Nashville, TN -- Federal and state disaster assistance to individuals and businesses in 20 disaster-stricken Tennessee counties topped $1.4 million Monday, with more than 300 checks sent directly to individuals and families who qualified for the various assistance programs and who sustained losses.
President Bush issued a major disaster declaration on Nov. 13 making federal disaster aid available to Tennessee as a result of the tornadoes and severe storms that struck across the state from November 9-12.
Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia Szczech said, "Within two weeks of the initial disaster declaration, assistance checks are already in the hands of Tennessee residents and businesses. This assistance is an important step in the recovery process and reflects our commitment to providing disaster aid as quickly as possible."
Through Sunday, November 24, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had received 966 registrations for assistance. Tennessee households have received more than $410,000 to make their homes livable or find temporary alternative housing. More than $640,000 has been approved to cover disaster-related expenses, such as replacement of personal property, alternate transportation, and other necessary expenses not covered by insurance or other programs. The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved nearly $370,000 in disaster loans to assist disaster victims with repairing their property or replacing lost personal items.
"Any resident or business owner affected by the tornadoes or storms should register by calling the toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362), or the hearing or speech impaired may call 1-800-462-7585," said John D. White Jr., state coordinating officer. "Don't rule yourself out of disaster assistance, let the disaster professionals make the determination of your eligibility. You may be eligible for assistance and not realize it."
Assistance to individuals and households can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Aid also may include SBA low-interest loans for homeowners, renters, and businesses.
The 20 Tennessee counties that have been declared eligible for assistance to individuals, households and businesses are Anderson, Bedford, Bledsoe, Carroll, Coffee, Crockett, Cumberland, Fentress, Gibson, Henderson, Madison, Marshall, Montgomery, Morgan, Roane, Rutherford, Scott, Sumner, Tipton, and Van Buren.