Resources and donation information for tornado victims

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has released an update on the recovery efforts from Monday night’s storms.

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Tornadoes across Tennessee left 24 people dead, including a man in Benton County.

TEMA is reminding residents affected by those tornadoes of the proper ways to dispose of debris from the storms, as well as where to find help and how to spot contractor fraud.

  • Debris Removal
    • Proper debris separation and safety is important for successful recovery efforts.
    • Be sure to wear heavy boots, work gloves, eye protection, long pants, and shirt to protect against injury when removing debris.
    • Do not handle broken chemical containers, remove debris that may destabilize structures, or accumulate debris near utilities.
    • Contact your insurance provider before removing any debris.
    • Refrigerators must be empty prior to disposal.
    • The graphic below provides guidance on how debris should be sorted on private property for local pick-up and removal.
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  • Contractor Fraud
    • As cleanup efforts begin, the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office wants to ensure that only legitimate businesses and charities are working alongside the many volunteers to clear debris, repair, and rebuild. Tips include:
      • Don’t fall for high pressure sales tactics; urgency is a red flag
      • Be wary of unknown out of state phone numbers
      • Before hiring a contractor, verify proper licensing: verify.tn.gov
  • Generator Safety
    • Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when a generator is not working or vented properly. Generators should always be used outside the home. Do not use a generator indoors or in partially enclosed spaces- including homes, garages, and crawl spaces – even those areas with partial ventilation.
    • Do not or near open doors and windows. Using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up in the home. Do not place the generator in front of open windows.

 For those who need assistance in cleaning debris, or with immediate needs:

  • Crisis Cleanup Help Line – 1-800-451-1954
    • A Crisis Cleanup Help Line is in place for Tennesseans who need help with muck-out, debris removal, and home cleanup from the recent statewide flooding.
    • The Crisis Cleanup Hot Line is a toll-free call to The number is staffed 24/7. Callers should be ready to provide their name and contact information, and a brief description of their issue, to the relief agency representative who answers the Hot Line.
    • All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to the expected overwhelming need.

 Airbnb

    • Airbnb’s host community in Tennessee are providing no-cost accommodations to Tennessee tornado and storm survivors who need somewhere to stay.
    • Tornado survivors can visit www.airbnb.com/tntornado20 to find and book urgent, temporary accommodations in Airbnb’s Open Homes program.
  • Report Damage
    • Notify your county emergency management agency about damages and issues, especially if you don’t have resources for repairs and need help. A list of county EMA contacts by region is available at www.tn.gov/tema/prepare/regional-ema-contacts.html

For those who would like to donate items or volunteer to assist in statewide cleanup efforts, TEMA has compiled a list of ways to help.

For more information on the storms or for additional resources, visit TEMA’s website.

Categories: Seen On 7