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Federal Assistance to be Awarded to 18 Counties Harmed by June Flooding

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; August 14, 2014:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced President Obama has declared 18 counties as federal disaster areas as a result of severe weather on June 5-10. State and local governments and electrical utilities spent nearly $10 million in response to and recovery from the wind damage and flash-flooding impacts.

“This federal aid will help our communities in rebuilding and recovery,” Haslam said. “State and local teams worked quickly to survey damage in more than 35 counties to determine the impact of these storms, and we are grateful for this assistance.”

Anderson, Bledsoe, Carroll, Decatur, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Lawrence, Lewis, Madison, Marion, Maury, McNairy, Moore, Perry, Roane, Sequatchie, and Tipton counties will have access to federal assistance that provides reimbursement for 75 percent of eligible costs. A presidential disaster declaration also includes FEMA’s hazard mitigation grant program on a statewide basis.

Three fatalities were attributed to the severe weather and flooding. Two deaths occurred in Lawrence County and another in Hickman County.

The National Weather Service confirmed two tornado touchdowns were part of the storm system. The first tornado, an EF-1 with wind speeds in excess of 80 m.p.h., left a 12-mile debris path across Lake and Obion Counties on June 7. The other confirmed tornado, rated an EF-0, touched down in Kingston, Tenn. More than 28,000 customers were left without power due to wide-spread damage from downed trees and broken power lines.

The disaster declaration provides FEMA’s Public Assistance to the declared counties for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and rebuilding and repairing roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings, utilities and recreational facilities.

Additional information about state and federal assistance for affected counties will be released as details become available.

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July 6 Last Day To Register As Flood Victim

State of Tennessee Press Release; June 23, 2010:

NASHVILLE – If you were flooded during the recent storms in Tennessee, don’t wait any longer to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster assistance. July 6 is the deadline for those affected by the severe storms and flooding that struck Tennessee from April 30 to May 18.

If you have received a loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), you must fill it out and return it by July 6 to be eligible for some forms of federal assistance.

You do not need to wait for an insurance settlement to apply for help.

“Time is running out. We want everyone who had damages from the recent storms and flooding to register,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia B. Szczech. “You can’t get assistance unless you take that initial step.”

SBA loans are the largest source of disaster funds to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property or for making substantial repairs or rebuilding damaged structures to their pre-disaster condition.

You can register for assistance online by visiting www.DisasterAssistance.gov. You can apply for assistance, ask questions or check on the status of an application by dialing FEMA’s Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Help in all languages is available.

FEMA and TEMA Remind Tennesseans to Use Community Facebook Page for Disaster Recovery Information

FEMA and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) want to remind everyone that there is an online hub through Facebook for collaborative information-sharing about the response and recovery from severe weather and flooding in Tennessee.

“As we work together to rebuild, Facebook is one more way to help Tennesseans find and share information to help guide them through the recovery process. It’s a platform where everyone in the community can share important information,” said Gracia B. Szczech, FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer.

This site will be available throughout the state’s long-term recovery process.

The webpage, www.facebook.com/TNDisasterInfo, hosts an online community where those affected by the Tennessee disaster and those active in the response and recovery can share information.

FEMA, TEMA, and their federal, state, local and voluntary agency partners are posting recovery tips and updates, including details on how to access disaster assistance, information about volunteer opportunities and other recovery activities.

FEMA also has predesigned widgets that are available to carry information to the public. These tools include direct links to information such as how to apply for assistance, Tennessee flood resources and more.

If you would like to put the Tennessee Flood Recovery widget on your Web site, go to http://www.fema.gov/help/widgets/ for the information your web team or webmaster needs to add it to your site.

FEMA is also providing links to disaster resources and information through Twitter. Follow the recovery at www.twitter.com/FEMARegion4.

Tennessee’s Private Sector Plays a Critical Role in Disaster Recovery

When storms and record-setting flooding struck this spring, residents readily reached out to help one another, emphasizing once again why Tennessee is known as the “Volunteer State.” Along with thousands of volunteers from across the state, members of the private sector community jumped in to lend a helping hand.

With the assistance of FEMA, a major outreach initiative to the private sector was organized. Hundreds of businesses, chambers of commerce and nonprofit organizations offered their communications resources to educate and encourage Tennesseans affected by the disaster to register for assistance.

Within weeks, some of Tennessee’s largest associations and businesses, including Cracker Barrel, Gaylord Entertainment, Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corp., and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, found creative ways to communicate critical information to community members and thousands of their employees, families and friends. Initiatives included:

* Tennessee Titans players starred in three public service announcements highlighting how to register with FEMA and prepare for a disaster;

* Lamar Advertising featured the 800-621-FEMA helpline on eight electronic billboards along major freeways free of charge, reaching 371,000 people each day;

* Regal Cinemas ran registration messages on its Lobby Entertainment Network of plasma screens in lobbies of three Nashville locations;

* NASCAR broadcast announcements encouraging viewers to register and posted disaster assistance information on the speedway’s giant electronic billboard;

* Graffiti Indoor Advertising posted registration information in eight locations; and

* Advertising Vehicles posted internal disaster registration banners inside 50 Nashville MTA buses.

Follow the recovery in Tennessee online at http://twitter.com/tema, www.twitter.com/femainfocus, http://www.facebook.com/TNDisasterInfo, www.youtube.com/fema and http://www.flickr.com/photos/t_e_m_a.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA and TEMA do not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

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Small Business Administration Approves $50M in Disaster Loans for Flood Victims

Press Release from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency; June 8, 2010:

NASHVILLE – More than $50 million in U.S. Small Business Administration disaster assistance loans has been approved for those affected by the severe storms and flooding that struck Tennessee between April 30 and May 18.

