Dept. of Revenue will consider these requests on a case-by-case basis, and those that are granted extensions will not be assessed penalty for payments made on or before the exteded due date.  More information is available at https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/revenue/documents/notices/sales/sales08-22.pdf

Home and Property Clean Up Help
A Crisis Cleanup Help Line is in place for Tennesseans who need help with muck-out, debris removal, and home cleanup from the recent statewide flooding. All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to the expected overwhelming need.

The Crisis Cleanup Hot Line is a toll-free call to 1-833-556-2476. The number is staffed 24/7. Callers should be ready to provide their name and contact information, and a brief description of their issue, to the relief agency representative who answers the Hot Line.

If a relief agency representative is not available, callers can leave a message with their contact information to receive a return call.

The Crisis Cleanup Help Line is a coordinated effort to help Tennessee flood survivors between the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, Volunteer Tennessee and the Crisis Cleanup organization.

Shelter 
The Red Cross has established shelters for flood survivors. For information on finding a shelter near you, visit:  https://www.redcross.org/get-help/disaster-relief-and-recovery-services/find-an-open-shelter.html

No-Cost Home Assistance to Flood Survivors
Working with TEMA and the State of Tennessee Airbnb’s host community in Tennessee are providing no-cost accommodations to Tennessee flood and storm survivors who need somewhere to stay because they’ve evacuated or are waiting for flood waters to recede from their homes and neighborhoods.

Flood survivors can visit https://airbnb.com/tennesseestorms 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 displace by the flood 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 www.airbnb.com/openhomes.

Notify
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 tennesseevoad@gmail.com

Tennessee Statewide Crisis Phone Line
Call 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471) to speak with a caring, trained mental healh professional, 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, if you are experiencing a mental health emergency.

Awareness
To check river and lake levels, visit: https://water.weather.gov

Information on road conditions is available on the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) Smartway site at: https://smartway.tn.gov

Give
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 flooding 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/ to support flood-affected communities and non-profits.

Volunteer
If you live in Tennessee and want to volunteer to help flood survivors, 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/

Avoiding Scams
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.

Report Misconduct
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.

Hiring Contractors
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.

Vehicles
If your car was submerged in at least a foot of standing water even partially, have it checked out by a repair shop. The electrical components of many vehicles are located in the floor portion of your car. Water damage will affect the operation of these components if exposed.

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.

Health
The Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation have guidance on well safety and drinking water following a flood. If you are under a Boil Water Advisory, please follow these guidelines.  The Centers for Disease Control has information for residents on keeping food and water safe after a flood at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/foodwater/facts.html

Electricity Safety
The State Fire Marshal's Office has issued guidance on power safety following a flood. In some communities where flooding occurred, the local power company took precautions to ensure electrocution prevention, including shutting off power to affected electrical grids. Before power can be restored to a flooded home, a certified electrical inspector must conduct visual inspections of locations impacted by floodwaters to assess potential damage. State electrical inspectors began visiting flooded areas on Monday, March 11, 2019. Contact information and other news from the State Fire Marshal's Office can be found here.

Burn Permits and Debris
Recent flooding events have resulted in large amounts of downed wood debris that have greatly impacted farm and woodland owners, especially in west Tennessee. Burning of that debris can be an efficient way for affected owners to promptly remove the material and assist them with recovery efforts. Guidelines for burn safety and debris cleanup can be found here.

 

 

This page will be updated as new resources become available.