President Biden approves Tennessee disaster declaration; how to apply for federal aid

Joe Biden
Posted at 11:54 AM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 07:13:42-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — President Joe Biden has ordered that federal aid assist state and local recovery efforts after this weekend's deadly flooding in Middle Tennessee.

Biden approved Tennessee's disaster declaration on Monday, which makes federal funding available to flood victims in Humphreys County.

That federal assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help residents and business owners recover.

You can begin applying for assistance by registering online here or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

As of Tuesday, this past weekend's catastrophic flooding has claimed at least 22 lives.

On Sunday, Gov. Bill Lee spoke after surveying some of the devastation and said the Biden administration reached out to offer help.

Watch: Gov. Lee speaks on Sunday after deadly flooding

President Biden also spoke about the flooding during a press briefing on Sunday.

"I want to express my deepest condolences for the sudden and tragic loss of life due to this flash flood," he said. "We’ll offer any assistance they need for this terrible moment."

In response to the flooding, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) activated a state of emergency. Gov. Bill Lee and U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty joined other local officials to tour the damage on Sunday afternoon.

In the coming days, Lee said the governor's office will put together a request for a declaration of emergency and federal assistance.


If you've been affected by the flooding, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) says a resource page is available here. A help line is also available at 615-338-7404 for flood survivors to request volunteer clean-up assistance.

If your home was severely damaged or destroyed, you can reach out to the American Red Cross for assistance by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, you can call 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471) to speak with a trained mental health professional, 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. You can also text TN to 741741.