Tornado and Severe Weather Recovery Efforts
On April 12, 2020 East Tennessee was impacted by widespread tornadoes, severe storms, and flooding. The Tennessee Emergency Management website offers resources for those recovering and will be updated regularly.
- Information for tornado survivors is available on TEMA’s Tornado and Severe Weather Response webpage.
- 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 or the hotline at 1-844-965-1386.
- Tennesseans who need assistance with downed trees can email the Tennessee Volunteers Active in Disasters (TN VOAD) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The American Red Cross continues to serve those affected by the recent tornadoes. For more information, please contact the American Red Cross by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
- 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.
- TDHS is providing replacement Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to families who suffered losses in Sunday's severe weather event. These replacement benefits are available to existing SNAP recipients who lost food due to a power outage of 12 hours or more or home damage in the April 12, 2020 severe weather event and who request replacement benefits within 10 calendar days of experiencing food loss. Applicants can request replacement benefits by filling out an affidavit and sending it to TDHS using the File Upload tool at https://fileupload.dhs.tn.gov/ . The Affidavit Request for SNAP Replacement Due to Power Outage (HS-3003) Instructions can be found at https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/human-services/hs/hs-3003.pdf.
- Avoid disaster-related scams with help from the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs, 615-741-4743 or www.tn.gov/consumer.
- Get help on filing insurance claims, hiring contractors, and reporting misconduct with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, www.tn.gov/commerce.
- Local short-term or permanent rental housing options with the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, www.TNHousingSearch.org or 1-877-428-8844.
- 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 Greater Chattanooga is currently partnering with the United Way of Chattanooga to launch the Tornado Relief Fund, which will provide grants to nonprofits providing immediate and long-term vital services.
- Coordinated efforts for tornado relief and cleanup are set to begin Thursday, April 16 at the Hamilton Family YMCA located at 7430 Shallowford Road, Chattanooga, TN. Volunteers need to pre-register online.
- 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/