Tag Archives: disaster response

It’s National Preparedness Month. Do you have a plan?

As we’ve learned from the March 2020 tornado, COVID-19 pandemic, March 2021 flooding, and hurricane warning earlier this month — disasters can strike unexpectedly.

There’s no better time than the present to prepare to protect, and keep you and your family safe during a disaster.

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. This year the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is using its public service campaign, Ready, to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to promote preparedness through public involvement.

This year, Ready is promoting four key ways to be prepared:

(1)  Stay informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses

(2)  make a family emergency plan and

(3)  build an emergency supply kit, and

(4)  get involved in your community by taking action to prepare for emergencies.

There’s some easy, low cost ways to prepare for a disaster:

Start today by signing up for alerts, safe-guarding important documents, and taking other low cost and no cost preparedness actions to lessen the impact of disasters and emergencies for you and your family.

It’s also important to teach your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

There’s also many ways you can get involved before an emergency or a disaster occurs, by joining a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program and getting trained on basic disaster response skills, taking FEMA disaster response classes such as You Are the Help Until Help Arrives, donating money to a reputable organization of your choice through the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD), and volunteer to respond to disasters and help your fellow Americans.

For a full list of how you can get involved, click here.

Don’t forget to share your preparedness prep with us! We would love if you shared your kits, how you’re making a plan, or any other helpful information others should know with us by tagging us on social media @HONashville, and using the Ready hashtags, #BeReady and #PrepareToProtect!

Thank you for loving Nashville.

Last Saturday we said there was a need and volunteers showed up. Because of you, many residents in South Nashville are a step closer to recovering from recent flooding that devastated so many neighborhoods. Thank you!

On April 3, 350 volunteers cleaned up at around 90 houses. They hauled supplies with their pickup trucks and helped other volunteers find parking and get checked in. They translated languages to help keep the communication flowing. They also handed out more than 400 boxes of food, 420 flood buckets, and 100 hygiene kits to families in need.

And thank you to the many partners that helped put the day of service together: the Nashville Office of Emergency Management, American Red Cross, Conexión Américas, WeGo, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, Community Resource Center, Nashville Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, Metro Parks and Recreation, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands.

There’s still LOTS more work to be done in South Nashville, and we need your help. Find a project here:

‘You always have something you can do,’ says volunteer who logged hundreds of hours of tornado relief activities

When the tornadoes hit, Melissa Alexander wasted no time finding a volunteer project to help survivors.

That’s who Melissa is, though — she goes above and beyond for people, and doesn’t seem to think twice about it. That makes her among the most prolific tornado-response volunteers in HON.org’s database, having registered for dozens of projects and logged hundreds of volunteer hours.

“After the tornado hit, I knew I couldn’t just stay home,” she says. “I’m from Texas, and that’s just not what you do there. After a disaster, if someone needs your help, you just go.”

Melissa Alexander, left, spent more than 300 hours volunteering in response to the 2020 tornadoes.

Melissa lives in Hermitage, about a block away from the path of destruction that spanned more than 60 miles overnight on March 2, 2020. She was without power for four days, and, looking back, is grateful to have had the opportunity to get out of the house and be of service to others.

She began volunteering at the Hermitage Community Center, sorting donations of apples, oranges, and other food and essentials. After about a week, when the center was running smoothly, she began looking for other ways to help. She had already attended volunteer leadership training at the Hands On Nashville headquarters. A liaison from Mayor John Cooper’s office determined she would be a great fit to begin supporting case management by alerting survivors to the resources that were available.

Melissa began canvassing the Hermitage area daily, going door to door to ask residents a series of questions:

“Are you working with a good contractor? Are they licensed?”

“Do you have your tetanus shot?”

“Do you know how to get to the community center?”

“Do you have your water and power turned on?”

It was more or less what she had been trained for, Melissa says, and she enjoyed the spark of hope residents would show when she was able to share information on a resource they were previously unaware of.

“‘They would ask, ‘Who are you with?’” and I would say, ‘Oh, I’m just a volunteer with Hands On Nashville, going around to make sure you’re aware of all of the services available in the community after a tornado.’ They loved it,” she says. “They were so grateful that somebody was just coming around and checking in on them.”

Melissa volunteered for weeks this way, reporting each morning to the city’s liaison, receiving her neighborhood assignments, then heading out with her bags of apples and oranges to distribute throughout the community. She estimates she spent more than 300 hours volunteering over the course of three months.

One day in particular stands out to Melissa — the day she was reassigned to North Nashville, on March 27. Rain was moving into the area, and the city needed additional help identifying houses that needed tarps.

“I went to Project Connect Nashville and started volunteering over there, four days a week, for about three months,” she says. “I’m still pretty committed to Project Connect. They do a lot for that North Nashville community.”

Once in North Nashville, Melissa says she found strength in the community to keep coming back day after day. The work was tiring, but, without fail, each morning when she arrived, there would be 30 people waiting outside Project Connect’s doors for a hot meal.

“When you see that many people waiting to get a hot meal, you can’t just say no,” Melissa says. “And the people were so eager for help. They wanted to know what resources were available or how to do something.”

