Community Relations Teams Canvassing Areas Hit By Tornadoes In Tennessee

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Release date: 
March 22, 2012
Release Number: 

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Community relations specialists from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are currently working in ten Tennessee counties assisting survivors of the severe storms that occurred Feb. 29 - March 2.

The ten counties in middle and east Tennessee were recently designated for federal disaster assistance.

Teams are going door-to-door in the impacted communities to share and gather information and to identify possible unmet needs. Officials want individuals and small business owners to know about all available disaster assistance programs.?

Federal help in the form of grants and low-interest loans may be available to homeowners and renters affected by the storms. Grants for temporary housing, basic home repairs and other serious disaster-related needs are available. Homeowners, renters and businesses may also be eligible for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Community relations team members wear ID badges and either FEMA or Tennessee Disaster Response shirts. When community relations specialists meet a disaster survivor with unmet needs, they pass that information on to state, federal or voluntary agency staff best able to respond. They also meet with representatives of community-based agencies, community leaders and public officials to explain the disaster assistance process.

Survivors should register with FEMA by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), which is video relay service accessible. Applicants using TTY can call 800-462-7585. Help is available in most languages and lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.

Survivors can also register by computer online at If using a smartphone or tablet, register at

Federal disaster assistance for individuals and families can include grants for rental assistance and home repairs, low-interest loans from the SBA to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help recover from the effects of the disaster.

For more information, visit and

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.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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