Tennessee homeowners and renters in Bradley and Hamilton counties who had uninsured losses from the April 12-13 tornadoes and severe storms may be eligible for federal disaster assistance from FEMA.
FEMA has programs that provide financial help with temporary housing expenses, basic home repairs and other essential disaster-related needs.
First, if you haven’t already done so, contact your insurance company and file a claim for the disaster-caused damage. You don’t have to wait to start cleaning up but be sure to take photographs or video of the damage and keep all receipts for repair work.
If you have uninsured or underinsured losses, register with FEMA. Registration is free and doesn’t take long. You can register in several ways:
DisasterAssistance.gov and click on “Apply Online”
Download the FEMA App for smartphones
Call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY). Multilingual operators are available. The toll-free numbers are open every day from 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
It is helpful to have the following information available when you register:
Address of the damaged dwelling where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address)
Current mailing address
Current telephone number
Total household annual income
Routing and account number for checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into a bank account)
A description of disaster-caused damage and losses
In conjunction with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), and in consideration of the current health emergency, FEMA personnel will work remotely from alternative workspaces until further notice. Health and safety are the highest priorities—for survivors and for FEMA personnel assisting recovery.
What to Expect After You Register With FEMA
If you reported that you may not be able to live safely in your home, it may be necessary for FEMA to perform an inspection of the damaged dwelling. Because of the health emergency, FEMA field inspection are being conducted remotely.
For remote inspections, FEMA inspectors will contact applicants by phone to answer questions about the type and extent of damage sustained. Remote inspections provide a new way of evaluating damage, comparable to traditional, in-person inspections, and this expedites the delivery of recovery assistance.
Survivors with minimal damage who can live in their homes will not automatically be scheduled for a home inspection when applying to FEMA. However, they may request an inspection if they find significant disaster-caused damage afterward later.