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News & Press: Notices

TN Disaster Relief & Update

Thursday, December 1, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Professional Educators of Tennessee
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Chattanooga Tragedy


Donate to the “The Woodmore Fund”

  • Checks should be made to "The Woodmore Fund" payable to the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. Checks can be dropped off or mailed to: 1270 Market Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402. 
  • Text "Woodmore" to 91999 or call 2-1-1 (423-265-8000).
  • Contribute Online





East TN Wildfires & Tornadoes

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), in coordination with departments of Tennessee State Government, has compiled information to assist businesses and residentsas they work to rebuild their lives following the devastating wildfires and to direct those who are interested in helping our Sevier County neighbors. The page will be updated as more information becomes available. For updates on the situation in Sevier County, please visit


Gatlinburg officials are asking volunteers not to self-deploy to Sevier County to assist. TEMA and Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (TN VOAD) have set up a call center for information about donating goods and volunteering to help survivors of the Sevier County wildfires. The call center number is 866-586-4483. It is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST seven days a week.


Cash donations can be made through the American Red Cross at, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or by texting REDCROSS to 90999.


God's Warehouse (Morristown, TN) is packaging disaster relief materials at 3441 W. A J Highway. (423-586-0522)


New Hope Church of God at 2450 Winfield Dunn Parkway in Sevierville is collecting donations also. Contact number is 865-932-4673, staffed 9 am to 5 pm.


Uncle Lem’s Mountain Outfitters is collecting donations from 10am -8 pm. They are accepting water, Gatorade, pre-packaged snacks, supplies for the shelters, and pet food/supplies at 9715 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN.


Yassin's Falafel House is collecting cases of water and Gatorade in the public parking lot adjacent to 706 Walnut Street in downtown Knoxville from 10am to 6 pm or until the truck is full.


Barker Lounge at 1301 Main Street in Sevierville and Blount County Animal Control at 233 Currie Avenue in Maryville are taking displaced animals and need animal related supplies including food and crates.


The Knoxville Expo Center is accepting donations at 5441 Clinton Hwy, Knoxville.


The YMCA in East Tennessee is accepting donations at all locations.


Remote Area Medical is accepting donations at is headquarters at 2220 Stock Creek Boulevard in Rockford.


Lafollette Church of God at 1906 Jacksboro Pike, LaFollette, is accepting food and water donations.


Blount Partnership, at 201 S. Washington Street in Maryville and Townsend Visitors Center at 7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway are accepting donations for water and food for animals and more.


Christ the Rock Church of God is collecting food and water donations at 4306 Washington Pike in Knoxville.


East Tennessee TCATs are collecting donations of items requested by The Red Cross for Gatlinburg/ Pigeon Forge fire victims. (Click Here for List) Items must be dropped off by 9am ET Friday December 2.


Austin Peay State University will be collecting donations on campus Wednesday through Friday (December 1-3).



(Source: Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development)

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development has the following locations available to assist displaced workers in Sevier County.

Community Resource Center
149 Cates Lane, Pigeon Forge (former Boyds Bear Factory)
Note: This center will remain open seven days a week until services are no longer needed
Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

American Job Center
1216 Graduate Drive, Sevierville
Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 3, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 4, 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

There will also be a mobile American Job Center in Cocke County next week to help workers displaced by the wildfires. 

Monday, December 5, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., Newport Community Center
Tuesday, December 6, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., National Guard Armory
Wednesday, December 7, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., Newport Community Center

Mobile American Job Centers are a computer resource center where dislocated workers can go online and apply for unemployment insurance benefits. Trained staff are available to assist people applying for benefits. Workers should bring as much information as possible with them, including bank account numbers, or an address where they can receive a debit card. Unemployment benefits cannot be issued at the mobile career centers.

To make the processing claims as efficient as possible, it is critical employers file a MASS LAYOFF LIST at  This list will enable the department to bypass usual investigations into claims and approve claims in the fastest possible time frame. 

(Source: Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance) 

To protect yourself, only hire licensed contractors. Visit to ensure that a contractor is properly licensed to work in the state of Tennessee. Different types of work or work with a higher cost may require different licensure.

Before you hire a contractor:

  •  Make sure the contractor is properly licensed. Write down the license number and verify that it is legitimate by visiting
  • Get several bids. It’s best to get at least three bids and check references.
  • Get a written contract that includes the company’s name, address, and telephone number. The contract should also include an anticipated start and completion date.
  • Never pay more than one-third down and do not let the payments get ahead of the work.
  • Make sure the contractor is insured to cover workers’ compensation, damage and general liability insurance.


When hiring a contractor, avoid:

  • A person going door-to-door selling their services.
  • A person who offers services for a short time only, which makes consumers feel rushed and unable to research the contractor.
  • Unmarked trucks or vans, or a refusal or reluctance to set out complete and specific contract terms in writing.
  • Being pressured to pay for more than half of the cost upfront.


To file a complaint about a contractor with the Board for Licensing Contractors, visit or call 800-544-7693. 

(Source: Tennessee Department of Health)

Those involved in search, recovery and clean-up efforts associated with the wildfire response should be aware of increased risk of infection from cuts and scrapes. The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) is now offering free tetanus vaccinations to help those involved in these efforts. Visit to find your local health department. Tetanus is caused by bacteria found in soil, dust and animal waste and enters the human body through a cut or puncture wound.  Because it causes muscle spasms usually starting in the jaw, many people refer to it as “lockjaw.”  Approximately 10 percent of people infected with tetanus die each year.

The TDH also encourages all involved in moving debris from wildfires and tornados to wear protective gear. Depending on the work performed, this may include heavy gloves, eye protection, N95 dust masks, hearing protection, hard hats and other wearables.

(Source: Tennessee Housing Development Agency)

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency encourages landlords in areas impacted to update rental listings on and to offer short leases for those who have been displaced by the disaster., THDA’s rental housing resource website, helps renters find housing and provides a venue for property owners/managers to list housing. The service is free for both landlords and potential tenants. Property owners and managers are invited to call 1-877-428-8844 or visit for assistance.

(Source: Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance)

Sevier County residents who need assistance filing an insurance claim are invited to visit the Community Resource Center in the former Boyds Bears building parking lot located at 149 Cates Lane in Pigeon Forge. Representatives from insurance carriers and the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance will be on hand to answer questions. The Community Resource Center will be staffed Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. 

If your home has been damaged or destroyed by fire:

  •  Call your insurance company or agent with your policy number and other relevant information as soon as possible. Cooperate fully with the insurance company, and ask what documents, forms and data you will need.
  • Take photographs/video of the damage. Make an inventory of the items that have been lost.
  • Make the repairs necessary to prevent further damage to your property (i.e., cover broken windows, leaking roofs and damaged walls). Do not have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs.
  • Save all receipts, including those from the temporary repairs covered by your insurance policy.
  • If your home is damaged to the extent that you cannot live there, ask your insurance company if you have coverage for additional living expenses incurred while repairs are being made. Save all receipts to document these costs.  If you have a dispute with your insurer about the amount or terms of the claim settlement, you can contact TDCI for assistance. Click here to visit TDCI's website.



Polk County - Two killed; severe structural damage

McMinn County - up to 23 injured; collapsed structures
Marion County - Three injured; collapsed structures

Structural damage only; No injuries or fatalities
Bedford County
Bradley County
Coffee County
Franklin County
Sequatchie County

Source: Tennessee Emergency Management Agency

Help people affected by disasters like severe weather in Southeast Tennessee and countless other crises by making a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small across the United States. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. 

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