Melissa Alexander and Mary.
Melissa (left) with Mary.

And that’s how Melissa met Mary.

“She’s the lady who made me cry on my first day,” Melissa says. “A neighbor had called to bring her meals, and I was the first one to have checked up on her since the storm. That day she was upset because her FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) request was denied, and she just bawled.”

Melissa bonded with Mary, who is 83 years old, right away. She worked to get Mary’s phone back in service, reinstall her security light, and create some raised garden beds for her. They still talk or text regularly.

“I even helped her organize the inside of her house, and we shredded papers for three days,” Melissa says. “She kept everything. She had checkbooks from the ’80s. So I helped her shred papers, and it was so fun. Older people have the best stories.”

Throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns, Melissa continued to work with Project Connect. She’s an avid mask-wearer, and says she practiced good hygiene long before the pandemic, crediting her work as a behavioral analyst who often worked with clients with auto-immune disorders. She says the Red Cross and Project Connect were thorough with their protocols, and that she never felt unsafe while volunteering.

Call the Tornado Recovery Connection at 615-270-9255 to get help.

Melissa’s background has proved invaluable throughout her time volunteering. Being from Texas, she was familiar with disaster response and FEMA, and by working with lower-income families she’s also familiar with food-assistance and housing programs. As Project Connect transitioned their services to working mainly from the resource center, Melissa jokes that she became known as the “resource guru.” To this day she has about 60 bookmarks — in multiple languages — stored in her phone to offer to people for help.

“You always have a skill,” she says, “and you always have something you can do that goes toward something that someone else needs.”

And while the recovery process has spanned the past year, Melissa knows there’s still more recovery and healing that needs to happen.

“There’s so many houses still not touched,” she says. “You can drive through Hermitage now and see the changes. But in North, there’s still boards on the windows, tarps on the roofs. There’s still so much work to be done.”

Tornado survivors can get access to a variety of resources and support through the Tornado Recovery Connection. If you know any tornado survivors, please make sure they know to call TRC at 615-270-9255.

Guest post: Strategies for dealing with storm anxiety

Note from Hands On Nashville: The following post, written by licensed professional counselor Samuel Rainey, originates on the Nashville Severe Weather website, and is a useful guide for folks who feel anxious when thinking about or experiencing storms. As we mark one year since the devastating March 3, 2020, tornados, many are feeling strong emotions, including anxiety, about potential severe spring weather. We hope this post helps provide some context and useful information about how to handle stress that’s connected to storm anxiety. 

By Samuel Rainey via Nashville Severe Weather (shared with permission)

There’s a feeling it’s always storm season. I have a general appreciation for storms and a healthy respect about what they can do. Sometimes, my respect for the storms can make me feel a little crazy as I attempt to corral my wife and four kids into the tiny coat closet under our stairs. Each time we do this, I’m reminded of being 4 years old in my childhood home in Arkansas. A tornado was on its way, I’m in the bathtub with my siblings, and my parents have just put the twin mattress on top of us. It was a terrifying experience. Today, we don’t have room for a twin mattress, so I put bike helmets on my kids. My teenagers are especially appreciative of me when I make them put these on.  

Most people I know have a strong reaction to storms. They either love them, or hate them. I think this is because storms remind us that we are small, fragile, and incredibly powerless. Despite some really bad movie plots about weather and storms, the bottom line is that there’s really nothing you or I can do about a storm. We can’t change the direction, alter the intensity, or tell it to stop producing dangerous results. To many of us, that is a really scary experience, even to the point of creating anxiety as a storm approaches.  

Feeling anxious about storms is completely normal, and it doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with you. It’s natural to experience a wide range of emotions: from panic to stress to a general unease as a storm comes your way.  

Stress limits the body’s production of serotonin (the happy, calming chemical). We all need serotonin to feel good, safe, and happy in life. Instead of serotonin, our body produces adrenaline. Adrenaline is the chemical that amps us up for survival, a fight, or to face a threat. Storms are a legit threat to our lives and our brains don’t really care if we’re happy or calm. Our brains think serotonin won’t save us, but adrenaline might. So we lose that happy, calming chemical, and end up on edge. Stressed. 

Because we are small, fragile, and limited humans, we are deeply impacted by our surroundings. When a storm pops up, it can trigger significant feeling unsafe. At a basic level, our brain knows that when a storm is near, it has to gear our body up for a fight. Because of this, we’ve got to take care of ourselves so we can handle the incoming storms.  

Three Strategies to Combat Storm Anxiety: Preparation, Process, and People 

Preparation  

Fear is the feeling that there is danger near and that we need to do something about it. So prepare for the fear by assembling a storm kit you take with you to your “safe space” in your home. You might also consider putting a smaller kit in your car in the event a storm arises when you’re not at home. This storm kit will have everything you need before, during, and after a storm. 

