Joint Damage Reviews Begin in Federal Declaration Process to Determine TN’s Eligibility for Additional Help

Monday, December 20, 2021 | 07:38pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – TEMA, FEMA, and local officials in 18 Tennessee counties will begin Preliminary Damage Assessments tomorrow to determine the state’s eligibility for additional federal assistance to support recovery efforts from the deadly tornado outbreak on Dec. 10, and Dec. 11, 2021.

“The joint local, state, and FEMA teams will review data to determine the state’s eligibility for a Major Disaster Declaration and the federal Individual Assistance (IA) program, with a first priority of taking care of the immediate needs of survivors first,” TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan said. “Next week, the teams will review information on the impacts to county facilities, roads, and utilities to determine the state’s eligibility for the federal Public Assistance (PA) program.”

The west and middle Tennessee counties where the joint PDAs will take place this week include:  Cheatham, Clay, Davidson, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Gibson, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Madison, Obion, Shelby, Smith Stewart, Sumner, Weakley, and Wilson.

Other counties may be added to the joint PDAs as TEMA receives damage assessment information from local officials.

Under a Major Disaster Declaration, FEMA’s IA program, if awarded, can provide direct help to those impacted in disaster and provide assistance for the repair of homes, replacement of property, and for other services such as crisis counseling and unemployment assistance.

The federal PA program reimburses local and state governments, and certain private, nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and infrastructure.  

More information about the Major Disaster Declaration process, as well as FEMA's PA and IA programs, is available at

On Dec. 13, 2021, the federal government granted an Emergency Declaration for nine Tennessee counties and made limited federal assistance available for emergency measures taken in response to a disaster.

The initial counties included in the Emergency Declaration included:  Cheatham, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Gibson, Lake, Obion, Stewart, and Weakley.

Tennessee experienced two lines of severe weather on Dec. 10, and Dec. 11, as a mass of warm, unstable air moved across the state. The storms produced 24 tornadoes across west and middle Tennessee, claimed five lives in the state, and left more than 150,000 people without power at the severe weather’s peak.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has made a recovery web page available in an effort to help storm survivors find resources and support.


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