Relief available for tornado survivors

Published 12:17 pm Monday, December 18, 2023

THE CENTER SQUARE

Tennessee residents who went through tornadoes on Dec. 9 are eligible fr a variety of emergency assistance options.

An Expedited Major Disaster Declaration came in Dickson, Davidson, Montgomery and Sumner that allow for FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, and Direct Federal Assistance along with eligibility for Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

“State and local officials, first responders and volunteers continue to provide critical support to impacted Tennessee communities following significant storm damage,” Gov. Bill Lee said in a statement. “As Tennessee rebuilds, I thank our federal partners for granting resources to further our severe weather response and recovery across the state.”

Residents can apply for the IA program online or by phone at 800-621-3362 between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. CT.

The program assists with rental assistance, home repair and personal property replacement.

Six Tennessee residents died during the seven confirmed, including three individuals in Clarksville and three in the Madison area of North Nashville.

Resources and updates for survivors can be found on the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency website.

The emergency unemployment is for individuals whose employment or self-employment was impacted by severe storms and tornadoes on Dec. 9.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, meanwhile, has asked all insurance carriers to give affected consumers a 60-day grace period where insurance policies cannot be cancelled because of nonpayment of premiums, in addition to one early or replacement refill for medication per prescription.

TDCI urges all Tennesseans to file their claims as soon as possible, contact their insurance companies about their damages, and document any damages by taking photographs or videos.

“I advise consumers who are filing claims after the storms to pay close attention to their policies’ coverage,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner for Insurance Bill Huddleston. “Filing a complaint is always an option for consumers who may feel as if an insurance claim has been unjustly denied, or if they have questions or concerns about their insurance policies.”