Your kit needs to have:  

  • Water 
  • Something nonperishable to eat (Twinkies don’t count) 
  • First aid (Band-Aids, Neosporin, etc.) 
  • Flashlight 
  • Socks 
  • A picture of loved ones 

Optional items to include:  

  • Battery-operated handheld radio 
  • Cell phone batter recharger and cable 
  • Something to do/a project (a craft, knitting, drawing, bourbon tasting, Solitaire with a deck of cards, etc.) 
  • A weighted blanket: These work in the same way that a “thunder jacket” works with a dog, or how swaddling a baby makes them feel safe and secure. A weighted blanket helps provide external stimuli that can produce serotonin (the calming chemical). 

Process 

When stress happens, we need a process to follow to calm us down. Developing a process to follow each time a storm arises will help you to move out of reactivity. A process will comfort you.  Your process needs to become a habit you practice every time a storm comes. This routine will help you trust in something other than the “impending doom” of the storm. You’ll have a process to comfort you. 

Some processes to follow:  

  • Put your storm preparation kit in an accessible place near your safe room.  
  • Limit information intake: Smartphones are great for information, but sometimes too much information is actually more stressful. Flooding our mind with too much information can heighten the feelings of anxiety. Pick one or two sources of information to follow. Watch local TV or reliable social-media feeds.  
  • Do something along with watching the weather feed. (Projects listed above) 
  • Gratitude Jar: At the end of each severe weather threat you encounter, get a notecard and write down the date, time, and experience you had in this particular storm. Get a Ziploc bag and deposit the notecard in the bag. We are going to call this your victory bag. In the future when a storm is near and you’re getting nervous or afraid, get your kit (below), open the victory bag, and read through all of the storms that you’ve not just survived, but thrived. This will be a process for you to remember that you are ok.  

Remember, storms do their thing, and we need to do our thing. Experiment with some processes to follow and find what works for you. 

People 

This is the most important of the three strategies: we need people in our lives. We need people not just when weather happens, but when other emotional storms show up in our lives. One of my favorite authors, Frederick Buechner, says this, “Welcome to the world, where beautiful and terrible things will happen.”  

We’re not made to deal with the beautiful and terrible things on our own. This is the reason why Tom Hanks’ character in the movie “Cast Away” creates a friend out of a volleyball. He can’t live in isolation on that island. From an existential standpoint, anxiety is about being isolated. At some level we all fear being left, abandoned, betrayed, or alone by ourselves. Nervousness and worry come from a legitimate fear we have that has not been taken care of. Fears are natural to being human, and when we don’t tend to the needs associated with our fears, they can transform into life controlling worry, and sometimes even anxiety.  

The single best way to help combat storm anxiety is to be known. To be with other people. Surround yourself with people who you can care about, and who care about you. If you live alone, call someone or get on a video call with them. We are better equipped to handle difficult situations when we know that someone else is with us to face the danger. It’s amazing what happens to our stress when someone who cares about us holds our hand or gives us a reassuring hug.  

It might be that your storm anxiety is alerting you to your need to have more people involved in the difficulties of your life. Growth is a relational experience. We don’t grow in isolation; we grow because of relationships. 

Following these three strategies won’t solve all your storm related problems, but they are a great next step for you to take. If you only do one of the three above ideas, please invite people into your life. I know of no better way to reduce my own situational anxiety than having someone help me carry the burden I’m facing. 

Lastly, if you find that this anxiety you’re experiencing happens in other places of your life (work, relationships, making decisions, etc.) then it might be helpful to talk to a professional counselor about that. 

Follow Nashville Severe Weather on Twitter: @NashSevereWx.

City of Nashville & Davidson County join nonprofits to provide response and recovery efforts for historic downtown area

December 31, 2020, Nashville, Tenn. – The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Office of Emergency Management, and Nashville/Davidson County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) are working together to provide immediate assistance to individuals affected by the tragedy on Friday, Dec. 25, in downtown Nashville.

With the city’s focus of quickly identifying businesses, employees of those affected businesses, and residents who lived in the damaged historic downtown structures, members of the VOAD have been identified based on their areas of expertise to assist in moving the recovery efforts downtown forward. This group of local nonprofits has been working closely since the incident to organize and mobilize resources and assistance by individuals and families affected.

Available resources include:

January 1st Food and Essentials Drive-Thru Event for Survivors

• 1 p.m., Community Resource Center, 218 Omohundro Place
The Community Resource Center, in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, will be providing essential kits for survivors that will include food, hygiene products and diapers for those in need. The food boxes and essential kits will be available to pick-up during a “Nashville Strong” drive-thru event on Friday, January 1, 2020 at 1:00 pm at the Community Resource Center, located at 218 Omohundro Place, Nashville, TN 37210.

Lutheran Disaster Response will also be on site for emotional and spiritual care providing purposeful listening to survivors overcoming challenges related to disaster recovery.

Additional Resources Available for Survivors

Nashville Strong Assistance Fund
Catholic Charities will provide assistance to those who live or work in the explosion perimeter area in the historic downtown area, through a specially funded program that will begin Monday, Jan. 4. An online application for assistance will be go live on Friday afternoon, Jan. 1.

