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Disaster Declaration Made for FEMA Assistance 

NASHVILLE (January 14) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Friday evening that President Biden has designated 12 Tennessee counties, including Weakley, to receive FEMA’s Individual Assistance program through a Major Disaster Declaration for the deadly tornado outbreak on December 10-11, 2021.

Other Tennessee counties named in the Major Disaster Declaration are Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Gibson, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Obion, Stewart, Sumner, and Wilson.

“Weakley County Mayor Jake Bynum and I are extremely pleased and excited that President Biden has signed the Disaster Declaration granting assistance to individuals affected by the December 10 tornado in Dresden and Weakley County,” Dresden Mayor Jeff Washburn noted.

“We want to thank everyone who has worked diligently over the past few weeks to accomplish the granting of the declaration for assistance to our residents. We pledge to continue our efforts to obtain a complete declaration for public assistance in order to obtain the funding for the cleanup of the debris and demolition of destroyed buildings. The public assistance declaration is also necessary to provide funds for rebuilding of public facilities that were destroyed. We call on our elected state and national leaders to keep working on our behalf to obtain the complete public assistance Disaster Declaration,” Washburn added.

“I appreciate the hard recovery work we’ve already accomplished with our local, state, and federal partners,” Gov. Lee said. “We will continue working to make sure Tennesseans have every resource necessary for a full, swift recovery.”

FEMA is still reviewing data assessment data in determining whether the counties will be eligible for the Public Assistance program. Individuals in the declared counties can apply now for direct assistance through FEMA’s IA program.  The public assistance part would provide assistance to local governments for cleanup of the vegetative and construction/building debris left in the tornados’ aftermath.

Individuals can apply for FEMA’s IA program as follows:

  1. Online at; or,
  2. By phone at 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585).

Those eligible for FEMA’s IA program may receive help with rental assistance, the repair of homes and replacement of personal property, and other uninsured or under-insured losses

from the disaster.

FEMA’s application phone number is available from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., CST, and multilingual operators are available.

More information on FEMA’s IA program is at

The Major Disaster Declaration also makes FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Program available to all Tennessee counties. Grants provided through the Hazard Mitigation Program can provide

reimbursement assistance for projects that prevent or reduce the long-term risk to the loss of life and property from natural hazards.

On December 13, 2021, FEMA granted an Emergency Declaration for nine Tennessee counties and made limited federal assistance available for emergency measures the counties took in responding to the disaster. The counties included in the initial Emergency Declaration were Cheatham, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Gibson, Lake, Obion, Stewart and Weakley.

Tennessee experienced two lines of severe weather on December 10, and December 11, as a mass of warm, unstable air moved across the state. The storms produced 24 tornadoes across west and middle Tennessee, claimed five lives, and left more than 150,000 people without power at the severe weather’s peak.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has made a recovery web page available in an effort to help storm survivors find resources and support.

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