NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Six months after a series of deadly spring storms battered Tennessee, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continue to partner to lead the recovery programs in support of the affected communities and disaster survivors.
The strong storms and severe flooding that affected the state from Memphis to the Cumberland Plateau resulted in a presidential disaster declaration for 49 Tennessee counties. The state activated its Emergency Operations Center and mobilized the Tennessee National Guard. The state conducted more than 800 rescues.
A total of 67,954 Tennesseans registered for assistance.
In coordination with TEMA and local Emergency Management Agencies, FEMA opened 66 Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) across the state. Tennesseans were able to get their recovery questions answered quickly in face-to-face meetings with recovery personnel. Altogether, 20,919 residents visited the recovery centers.
To help Tennesseans begin the recovery process, FEMA is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the Tennessee recovery efforts. To date, Tennessee families have received more than $164 million in direct assistance through FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program.
Eligible roads, bridges, utilities and other infrastructure damaged in the spring are being repaired with the help of the FEMA Pubic Assistance (PA) program. Because of the extent of the damage in Tennessee, and the impact on the local budgets, the federal government will pay a 90 percent share. Nearly half of the projects have been reviewed and approved, and FEMA has obligated more than $46 million to the State for infrastructure repairs.
FEMA funding is supporting several other important recovery initiatives. Through grants totaling more than $2.4 million, the State of Tennessee is providing ongoing crisis counseling to disaster survivors. Another $885 thousand in unemployment benefits were provided to residents who lost jobs as a result of the disaster. FEMA also contributed toward a state-administered fund that provides free legal advice to disaster survivors.
To fully recover from the disaster, some Tennesseans will inevitably need more help than local, state and federal agencies can provide. To address those needs, FEMA and TEMA are encouraging the formation of Long-Term Recovery Committees with support and training. Generally staffed by community volunteers, these committees draw together the local resources survivors need to take the last few steps toward recovery. To date, 30 committees are active statewide.
Online Disaster Resources for DR-1909TN:
- Disaster Declaration and Amendments: http://go.usa.gov/CgA
- Designated Counties: http://go.usa.gov/Cgo
- FEMA News Releases: http://go.usa.gov/Cgs
- FEMA Photos: http://go.usa.gov/CgH
- FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program: http://go.usa.gov/Cg6
- The PA process in Tennessee: http://www.tnema.org/ema/recovery/index.html
The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does 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.