The application can be accessed from the following web site: nashvillestrong2021.org. Those who are unable to access the online application can call (615) 352-8591.

hubNashville
For assistance from Metro Nashville Davidson County Government, affected individuals should visit hub.nashville.gov, use the hubNashville 311 app or call 311.

Food Assistance
Individuals in need of emergency food assistance can text ‘FEEDS’ to 797979 or
visit www.secondharvestmidtn.org/get-help to access Second Harvest’s Find Food tool to locate the nearest food distribution, including Emergency Food Box sites in Davidson County. For additional assistance, individuals can call 2-1-1.

• Cash Assistance
A limited supply of gift cards, provided by Salvation Army — Nashville Area Command, will be available for immediate cash assistance for those affected. Individuals can receive more information by texting the word ‘STRONG’ to 484848.

Housing and Immediate Needs
The American Red Cross of Tennessee is providing assistance for those displaced from their home, apartment or townhouse. Those needing assistance should contact the Red Cross at 800-RED-CROSS to help with their immediate needs, which may include food, shelter, clothing, health and mental health services, community referrals and recovery assistance.

• Assistance for Spanish Speakers
Spanish speakers affected can call Conexión Americas at (615) 270-9252 for assistance beginning on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

Resource and Referral Line
Individuals in need of assistance can contact United Way of Greater Nashville’s 24-hour resource and referral line for help by dialing 211 or visiting 211.org. Note: To qualify for financial assistance, survivors will need to provide proof of employment or residency in the direct impacted area.

How Community Members Can Help

Donate

United Way of Greater Nashville is partnering with Mayor John Cooper’s office to accept gifts to its Restore the Dream Fund which will provide long-term disaster recovery support to nonprofits for the survivors. People who wish to donate may visit www.unitedwaygreaternashville.org or text RESTORE20 to 41444.

• The Salvation Army – Nashville Area Command believes “we are stronger together” and is assisting survivors with urgent needs of food, transportation, and healthcare through Kroger Gift Cards, UBER Rides and UBER Eats. Gifts can be made in support of this disaster response at www.salvationarmynashville.org.

• Catholic Charities, Diocese of Nashville provides a range of services that help clients through crises and toward self-sufficiency. Services include emergency financial assistance, counseling, job training, housing stability, hunger relief, and more. Gifts in support of their disaster relief efforts can be made at www.cctenn.org.

• The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s Nashville Neighbors Fund, established in partnership with WTVF-NewsChannel5, is accepting gifts to provide services to both the immediate and long-term needs of survivors affected by the Christmas Day tragedy.

Community Resource Center of Nashville will be actively engaged with long-term recovery efforts to provide basic essentials, clothing, household goods, and is collecting items to assist with debris removal, clean up and first responder needs.

Volunteer

Hands On Nashville is recruiting volunteers to help with disaster relief and recovery efforts, including cleanup and distribution of essential items to survivors and first responders. Visit hon.org to register as a volunteer or find a disaster-relief project.

###

About the Nashville/Davidson County VOAD

The Nashville/Davidson County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) provides the framework for successful preparation and activation of nonprofits and private companies to provide essential augmentations for local government’s capacity and available resources during a disaster. The VOAD is a purposeful mechanism that scales up during crisis, strengthens area-wide disaster coordination, and enhances preparedness by sharing information and engaging in joint training.

The current VOAD steering committee includes:

  • American Red Cross of Tennessee
  • Catholic Charities of Tennessee
  • Community Resource Center
  • The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
  • Conexión Americas
  • Hands On Nashville
  • The Housing Fund
  • Lutheran Disaster Response
  • Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Nashville Humane Association
  • Salvation Army – Nashville Area Command
  • Neighbor to Neighbor
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee
  • United Methodist Committee on Relief – Tennessee Conference
  • United Way of Greater Nashville
  • Urban League of Middle Tennessee

Updates on the Second Avenue explosion

Updated 1.8.20 at 12:36 p.m.

Early on Christmas morning, an explosion rocked downtown Nashville, causing massive damage in the area near 2nd Avenue and Commerce Street. First responders and investigators continue to work in the area. We extend our gratitude to them for their hard work in an already exhausting year!

Officials ask that people steer clear of the area if possible so they can continue to investigate what happened.

Volunteer projects related to the blast recovery will be posted at the link below, and we’ll publish information and updates on social media and in our newsletter.

Many local organizations including HON are working with the Metro government to ensure survivors’ needs are met. Click here to read more about those efforts and the resources available.

Thank you for continuing to be #NashvilleStrong.

Other ways to help now

• Make sure your hon.org account is set up to designate you as a disaster volunteer! Click here to learn how to do that for both new and existing hon.org accounts.

• The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has partnered with NewsChannel 5 to establish a fund for survivors and businesses in the area affected by the blast. Click here to donate to the fund.

• The Community Resource Center provides immediate assistance to survivors through food and essential item donations. Click here to donate money or items.

• The Salvation Army – Nashville Area Command is assisting survivors with urgent needs of food, transportation, and healthcare through Kroger Gift Cards, UBER Rides and UBER Eats. Gifts can be made in support of this disaster response at www.salvationarmynashville.org.

