Nashville, TN -- Federal and state disaster assistance to individuals, businesses and local governments in 22 disaster-stricken Tennessee counties topped $8 million Monday, with more than 520 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.
Through Sunday, December 15, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had received 1,309 registrations for assistance. Tennessee households have received more than $515,000 to make their homes livable or find temporary alternative housing. More than $895,000 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 more than $5.7 million in disaster loans to assist disaster victims with repairing their property or replacing lost personal items.
Tennessee residents who suffered damages should call the FEMA toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362), which is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., local time, Monday through Friday, until further notice. Those with speech or hearing impairments can call 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) to register.
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.
The FEMA Public Assistance Program has obligated more than $940,000 to tornado-stricken Tennessee counties. These funds reimburse local governments for debris removal, the repair of public buildings and utilities, and overtime paid to police officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel. FEMA provides 75 percent funding for such projects, while the applicant pays the remaining 25 percent.
The 16 counties eligible for the Public Assistance program are: Anderson, Bedford, Carroll, Coffee, Crockett, Cumberland, Gibson, Madison, Marshall, Meigs, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Tipton, Van Buren and Warren.