Most tornado recovery volunteer projects were paused when COVID-19 hit Middle Tennessee in March, even though there was still much work to be done. Now that we’re in Phase 3 of the Mayor’s Roadmap for Reopening Nashville, projects are resuming and volunteers are very much needed to continue the recovery process! This Saturday, June 27, is looking to be a big day of tornado recovery-related activities. Here’s a roundup of what’s available. We’ll add to this list as more activities become available.
Shelby Park Golf Course cleanup: Volunteers in groups of 10 will fan out across the golf course, which was hit directly by the tornado, to clean up small debris.
When a tornado touched down March 3 and left a 60-mile path of devastation through Middle Tennessee, Project Connect Nashville knew what it had to do: Serve hot meals to North Nashville residents whose neighborhoods had been badly damaged.
The day after the storm, PCN — whose mission is to build relationships with individuals stuck in a cycle of poverty and connect them to the faith community, living wage jobs, and stable housing — established a central command for recovery, food, and supplies distribution.
PCN employees Quanita Thomas and the Rev. Ella Clay were essential in startup operations. Clay offered the church at which she pastors, the Historic First Community Church at 1815 Knowles St., and Thomas assisted with making connections in the neighborhood, helping even though her own home was damaged by the storm.
Volunteers immediately began tracking of the needs of the neighborhood’s residents: Who lived where, how many meals each house needed, and even whether a home had names to add to their ongoing prayer list. The first two weeks after the storm were the most demanding because many of the homes did not have power, said Laura Ingram, PCN’s North Nashville Location Manager.
“We have about 400 addresses of people who we try to feed multiple times a week,” Ingram said. Those residents include families and those whose mobility is limited, such as seniors and individuals with disabilities, who otherwise would not have been able to access food in the wake of the disaster.
PCN, in partnership with Just the Crumbs — a faith-based mobile food unit from Columbia, Miss. — now serves and delivers meals five days a week, and offers essential resources to the community two hours a day at its North Nashville Resource Center at 1811 Knowles Street.
When COVID-19 got a foothold in Middle Tennessee two weeks after the tornado and more people began staying at home, Ingram says PCN’s volunteer numbers began to dwindle. But she and her colleagues continued their efforts.
“Serving people food was something we really felt we needed to keep doing as it’s too risky for the elderly and disabled to get out and shop for fresh foods,” Ingram says.
As a precaution, PCN is limiting volunteer groups to six people, who are asked to maintain a safe distance when delivering meals. The organization provides gloves, and volunteers are asked to bring their own masks if possible.
“These volunteers are invaluable to us because PCN feels it does take a village to love this wide variety of people and neighborhoods,” Ingram says. “It’s something we can’t do alone, but together we are able to check on everybody and make sure no one is falling through the cracks.”
The idea for Project Connect Nashville was birthed out of the 2010 flood, when PCN’s executive director, Alan Murdock, coordinated recovery in partnership with the East Nashville community through his garden center in Five Points. The organization has now opened campuses in South and North Nashville, and offers classes to provide knowledge, skills, and encouragement, while offering a faith community to support individuals through life’s joys and struggles.
The days since a tornado tore through Middle Tennessee just over a month ago have been long and exhausting for Tina Doniger and Maria Amado, who serve as the executive director and board chair, respectively, of the Community Resource Center. The CRC, which regularly supplies basic essentials to agencies serving vulnerable populations in more than 24 counties, was activated following the storm to serve as Metro Nashville’s collection and distribution point for donations deployed to survivors throughout the region.
For Doniger and Amado, even though the days sometimes blur together, it’s the acts of kindness and generosity that stand out.
Amado shares the story of Levi, a 3-year-old boy who came to the center with his grandmother to drop off donations.
“Levi is about 3 and a half, 4 years old, and he is sucking his thumb,” Amado recalls, retrieving a sandwich bag of coins and dollar bills from across the room. “And he had emptied out his piggy bank. For the kids who lost their homes.”
Then there’s Joe Pollard, president of the Bank of Odessa, Mo., who, upon realizing the CRC didn’t have a box truck of their own, donated the one he had driven down to donate supplies. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision that left Doniger and Amado speechless.
The stories of generosity add up — volunteers who came for two hours and stayed for two weeks, those who took time off from their own jobs to volunteer, those who donated knowledge and skills to help the CRC expand its reach — and take the shape of a community pulling together to make an impact far greater than could have been made by one or two individuals.
As COVID-19 sent shock waves through the region, complicating tornado relief efforts and compounding community needs, Doniger says the CRC has continued to evolve its disaster response to meet those rapidly shifting needs.
“The service we provide is essential for people moving forward,” says Doniger — who is the CRC’s sole paid employee. “There’s now even more added pressure on the people who have been serving, and more added pressure on us to find people to help.”
Keeping volunteers healthy is top of mind for Doniger, who says she provides every safety measure she can for volunteers. She provides gloves, masks, and disinfectant. Within the warehouse, volunteers stay apart, sorting their donations on their respective shelves. Donation drop-offs are now conducted without any person-to-person contact.
“The only way to keep going is for people to help us do the work,” Doniger said. “If we don’t continue doing what we do, we won’t be prepared to service the people. As long as we are healthy, and we can open this door, we are going to serve people no matter what.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 Foundationcreated 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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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 email@example.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 Boxis a resource guide based on best practices designed to help educate business leaders on disaster preparedness and business resilience.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
In hot weather, try to stay cool by staying in air-conditioned buildings, taking breaks in shaded areas or in cool rooms, drinking water and nonalcoholic fluids often, and wearing light and loose-fitting clothing.