• Catholic Charities, Diocese of Nashville provides a range of services that help clients through crises and toward self-sufficiency. Services include emergency financial assistance, counseling, job training, housing stability, hunger relief, and more. Gifts in support of their disaster relief efforts can be made at www.cctenn.org.

Donate to Box55, a nonprofit that support first responders in the field.

• The Tennessean has a thread where they’re posting ways to help, including a list of online fundraisers for businesses destroyed in the explosion.

• Do you have tips or information about the blast? Click here to access the FBI’s tip line.

How to get help now

Nashville Strong Assistance Fund
Catholic Charities will provide assistance to those who live or work in the explosion perimeter area in the historic downtown area, through a specially funded program that will begin Monday, Jan. 4. An online application for assistance will be go live on Friday afternoon, Jan. 1.

The application can be accessed from the following web site: nashvillestrong2021.org. Those who are unable to access the online application can call (615) 352-8591.

hubNashville
For assistance from Metro Nashville Davidson County Government, affected individuals should visit hub.nashville.gov, use the hubNashville 311 app or call 311.

Food Assistance
Individuals in need of emergency food assistance can text ‘FEEDS’ to 797979 or
visit www.secondharvestmidtn.org/get-help to access Second Harvest’s Find Food tool to locate the nearest food distribution, including Emergency Food Box sites in Davidson County. For additional assistance, individuals can call 2-1-1.

• Cash Assistance
A limited supply of gift cards, provided by Salvation Army — Nashville Area Command, will be available for immediate cash assistance for those affected. Individuals can receive more information by texting the word ‘STRONG’ to 484848.

Housing and Immediate Needs
The American Red Cross of Tennessee is providing assistance for those displaced from their home, apartment or townhouse. Those needing assistance should contact the Red Cross at 800-RED-CROSS to help with their immediate needs, which may include food, shelter, clothing, health and mental health services, community referrals and recovery assistance.

• Assistance for Spanish Speakers
Spanish speakers affected can call Conexión Americas at (615) 270-9252 for assistance beginning on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

Resource and Referral Line
Individuals in need of assistance can contact United Way of Greater Nashville’s 24-hour resource and referral line for help by dialing 211 or visiting 211.org. Note: To qualify for financial assistance, survivors will need to provide proof of employment or residency in the direct impacted area.

Housing/work space
Kenect Nashville is offering assistance with living and work space for those affected by the blast. Click here to access their contact page.

Phone service
Some phone service — including 911 — had significant downtime for many in the region. Click here to view a list of alternate emergency numbers for counties in the region.

‘We still have work to do’: Celebrating the volunteer spirit that powered us through 2020

We kicked off 2020 thinking we’d usher in a spring of commemoration. It had been 10 years since the devastating flood of 2010, during which time thousands of volunteers came together in a show of solidarity and spirit.

But hopes for reflection turned into action, this time in response to the March 3 tornado and COVID-19 pandemic. Again, volunteers showed how absolutely critical they are during disaster response and recovery.

We’re excited to share with you a video that celebrates the spirit of the volunteers helping our community get through this challenging time.

Hands On Nashville is in awe of this community. It’s not easy for folks to give to others while they themselves are hurting. But that’s what Nashvillians do. It’s who we are.

We’re working hard to be ready for the next disaster, and we can’t do it without you. Join us by volunteering or donating.

👋 Volunteer: http://hon.org/membership
🎁 Donate: http://hon.org/donate

Thank you for your support!

Thanks to Adelicia Company for the great partnership this year, and the beautiful videos! Additional thanks to everyone who contributed photos and video clips to help us tell this story.

Disaster Relief Efforts: Ways to Help

Thank you, everyone, for your support and willingness to volunteer following the devastating tornadoes that moved through Nashville on March 3. This post contains information on resources on ways to help. If you are needing assistance, please click here.

Donate Money

  • Folks wanting to donate money can do so through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund.
  • To donate to Nashville’s COVID-19 Response Fund, click here.
  • Schools cannot accept monetary donations directly. If you are moved to give to a Metro school, please make checks payable to Metro Nashville Public Schools and mail your donation to MNPS, c/o Business Office, 2601 Bransford Ave.,
    Nashville, TN 37204. Please put “Tornado Relief” in the memo. More info on fundraising is available here
  • The Nashville USBG — a 501c3 not-for-profit team of hospitality educators — has organized a GoFundMe, with plans to direct donations toward service industry professionals in need of “assistance with medical bills, loss of employment or home damage, and funeral costs for the families of our community who have lost lives in last night’s natural disaster.”
  • To donate directly to the Red Cross disaster relief fund, click here.
  • Tennessee Action for Hospitality has created a fund to support individual hospitality professionals who plan to continue their career in Tennessee when this crisis is over. The Tennessee Action for Hospitality Assistance Fund was created in partnership with The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. To donate, click here. 
  • United Way of Greater Nashville, which is working with the Office of Emergency Management, is accepting donations for its Restore the Dream Fund which provides long-term disaster recovery.

