Federal Assistance Comes to Three Tennessee Counties with Major Disaster Declaration from Deadly Tornadoes

Thursday, March 05, 2020 | 06:09pm

Individuals with Damage in Davidson, Putnam, & Wilson Counties can Register Now for FEMA Individual Assistance


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced this afternoon Davidson, Wilson, and Putnam counties will receive federal aid through an expedited Major Disaster Declaration as a result of the deadly March 3, 2020, tornadoes and severe weather. 

“Local, state, and federal emergency officials and responders have worked tirelessly in a coordinated manner provide help and relief to our counties and communities,” Gov. Lee said. “The myriad stories of Tennesseans who experienced this tragedy have been inspiring and heartbreaking, and my hope is some healing can now begin and we can be on our way to rebuilding our lives and communities.

Through the Major Disaster Declaration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide both its Individual Assistance (IA) and Public Assistance (PA) programs in three declared counties; Davidson, Putnam, and Wilson.

Individuals in the declared counties who may be eligible for FEMA’s IA program can begin the application process at www.disasterassistance.gov.  FEMA also provides a Disaster Assistance Helpline, 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585, to help individuals with questions about the application process, including how to apply.

More information on FEMA’s IA program is at https://www.fema.gov/individual-disaster-assistance.  

FEMA’s PA program will provide reimbursement assistance to Davidson, Putnam, and Wilson county governments for costs associated with the severe weather response and cleanup.  

More information on FEMA’s PA program is at: https://www.fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit.

Patrick Sheehan, director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) indicates more counties and more categories of FEMA’s PA reimbursement help may be added to the federal declaration.

“Joint preliminary damage assessments are ongoing with FEMA,” Sheehan said, “Our goal is to work to have Benton, Carroll, and Gibson counties added to today’s Major Disaster Declaration, and to expand the availability of PA reimbursement assistance to include repairs to bridges, roads, and infrastructure in all six counties requested.”

The National Weather Service has confirmed two tornadoes impacted Tennessee on March 3, 2020.  The first, an EF3 with 165 mph winds, tracked through Metro Nashville into Wilson County.  The second, an EF4 tornado, severely impacted Putnam County. 

The tornadoes and severe storms caused 24 weather-related fatalities, damaged or destroyed five public schools, left 101,521 residents without power, and closed State Government offices.

Tennessee remains in a State of Emergency and the State Emergency Operations Center in Nashville, Tenn. continues to operate in support of the ongoing disaster response.

Click for TEMA tornado and severe weather recovery information on debris removal, donations, volunteering, and other resources.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: TEMA’s mission is to coordinate preparedness, response and recovery from man-made, natural and technological hazards in a professional and efficient manner in concert with our stakeholders. Follow TEMA on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and, at www.tn.gov/tema.


About ReadyTN:  ReadyTN is a mobile device application from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) providing emergency preparedness, response, and recovery information to Tennesseans.  Ready TN is available for mobile devices running Apple and Android operating systems.  For more information on ReadyTN’s features and on downloading, visit www.tn.gov/tema/ready-tn.html.


Fact Sheets: Individual Assistance, Individuals and Household Programs