may2010-sons-of-tennessee

Sons of Tennessee Express Concern for Flood Victims
By Julia Dawson and Josh Kastrinsky

Hollywood, CA – Actor Morgan Freeman expressed condolences today to his friend, country music icon Kenny Chesney, upon learning of the devastation to Chesney’s Nashville, Tenn., home following severe storms and floods.

“I’m concerned about my friend, who’s lost his home, and all the people of Tennessee impacted by these storms,” said Freeman via phone from LA.

Freeman himself was born in Memphis and Chesney has lived in Nashville for more than a decade. Last night, Chesney briefed CNN’s Anderson Cooper about the damage to his home and the entire city, urging more national media attention and emergency aid for Nashville and surrounding areas.

Today, Freeman joined Chesney in the plea for more media attention, emergency relief and later, enhanced emergency planning to mitigate losses from future floods.

“I urge all who can to support emergency relief efforts and, later, long term recovery efforts that boost disaster resilience in Tennessee and beyond,” he said.

Both stars are storm planning and recovery advocates for P!N, which helps residents in communities nationwide protect themselves from water-borne disasters like the Tennessee floods through emergency planning.

“We cannot prevent floods from occurring, but we can take steps to protect ourselves and our neighbors,” said P!N President Donna Lee. “Sophisticated computer models like HAZUS [used by FEMA] help cities and states predict and assess flood damage and institute protective safeguards to minimize loss. On the individual level, keeping hard and electronic copies of wills, deeds and other important documents should be standard practices for residents of storm zones.”

P!N suggests the following resources for Middle Tennessee residents seeking:

EMERGENCY FOOD, SHELTER AND MEDICAL CARE:

  • The United Way’s 211 service can connect callers with roughly 7,000 programs in Middle Tennessee that offer assistance with food, clothing and shelter, among others. Call 2-1-1.
  • For those who have questions about flooding or need non-emergency assistance, Metro has a hot line, (615) 862-8574.
  • Call the Red Cross at (615) 250-4250 to find the closest shelter or go to www.nashvilleredcross.org. The American Red Cross is operating 18 shelters across Middle and West Tennessee. The centers will provide counseling and aid for victims as well as access to other social services.
  • Metro Davidson County now has multiple Disaster Information Centers for general information on utilities, social service assistance and legal and insurance information (but not medical assistance). Centers will operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at:
    Bellevue Community Center, 656 Colice Jeanne Road, (615) 862-8435
    Coleman Community Center, 384 Thompson Lane, (615) 862-8445
    East Park Community Center, 700 Woodland Street, (615) 862-8448
    Hadley Community Center, 1037 28th Avenue North, (615) 862-8451
    Hermitage Community Center, 3720 James Kay Lane, (615) 316-0843

  • Metro Public Health is offering free tetanus shots at the five community centers around Nashville for people who might come into contact with flood water.

COUNSELING SERVICES FOR VICTIMS WHO HAVE LOST LOVED ONES, THEIR HOME, AND OTHER PROPERTY:

  • Call the Red Cross at (615) 250-4250 to find the closest shelter or go to www.nashvilleredcross.org. The American Red Cross is operating 18 shelters across Middle and West Tennessee. The centers will provide counseling and aid for victims as well as access to other social services.

FEDERAL AID MONEY FOR RECOVERY AND REBUILDING:

  • Residents and business owners in the affected counties can apply for assistance by registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

FREE LEGAL ADVICE:

  • Volunteer lawyers will provide free services at three upcoming legal clinics:

Legal Clinic, sponsored by the Nashville Pro Bono Program – May 11 at 4:30 p.m. at Legal Aid Society, 300 Deaderick Street, Nashville, TN 37201. No appointments needed.

Special Disaster Legal Clinic, sponsored by the Nashville Pro Bono Program – May 12 at 5 p.m. at Legal Aid Society, 300 Deaderick Street, Nashville, TN 37201. No appointments needed.

For more information about the Nashville Pro Bono Program clinics, visit the organization’s blog at: http://nashvilleprobono.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/legal-help-for-flood-victims.

HELPING PEOPLE UNDERSTAND WHAT THEIR INSURANCE WILL AND WILL NOT COVER:

  • If you have issues with an insurance company, call the Department of Commerce and Insurance at 1-800-342-4029.

Avoid unlicensed contractors who could take advantage of homeowners anxious to rebuild after disasters by hiring only licensed contractors. Consumers may verify a license status by calling 1-800-544-7693 or checking online at http://licsrch.state.tn.us/.

  • State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., 1-800-732-5246
  • Farm Bureau Insurance, 1-800-836-6327
  • Allstate Insurance Co., 1-800-767-7619
  • Nationwide Insurance Co., 1-800-421-3535
  • Traveler’s Insurance Co., 1-800-252-4633
  • Farmers Insurance Group 1-800-435-7764
  • USAA (United Services Auto Association), 1-800-531-8111
  • Foremost Insurance Co., 1-800-527-3907

For non-insurance issues, call the Consumer Affairs hotline, 1-800-342-8385.

FOR NON-VICTIMS, HOW TO HELP THOSE IN NEED:

  • Hands On Nashville is doing widespread organizing of volunteers to help with a variety of flood recovery and relief efforts, as safe volunteer opportunities are identified by the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management. Register at www.hon.org.
  • Middle Tennessee Kroger locations are collecting donations of money and non-perishable items for the American Red Cross and Second Harvest Food Bank to aid flood victims.
  • Financial donations can be made to relief efforts through the Community Foundation at www.cfmt.org.
  • To support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts, make a credit card donation by calling 1-800-725-2769 or online at www.salarmy-nashville.com.

Complete disaster recovery information is available from Nashville’s The Tennessean. See updates at www.tennesseean.com.