Donate Food

Donate Blood

Donate Items

  • Donate Medical Supplies for Community Assessment System — The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. is asking local businesses to donate  latex gloves and masks to help with the city’s COVID-19 response. Donations can be taken to the Community Resource Center, 218 Omohundro Place, Nashville, TN 37210. Large donors should fill out a form at covid19.nashville.gov.
    Other needs:

    • Surgical face masks and N-95 masks
    • Isolation gowns
    • Disposable exam gloves
    • Sani-cloth wipes
    • Face shields
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Specimen bags
    • Red top viral tubes (lab supply)
    • Nasal swabs (lab supply)
    • Large trash cans.
  • The Community Resource Center  (218 Omohundro Place, Nashville, TN 37210) is collecting items to distribute throughout affected areas. Visit the CRC’s Instagram feed to see their daily updates about most-needed items.
    • Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
    • Those dropping off donations are asked to stay in their vehicles and volunteers will come outside to remove your donations.
    •  You can donate using Venmo (Username: @CRCNashille) or through its website.
    • You can also order off of CRC’s Amazon wishlist, (Address is 218 Omohundro Place, Nashville TN, 37210 if it doesn’t populate.)
  • Little Scholars Child Development, 1206 Buchanan St, Nashville, TN 37208, is accepting donations to be packaged and redistributed in the North Nashville community.

Donate Time

  • If you would like to volunteer during this time, please know volunteer opportunities are limited, and only being scheduled for groups of 10 or less. For a full list of opportunities, please click here.

Nashville Tornado Relief Efforts: Things to Know

In this post, we will be updating information as it becomes available. To view our list of resources, click here. If you are looking to volunteer or donate to a disaster relief cause, click here. To view updated recommendations regarding volunteering and COVID-19, click here

4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25

Tornado Debris Collection Update from Metropolitan Nashville Department of Public Works:
MNDPW is temporarily pausing debris pick-up in tornado impacted areas for 2 weeks. The city would like to give residents in these areas an opportunity to get debris onto the curb, and will resume pickup on April 6, 2020. At that time, they will resume regular circulation through all impacted areas in an effort to remove all curbside tornado debris.

Regular brush pick up will continue as scheduled.
Don’t forget to follow the Tornado Debris Guidelines, available at http://bit.ly/DebrisGuidelines.

10:47 a.m. Thursday, March 19

The Red Cross is experiencing severe blood shortages right now due to canceled blood drives across the country. If you are able to donate blood, you can fulfill a critical need felt by our neighbors. Click here to learn more about the need and the measures the Red Cross is taking to protect donors from COVID-19 exposure. Then click here to schedule an appointment.

2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 17

Hands On Nashville extends our thanks to hubNashville and more than a dozen local roofing professionals for their collaboration this past week in which more than 45 roofs were tarped by volunteers in response to the devastating March 3 tornado.

As of today, hubNashville and HON are no longer accepting requests for volunteer roof tarping.

hubNashville is available year-round, and is a one-stop shop to request Metro Nashville Davidson County services and information, available by calling 311, visiting hub.nashville.gov, or through the hubNashville 311 app.

Special thanks to:
Mr. Roof Nashville
Above All Roofing TN
Brothers In Business
A-Team Roofing
Reach Out WorldWide
Integrity Home Inspections
Roof It Forward
Centennial Services Roofing
Rhythm Roofing

1:58 p.m. Tuesday, March 17

The HON team continues to make adjustments to volunteer projects and recommendations in light of the rapidly shifting nature of COVID-19. Click here to read the latest.

Continue reading Nashville Tornado Relief Efforts: Things to Know

Disaster Relief Efforts: Resources

Thank you, everyone, for your support and willingness to volunteer following the devastating tornadoes that moved through Nashville on March 3. This post contains information on resources for those in need of help. If you are looking to offer assistance, please click here. Due to information rapidly changing, it is encouraged to reach out to these resources directly to verify information. 

General Disaster Relief Information and Resources

  • If you were affected by the Middle Tennessee tornado and
    still need assistance, call the Tornado Recovery Connection at 
    (615) 270-9255.
  • The City of Nashville releases daily information about the COVID-19 disaster response. For information about state unemployment, CDC guidance, FEMA COVID-19 rumor control, the Federal Trade Commission scams resource website, or applying for a small business administration loan, click here.
  • If you need information or assistance with tornado relief, Metro Social Services can be reached at (615) 862-6432 for services over the phone.
  • The Metro Nashville Office of Emergency Management is also a resource for those affected by the tornado. Their office is located at 2060 15th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212. Contact information is (615) 862-8540 or piodesk@nashville.gov
  • United Way of Greater Nashville offers an inclusive resources service, where those affected can call 2-1-1 for its referral helpline, which can provide up-to-date information on emergency shelters, food pantries and related services. For information, visit unitedwaynashville.org/programs/2-1-1.

