Disaster declaration approved for Nashville Christmas bombing

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — An emergency disaster declaration for Nashville has been approved following the downtown bombing on Christmas Day.

The emergency declaration authorizes FEMA, under the Robert T. Stafford Act, will provide Metro Nashville-Davidson County government with direct assistance for emergency protective measures “to lessen the impact to lives and property.”

“We are grateful for the support from President Trump and our federal delegation,” Lee said. “These federal resources will help the Nashville community recover from this tragic event.”

A disaster declaration will allow Nashville to receive federal assistance to help supplement local and state disaster relief efforts. This includes firefighting, search and rescue operations, emergency operations center activation, medical care and transport, evacuation and sheltering, safety inspections, and area security. The emergency declaration can also be used to provide insurance compensation for disaster-related losses.

This comes after Governor Bill Lee requested an emergency disaster declaration from the president. In a letter sent to President Trump, Gov. Lee wrote that the state “continues to support Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County with any needs required” and that the “severity and magnitude of the current situation is such that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments.”

Tennessee Representative Jim Cooper and U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn also sent the letter to the White House requesting the president approve the disaster declaration request.

According to a statement from the governor’s office, The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency will continue to work with FEMA on recovery assistance and with the U.S. Small Business Administration on assistance that may be available through the the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

The White House sent News 2 a statement late Tuesday afternoon:

Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that an emergency exists in the State of Tennessee and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from an explosion on December 25, 2020.

The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in Davidson County.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding.

Pete Gaynor, Administrator, FEMA, Department of Homeland Security, named Myra M. Shird as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

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