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Press Releases

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.

Categories
Press Releases

More Federal Relief for TN Farmers

State of Tennessee press release, Jan 22, 2010:

Bredesen Announces Federal Farm Assistance for Five Counties

21 Counties Now Qualify as Primary Natural Disaster Designation

NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved his request for federal farm assistance for five additional Tennessee counties due to excessive rain and flooding that occurred in September and October.

“The 2009 growing season was certainly unpredictable and challenging for many of our state’s farmers. This disaster designation will be important for helping those who experienced significant crop losses during last year’s unusually wet harvest,” said Bredesen. “I’m pleased that USDA has responded so promptly to my request.”

Bredesen made the request in a Dec. 11 letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. The five counties designated as primary natural disaster areas include: Claiborne, Cocke, Rutherford, Sevier and Union.

The designation makes farmers in these counties eligible to apply for assistance, including emergency loans and supplemental farm payments, through their local USDA Farm Service Agency. Also qualifying as secondary, adjoining disaster counties are: Anderson, Bedford, Blount, Campbell, Cannon, Coffee, Davidson, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Jefferson, Knox, Marshall and Williamson.

With today’s announcement, a total of 21 Tennessee counties have qualified for a primary natural disaster designation due to excessive rain during the 2009 harvest. Last month, USDA named 16 other counties as primary natural disasters including: Bradley, Chester, Cumberland, Hamilton, Hardeman, Lauderdale, Macon, McMinn, McNairy, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, Shelby, Smith, Trousdale and Wilson.

Farmers in affected counties reported crop losses ranging from 20 to 50 percent for major crops including corn, soybeans, cotton and tobacco. Some counties reported receiving record rainfall of as much as 10 to 12 inches during what are normally the driest months of the year.

USDA projected significantly higher yields in 2009 for most major Tennessee crops as compared to the previous two drought years; however, heavy rains hurt both crop yields and quality because of rotting, mold and other disease problems. Farmers also reported losses for hay, pumpkins and other specialty crops.

Statewide, the 2009 harvest was three to four weeks behind the five-year average due to the unusually wet weather according to the Tennessee Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. For the latest information on the 2009 crop harvest, visit www.nass.usda.gov/tn.