Item Distribution Centers

  • Martha O’Bryan Center, 711 S. 7th St., Nashville, TN 37206, is offering food distribution from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Meals to children 18 and younger will be provided from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday at KIPP Kirkpatrick Elementary, 1000 Sevier St, Nashville, TN 37206. For financial assistance, call (615) 254-1791.
  • Project Connect will host a distribution center and serve hot meals from 1 to 3 p.m. daily at 1811 Knowles St., Nashville, TN 37208.
  • Schrader Lane Church of Christ, 1234 Schrader Lane, Nashville, TN 37208, is open to donate food. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Food Banks and Distribution

  • The Nashville Food Project is working with its partners to create “grab and go” style meals. They will be serving meals door-to-door with Gideon’s Army at the Cumberland View Apartments, Cheatham Place, and Andrew Jackson Apartment properties each weekend until April 5. If you know of a shelter or community hub in need of food support, let them know.
  • Second Harvest Food Bank provides food to those who need it. Using our FIND FOOD tool, you can find the nearest food distribution to you. Click here: secondharvestmidtn.org/GET-HELP.
  • The Little Pantry That Could, 2011 24th Ave N., Nashville, TN 37208, offers meals to anyone in need, no questions asked from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. For information, visit thelittlepantrythatcould.org.
  • Metro Nashville Public Schools will be offering free student meals along with food boxes provided by Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee at sites identified throughout Davidson County. For locations, click here.
  • The Nashville Rescue Mission is offering meals across the city daily. For information, click here.

Financial Assistance and Tax Information

  • The American Red Cross has extended the deadline to April 7 to offer financial assistance for people whose homes were destroyed or had major damage due to the March 3 tornado. An application process is available over the phone from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. To apply, call 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-27677) and press prompt 4.
  • Beyarata Mobile Disaster Tax Services is offering federal disaster claims for unreimbursed casualty losses. Staff can assist those with an annual income of $65,000 or less, they will determine if victims qualify and file federal disaster claims for free. The deadline to file on current year tax return is July 15, 2020. For more information, call (901) 215-6005.
  • The Boomer Esiason Foundation created a fund that directly assists those families in the cystic fibrosis community affected. To apply for funding through the Cystic Fibrosis Patient Disaster Relief Program, click here.
  • The Donelson Fellowship has set up a disaster relief fund, and its pastor has encouraged people personally affected by the storm to contact office@donelson.org.
  • From Your Father, a local nonprofit, focuses on the social determinants of health. Resources can be supplied to single mothers to provide economic stability, education, health and health care, social and community context, and home-purchasing resources. For information, fromyourfather.org.
  • MusiCares, an organization offering music-industry specific financial assistance, is aiding people in all facets of the music industry with financial support. This includes artists, songwriters, publishers, engineers, tour bus drivers, concert production crew, stagehands, studio musicians, music venue employees and more, nationwide. Those in need do NOT need to be a member to get help. Please reach out to the local office for help applying for financial assistance related to the tornado, gig/tour cancellations, health challenges and other life events. For more information, call (800) 687-4227 or visit musicares.org.
  • The Tennessee Action for Hospitality has begun “A Fund for Us,” to supportindividual hospitality professionals who plan to continue their career in Tennessee. To see application criteria and apply, click here.
  • Tennessee Department of Human Services Emergency Pandemic TANF – Emergency cash assistance program for those impacted by COVID-19. Emergency Pandemic TANF will utilize existing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds. TDHS encourages Tennesseans in need to apply online when the application becomes available in order to encourage social distancing. To create an account, click here.

Government Assistance

  • The Tennessee Department of Human Services will be providing its COVID-19 Essential Employee Child Care Payment Assistance program until June 15. It is designed to help support essential workers so they can stay on the job during the state of emergency. Those interested can apply here. After an essential employee is approved for the program, the state will arrange to pay for child care at a TDHS licensed program,  YMCA, or a Boys & Girls Club where the child is currently served.
  • Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (TDOSHS) Driver Services division has waived in-person photo requirements and extended license expiration dates due to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information, click here.
  • For those concerned about scams following the March 3 tornado: The Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs can be reached at (615) 741-4737 or online.

