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National Disaster Legal Aid

Please note this page is no longer being updated as of September 2020

Tennessee Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line Winds, and Flooding Recovery Information

The Disaster Legal Hotline is 1-844-HELP4TN (1-844-435-7486)



Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line Winds, and Flooding struck areas in Tennessee beginning on March 2 and 3, 2020. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced on March 5, 2020 that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of Tennessee to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas, making federal funding available for emergency work and to individuals and businesses owners who sustain damage as a result of the Tennessee Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line Winds, and Flooding.

People in the following areas are eligible to receive federal disaster assistance:

  • Davidson County
  • Putman County
  • Wilson County

Only people in these counties can apply for FEMA benefits at this time. Additional areas may be designated later. Please check here for official updates. Note:  THE FEMA APPLICATION DEADLINE IS MAY 4, 2020.  THE SBA APPLICATION DEADLINE IS ALSO MAY 4, 2020.  REMEMBER, YOU CAN APPLY UP TO 60 DAYS AFTER THAT WITH GOOD CAUSE


FEMA Application  Monday, May 4, 2020 
Appeal Your FEMA Decision Letter  Within 60 days of the date on the determination letter
Disaster Unemployment Assistance Monday, April 6, 2020 - Click here for more info. 

Key resources for those impacted by the Tennessee Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line Winds, and Flooding

Government Disaster Relief Benefits

  • Residents and businesses affected by the Tennessee Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line Winds, and Flooding can apply for government disaster relief benefits in several ways.  Individuals, including those who use 711 relay or VRS, can call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those who use TTY can call 1-800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EDT seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available. Press 2 for Spanish and press 3 for other languages.

  • Text “DRC” and a zip code to 43362 (4FEMA) to locate a Disaster Recovery Center in your area (standard message and data rates apply).

  • Another option is to register online at or via web-enabled phone or tablet.

  • SBA Disaster Loans are available for those who qualify.

  • Disaster Unemployment Benefits - More information here. Note: Deadline to apply is April 6, 2020.

  • For official news and press releases related to this disaster, please visit FEMA's Tennessee Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line Winds, and Flooding Page.  

  • Note: Apply to FEMA to trigger the SBA Disaster loan process. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available for eligible applicants. For more information, you may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing, or visiting SBA’s website. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.

  • Download this quick guide for an overview on the disaster assistance process.

  • Want to understand the FEMA application process better? Click here to access "Figuring Out FEMA."

Legal Assistance and Other Resources  

Other helpful resources to help address legal needs resulting from this disaster

Are you a volunteer attorney able to help with response efforts?

General safety and shelter resources