Clean up and dry your home quickly after the storm or flood ends- within 24 to 48 hours if possible.
Air out your house by opening doors and windows. Use fans to dry wet areas. Position fans to blow air out doors or windows.
Throw away anything that you can’t clean or dry quickly (such as mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings, and paper products).
Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters.
Thoroughly clean all wet items and surfaces with hot water and laundry or dish detergent. For example, you’ll want to clean any flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures.
Fix any leaks in roofs, walls, or plumbing as soon as you can.
Clean up mold with a mix of bleach and water
Never use bleach in a closed space. Open windows and doors first.
Remember that anything that’s had contact with floodwater could carry germs. To keep your kids safe, make sure their toys are clean:
Make a cleaning fluid by mixing 1 cup of bleach in 5 gallons of water.
Wash off toys carefully with your cleaner.
Let the toys air dry.
You may not be able to kill germs on some toys — like stuffed animals and baby toys. Throw out toys you can’t clean.
Wash up with soap and water
Wash up with soap and water once you’re done cleaning.
If there is a boil-water advisory in effect:
Use water that has been boiled for 1 minute (allow the water to cool before washing); or
Use water that’s been disinfected for personal hygiene:
Use5%-6% unscented liquid household chlorine bleach – add a little less than 1/8 teaspoon (8 drops or about 0.5 milliliters) per 1 gallon of clear water. Stir well, and let it stand for 30 minutes before using. If the water is cloudy, add a little less than ¼ teaspoon (16 drops or about 1 milliliter) per 1 gallon of water.
If you have any open cuts or sores that were exposed to floodwater, wash them with soap and water and apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent an infection.
Seek immediate medical attention if you become injured or sick.
Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent. These clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.
Be careful with floodwater- it can contain dangerous bacteria
Floodwater can contain dangerous bacteria from overflowing sewage and agricultural and industrial waste. While skin contact with floodwater doesn’t pose a serious health risk by itself, eating or drinking anything contaminated with floodwater can cause diseases.
If you have any open cuts or sores that will be exposed to floodwater, keep them as clean as possible by washing them with soap and applying an antibiotic ointment to discourage infection. (See also Clean Hands Save Lives: Emergency Situations)
To reduce cold–related risks when standing or working in water which is cooler than 75 degrees F (24 degrees C), wear insulated clothes and insulated rubber boots, take frequent breaks out of the water, and change into dry clothing when possible.
Stay away from any damaged buildings or structures until a building inspector or other government authority has had a chance to examine it and certify that it’s safe.
Wait until daylight to return to buildings so it’s easier to see and avoid any hazards- especially if the power is out.
Leave your home or other building if you hear any shifting or strange noises- this could mean it’s about to fall.
If you smell gas or suspect a leak, leave your house/building and contact emergency authorities right away! Don’t turn on the lights, light matches, smoke, or do anything that can cause a spark. Don’t return to the building until you’re told it’s safe to do so.
Keep children and pets away from the affected area until cleanup has been completed.
Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
Never use generators, pressure washers, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage, or camper—or even outside near an open window, door, or vent. Carbon monoxide—an odorless, colorless gas from these sources that can cause sudden illness and death—can build up indoors and poison the people and animals inside.
If electrical circuits and electrical equipment have gotten wet or are in or near water, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. If you must enter standing water to access the main power switch, then call an electrician to turn it off.
Never turn power on or off or use an electric tool or appliance while standing in water.
Do not connect generators to your home’s electrical circuits without the approved, automatic-interrupt devices. If a generator is on line when electrical service is restored, it can become a major fire hazard and it may endanger line workers helping to restore power in your area.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 5, 2020) – As thousands of Davidson County citizens begin cleaning up from the March 3 tornado, Metro Public Works has issued the following preliminary guidelines for residents who need to place debris at the curbside for collection:
·All items and materials MUST be separated into three different piles and placed at the curb or street side for collection. If the debris is not separated, it will not be collected. The three different classifications for collection are:
1. White goods and metals (appliances, etc.) 2. Construction and demolition debris (lumber, windows, etc.)
3. Vegetation (brush, limbs and all other yard waste)
·Items should NOT be placed in public alleys. Alleys need to remain clear for emergency crews and trash collection services.
·Household trash should be set out with regular weekly curbside garbage pick-up.
While Public Works is still finalizing a comprehensive plan and schedule for debris collection, residents can go ahead and place items out for collection.
All debris and tornado-damaged items should be placed at the curb/street side for collection. Davidson County residents SHOULD NOT bring these items to Metro Convenience Centers for disposal. For additional information, residents can use hubNashville by calling 311, downloading the hubNashville app, or visiting hub.nashville.gov.
These are common post-disaster fraud practices survivors should be vigilant of:
Housing inspectors claiming to represent FEMA
Be cautious if somebody asks for your nine-digit registration number. FEMA inspectors will never ask for this information. They already have it in their records.
FEMA inspectors never require banking or other personal information such as a Social Security number.
Ask the inspectors to show you their identification badge. Federal employees and contractors always wear an official government or government contractor badge to identify themselves.
Call FEMA at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) if you are suspicious of someone who says they’re a housing inspector sent by FEMA.
Fake offers of local or federal aid
Don’t trust someone who asks for money. Federal and local disaster workers do not solicit or accept money. FEMA and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) staff never charge applicants for disaster assistance, inspections or help in filling out applications.
Don’t believe anyone who promises a disaster grant and asks for large cash deposits or advance payments in full.
Report suspected fraud to the NC Consumer Protection Division at 877-5-NO SCAM (919-716-0058 for Spanish speakers).
Avoiding fraudulent building contractors
Use licensed or verified local contractors backed by reliable references.