“We are pleased to continue approving these loans so the residents and businesses of Tennessee can rebuild and resume their normal lives,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA Field Operations Center East in Atlanta. “Currently, 1,179 disaster loans have been approved in the amount of $53.8 million.”

Those affected by the recent storms can register for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing impaired from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Online registration is also available any time at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

“This milestone is an example of the partnership between FEMA and SBA,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia B. Szczech. “Working with SBA is one of the ways FEMA helps survivors continue to recover.”

If you were sent an SBA loan application, it must be completed and returned to be considered for certain federal grants. The deadline to return the SBA application and register with FEMA is July 6.

Most of the money for repairs and replacement of damaged real estate and personal property following a disaster typically comes from low-interest SBA disaster loans.

Loan amounts and terms are determined on a case-by-case basis. Interest rates as low as 2.75 percent for homeowners and renters – and as low as 4 percent for businesses – are available.

Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters can borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property.

Business owners can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA also provides small business owners economic injury loans for ongoing businesses expenses to recover from the economic impact of a disaster. These economic injury disaster loans are available even if the businesses didn’t sustain physical damages from flooding.

Follow the recovery in Tennessee online at www.twitter.com/tema, www.twitter.com/femainfocus, www.facebook.com/TNDisasterInfo, www.youtube.com/fema and www.flickr.com/photos/t_e_m_a.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA and TEMA do not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

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Government Tells Flood-Aid Recipients to ‘Use Disaster Assistance Grants Wisely’

State of Tennessee press release, May 26, 2010:

Advice from FEMA Officials: Use Disaster Assistance Grants Wisely

NASHVILLE – Disaster recovery officials urge Tennessee recipients who were affected by recent storms and flooding and are recipients of federal grants in the disaster-designated counties to use the money wisely.

“If the grant assistance is used properly, it doesn’t have to be paid back and eligibility for further help is possible,” said Gracia B. Szczech, Federal Emergency Management Agency Federal Coordinating Officer in charge of the recovery efforts.

Most funds are deposited electronically and a letter follows in the mail to explain how the money is to be used. If the grant is in the form of a check, it should be deposited promptly and not cashed.

Don’t:

• Use the funds to pay household bills.

• Use the funds to make purchases unrelated to needs created by the disaster.

• Use the funds to travel.

Housing funds may be used for:

* Repairs to return a home to a safe and functional condition. This may include repairs to windows, doors, water and ventilation systems, or other structural parts of a home.

* Reimbursement for lodging expenses directly related to the disaster. Receipts for these expenses will be requested if the home sustained damages.

* Rental assistance. Applicants who must remain in temporary housing for a longer period than the initial assistance covers may request more assistance until their home can be occupied or other permanent housing arrangements can be made. They must also turn in proper receipts to receive further assistance.

Recipients of Other Needs Assistance may use the funds for:

* Personal property, specialized tools for employment, household items, appliances and vehicle repair or replacement.

* Medical, dental, funeral and moving expenses.

* Grant recipients are required to sign a declaration and a release certifying all funds will be spent on the expenses for which they are intended.

Grants are subject to an audit. Recipients are strongly encouraged to fully document their disaster-related expenses. They must keep receipts or bills for three years to demonstrate how all of the money was used in meeting disaster-related needs.

It is important to note that grants are tax free and are not a loan. They do not have to be repaid. They are not counted as income for welfare or other federal benefit programs and they cannot be garnished.

By law, FEMA grants, which are taxpayer dollars, cannot duplicate payments from other sources. For example, if a grant recipient receives an insurance settlement covering expenses already paid for by FEMA, those duplicated funds must be reimbursed to FEMA.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

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President Authorizes Disaster Declarations for 4 More Counties

State of Tennessee Press Release; May 6, 2010:

NASHVILLE – The federal government this evening authorized a major disaster declaration for four additional Tennessee counties. On Monday, Governor Phil Bredesen asked President Obama to declare 52 counties federal disaster areas following the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that struck the state beginning Friday, April 30.

This evening’s action makes federal funding available to individuals in McNairy, Perry, Shelby and Tipton Counties. Federal officials earlier today authorized declarations for Montgomery and Dyer Counties. Four counties – Cheatham, Davidson, Hickman and Williamson – were authorized yesterday. Declarations for additional counties requested by the Governor are expected in coming days.

“I appreciate the speedy approvals of these counties for assistance by President Obama and the federal government,” said Bredesen. “Making these resources available in these additional counties will help those who have suffered losses begin to rebuild their homes and their lives.”

Tennessee suffered 20 confirmed fatalities as a result of the extreme weather and flooding that struck the state April 30-May 2. Numerous nursing homes, apartment complexes and residences were evacuated due to rapidly rising waters and flash flooding. Water rescues and helicopter extractions were performed as flood waters rushed over hundreds of roads through cities, towns and neighborhoods. Many residents lost all of their possessions as homes were destroyed or sustained major damages.

Governor Bredesen and state and local officials toured northern Middle Tennessee counties today, including Montgomery and Sumner Counties. Similar tours were conducted of impacted areas of West and Middle Tennessee on Monday. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate was in Tennessee and Bredesen also spoke by phone with President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Monday, May 3.

The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the 10 counties authorized to date, including both individual and public assistance.

Individual assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Public assistance is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures only at this time. In addition, federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the four designated counties can begin applying for assistance immediately by registering online at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).