Health and Wellness

  • COVID-19
    • HON has compiled information about volunteering amid COVID-19/Coronavirus concerns here.
    • Individuals who are ill and would like to learn more about COVID-19 tests can do so here.
    • To combat the spread of COVID-19, the Metro Public Health Department has issued a Safer at Home Order directing all residents of Nashville and Davidson County to stay inside their homes unless they are engaged in certain “essential activities.” Read more here.
  • Medical Care
    • Dr. Jeffery Sonsino with Optique Nashville is offering free eye care treatment to those injured. Services offered from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday at 2817 West End Avenue Suite #117, Nashville, TN 37203. Call 615-321-4393 for more information.
    • Asbestos & Natural Disasters Guide to cleaning up after a tornado from the Mesothelioma Center.
  • Mental Health
    • The Tennessee Recovery Project is offering supportive resources for those affected by the tornado, with an emphasis on emotional well-being. For assistance, call (615) 460-4004.
    • Trauma specialist Shaine Malek, a Licensed Professional Counselor-Mental Health Service Provider, is offering Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy for those impacted to help them navigate emotion following the natural disaster. For information, call (615) 474-9012 or email malek.lpcmhsp@gmail.com.
    • Alive Hospice is offering free counseling and grief support for anyone affected by the tornado. Treatment is available for all ages. Please call (615) 963-4732.
    • Daystar Counseling Ministries is offering support for high school kids needing a safe place to process; free to families impacted by the storm. For information, call (615) 298-5353.
    • Disaster Distress Helpline is a national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. For information, call (1-800) 985-5990.
    • Nashville CARES is offering pro bono, brief intervention for anyone directly affected by the storms; treatment approaches to include brainspotting and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy. Business hours are from 8 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For information, (615) 921-0284.
    • Nashville 2020 Tornado Crisis Support is offering pro bono therapy provided by mostly private practice therapists. Click this link to choose a therapist of your choice and see open appointment times.
    • Safe Haven Trauma Services is offering pro bono crisis response; support groups for children and adults; with limited spots available for individual therapy. For information, (615) 241-6130.
    • Onsite Foundation is offering pro bono crisis support and grief counseling services for anyone affected. For information, call (615) 323-3191.
    • Metro Nashville’s Behavioral Health and Wellness Services include a crisis support center and mobile unit. For more information, click here.
    • National Alliance on Mental Illness of Middle Tennessee.
    • YWCA Nashville’s Domestic Violence Crisis and Support text line (available 24/7): 615-983-5170.

Insurance and FEMA claims

  • If you have not registered with FEMA for tornado damage from the March 3 tornado, a 60 day extension is being offered after May 4 to those who are interested in applying late. Reasoning will need to be provided for why you need the extension. Call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362.

  • Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance mobile claims units with insurance carriers will be available at the Nashville Centennial Sportsplex, Lebanon: Wilson County EMA, and Putnam County 911 Center.
  • If your home or property was affected by the storms and you live in Davidson, Putnam, and Wilson counties, you can register with FEMA the following ways:
    1. Apply online.
    2. Call the registration phone number at 1-800-621-3362; those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service, call 1-800-621-3362.

Nonprofit and Small Business Resources:

  • Gabbyville Virtual Receptionist Services is a local business founded by Nisha Goyal-Parikh. She has a team of warm and friendly virtual receptionists offering free services to local businesses in need. Their virtual receptionists can answer calls, take messages, schedule appointments, and place outbound calls on your behalf remotely.  If you are a local business owner who would like more information and assistance, please call the Gabbyville customer service line at (800) 903-7141, email nisha.parikh@gabbyville.com, or visit gabbyville.com to live chat with a service representative.
  • The Nashville Camber of Commerce has created a comprehensive list of resources related to preparing and responding to COVID-19. For information, click here.
  • The U.S. Chamber Foundation is offering disaster recovery experts to support to local businesses. Please call (202) 463-5518 for information.
  • Resilience in a Box is a resource guide based on best practices designed to help educate business leaders on disaster preparedness and business resilience.
  • Disaster Recovery Quick Guides and Shell have partnered to provide tailored tips for small businesses looking to prepare and recover.
  • The US Small Business Administration offers four ways to stay updated on SBA COVID-19 resources:

Pet Services

  • The Nashville Humane Association has supplies and resources available including crates, food, blankets, leashes, collars and other basic supplies at their headquarters at 213 Oceola Avenue near the intersection of White Bridge Road and Charlotte Pike.

Shelter and Housing

  • Athena Hospitality Group is offering hotels at a discounted rate in Nashville and Franklin for displaced residents, volunteers, or relief crews in need of hotel rooms. For information, email b.behrens@athenahospitalitygroup.com.
  • Towers at Due West is offering hotel-style bedrooms for short term residents affected by the tornado and those experiencing homelessness. To make reservations, contact Charles Parker at (615) 478-8717 or chazp0719@gmail.com.

Shower and Laundry Services

  • Tide Loads of Hope will be distributing relief supplies throughout affected areas, and will collect laundry from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 8 or until reach capacity at Kroger, 800 Monroe Street Nashville, TN 37208. For the most up-to-date truck info, please visit the website: http://spr.ly/61831qHWU.
  • Shower the People is currently running a limited mobile shower route. For information and scheduling, email info@showerthepeople.net.

Transportation

  • Freebird is partnering with Hands On Nashville to offer $10 cash back on your Uber or Lyft ride to a volunteer site.Download the Freebird app for free here, set up your account and the promo code, HONASHVILLE* will automatically appear in your account. When ready to head to a volunteer site, TAP on your $10 ride voucher card and order your Uber or Lyft through the Freebird app. *Promo code HONASHVILLE is good for new users only. Terms apply. Current Freebird users see below for your code offer.Current users: Using your Freebird app, just tap the menu icon on the top left part of the screen (looks like a hamburger). Next, tap on the Promo Codes section. On this screen, you can enter the code HONASHFB. Terms apply.If you volunteer more than once, you will also receive a second bonus voucher which will allow you to earn 500 points for four additional rides to volunteer sites. Every 5,000 points earned in the Freebird app is worth a $10 reward.