Tennessee Tornadoes

Early on March 4th, tornadoes and violent storms struck the Nashville area causing 25 deaths, many injuries and severe damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure. On March 5th, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee asked President Donald Trump to expedite a declaration of a major disaster in six counties in Tennessee. This is an important milestone because once the declaration is declared, federal recovery assistance can be made available to counties just beginning the recovery process. This allows impacted residents to apply for financial assistance from FEMA and gives the state the opportunity to receive funding from HUD for long-term recovery.

SBP Response

As we gather additional information, we are using lessons learned from the recovery in Joplin, MO and New Orleans East following tornadoes in those communities to support disaster-impacted citizens in Tennessee. We appreciate the investment of time and resources of our partners at UPS, AT&T, Farmers Insurance and others who are generously supporting this work.

  1. SBP deployed a team today to serve residents impacted by the tornadoes in Tennessee. We will focus our initial efforts in Germantown and North Nashville and expand into Putnam County as it becomes safe to do so. The deployment team will work with our first group of local volunteers beginning March 7th to conduct our initial on-the-ground assessment, identify areas where we will begin our recovery work and connect us with local organizations in need of support. UPDATE: Due to the threat of COVID-19 SBP has suspended its on-the-ground recovery work in Tennessee.
  2. We are distributing SBP's post-disaster recovery resources(including Navigating FEMA and Avoiding Contractor Fraud) through our networks, the networks of our partners and via social and digital campaigns. These actionable guides have been downloaded more than 250,000 times since Hurricane Harvey.
  3. We will be sharing case management best practices and, if needed, implementing a tool created following Hurricane Harvey and replicated in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian that serves as a one-stop for citizens in need of rebuilding support.
  4. SBP partners with local nonprofit rebuilding groups to ensure that communities are rebuilt quickly and predictably. We are identifying potential partners who are interested in SBP’s best practices, training, funding and capacity support.

It is critical that impacted families have access to the right information and resources in the aftermath of these tornadoes. Please share our resource links with anyone who may find them helpful. These informational guides and videos are designed to help disaster survivors navigate the complex recovery process, avoid costly mistakes and make smart decisions that will lead to a faster recovery.