Flood FAQ: Clearing Up The Information Disaster [Flood 2010]

May 5, 2010 9:00 AM 24 comments

Q. How can I help? I have [insert item to be donated] in my trunk and [insert shelter name] won’t answer their phone/told me to go away! My boss is giving me the day off work but I don’t know how to volunteer!
A.  March yourself on over to our post entitled So Nashville Is Flooded… How Can I Help? and take a look around, then call up your neighbors and friends to see if they need anything. Nashville is full of fantastic people, and they need your help. We’ll also take this opportunity to remind you that Hands On Nashville is heading up all official, FEMA-funded relief efforts, so sign up to volunteer through them and you can’t go wrong!

Q. I need help! I was a victim of the flood! Where can I go? What should I do?
A. If you are displaced and need housing, the Red Cross is operating several shelters in the immediate and outlying areas. Go here for a complete list. Many of the hotels in the area are willing to cut you a special deal as a victim of flooding, so just call and ask. Start with the Sheraton. If you’re overwhelmed with all of that, call the United Way at 2-1-1 and they’ll hook you up. You can also apply for FEMA aid beginning Wednesday May 5 at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 (1-800-462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired). These numbers will operate from 7am-10pm, 7 days a week until further notice.

Q. My house is a mess… Where do I even start on cleaning this up?
A.  Start with this helpful guide on cleaning up a flooded home. Other useful tips on cleanup can be found here and here, and you can find some general guidelines on dealing with mold here. Invaluable family photos need saving? Try following the tips here. Saved stuff that needs to be stored? StorPlace Self Storage will give you a free month. Most importantly, don’t hesitate to ask for help. There is a community of people out there waiting to help you, all you have to do is ask!

Q. What about the animals? Is someone taking care of them?
A. Yes! Happy Tales Humane in The Factory in Franklin can temporarily take in small-to-medium sized dogs of displaced homeowners. Animal Ark Animal Hospital is doing the same for dogs and other types of pets. Nashville Humane Society is collecting donated pet food and supplies to distribute. AARF in Cookeville has also offered to take in displaced animals if the need arises. And if your pet was injured, Brown Dog Foundation is offering up to $300 to stabilize and/or treat displaced, injured pets.

Q. Oopsie… Where can I get a free/inexpensive tetanus shot?
A. Community centers across the city are giving free tetanus shots after 12pm every day and until at least 4pm. Go HERE to find the locations.

Q. How can I conserve water? I need to shower!
A. Take a Navy shower. Seriously. Don’t water your flowers, wash your car, do your laundry or dishes (aren’t we all looking for an excuse to avoid chores?) and definitely don’t get out the garden hose and start washing away debris from the flood. Conserve. Be conservative with your water usage. Cool People Care has an entertaining and informative list of ways to help you do your part. Need more help? Great tips here and here. We’re all smelly by now, no one will notice if you don’t shower.

Q. How do I get rid of all this crap in my house/yard/car/new water fixture in the backyard? When/where/how will Metro pick up flood debris?
A.  Separate your crap into four piles – One for white goods and metal (appliances, etc), one for construction and demolition debris (lumber, windows, etc), another for vegetation (brush, limbs and yard waste) and yet another for household trash (including carpet). There is no current pickup schedule, but go ahead and get that stuff out by the curb. Not in the alley, not trucked over to the Metro Convenience Center, by the curb. If you don’t follow the instructions, your stuff won’t get picked up. So do what we’re telling you to do, please. PS: If your trash or recycling bin was washed away in the flood, bag, tie and clearly label your trash and recycling (separated, of course). Then call 880-1000 for a replacement bin.

Q. Is [insert name of road] closed/open?
A.  All interstates and most main roads have reopened, and will continue to do so as the waters recede. It’s hard for even TDOT to keep up with the reopenings – And that’s a great thing, because it means our roads are reopening rapidly! Check out their closures map anyway, follow @TN511 and @NashTraffic on Twitter, and try Nashville.gov’s road closures map too.

Q. Is there a gas shortage? I got an email forward about it, so it must be true!
A. The truth? There will be a gas shortage… if you create one. Some gas shipments have been delayed, but there is plenty to go around. Please don’t panic and start hoarding gas, because we all remember (and wish we could forget) the last time that happened.

Q. I heard they were cutting off the water supply! The same coworker that told me there was a gas shortage told me so!
A. No. The answer is no. Unless your information is coming from Metro Water, don’t worry about it, and certainly don’t hoard water. Then we’ll have a problem, and it will be your coworker’s fault.

Q. Um, Nashvillest, I emailed/tweeted you 17 minutes ago and you haven’t replied back with an answer to my question. What gives? I need an answer! Didn’t anyone tell you there’s a FLOOD?
A. We’re just two people with full-time day jobs trying to help out this city that we love in the best way that we can. If we haven’t replied to you, it means that we don’t know the answer BUT we are working hard to figure it out. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, but please be patient if we can’t answer your question immediately. Help us out by referring your friends & family to this FAQ or our How Can I Help? post when they are in need of information.

If your question isn’t answered here (it probably isn’t), feel free to leave it in the comments so that either us or others can help you out.

Photo by Vic James Photography.

  • http://metamarketer.com/ Kate O'

    You two rock harder than death metal punks. Thank you for all you're doing. This is an amazing resource.

  • http://rachelarnold.tumblr.com/ rachel arnold

    I agree with Kate! you guys are awesome, and nashville better be thankful for all you both have been doing!! xoxo!

  • Winston

    This is the best list to date. We owe you a parade or a bunch of beers or something for all the excellent work you've done.

  • http://www.jhendersonstudios.com Jenna

    I just wanted to say thanks for all the hard work you guys have done. With so much information out there, you've made a perfectly simple, easy to read list, and you've still managed to cover all the bases. Keep up the great work.

  • http://nashvillest.com morganlevy

    We'll take your beers ;)

  • http://nashvillest.com morganlevy

    You guys are all so kind! We really appreciate your support… and most importantly, we appreciate you loving on Nashville!

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  • LWood0514

    I have got clothes- kids and adult, lamps, toys and some household misc items. Where do I take them?

    And yes- THANK YOU for all you are doing!!!!

  • http://nashvillest.com morganlevy

    Check out this post: http://nashvillest.com/2010/05/03/so-nashville-

    Take your items to one of the drop sites listed! Graceworks in Franklin would be an excellent place to start, but if you can't make it out there, there are numerous other drop sites (and more are being added every hour).

  • eskstn

    Despite pleas to conserve water, consumption hasn't dropped accdg to the paper:
    Metro Water Director Director just gave this comparison: Last year at this time, Nashvillians used 81.64 million gallons of water. Yesterday, they used 79.33 million gallons.
    There's a number to report those who abusing their water usage:
    To have Metro Water shame your neighbors in to using wisely, call 862-4600

    Great flood info summary.

  • http://twitter.com/Aerinea Erin Kay Davison

    Thank you so much for everything! You two are incredible and a great resource for all of us. Let us all know when/where you want your beers!

  • NashvilleCitizen

    I would like to know where all of the Nashville “celebrities” are.
    Where are the Titans players standing in front of the media asking people to volunteer? Where are the country music stars? Where is Big and Rich. Where is Taylor Swift? Where are the Predators players? They are all turning their back on the city that has allowed them to reach the fame and wealth they have accrued. One thing about McNair, even though he was a POS in his personal life, he would have been down there from day 1 IN the community offering help and organizing help efforts.
    The residents of Nashville and Nashvillest have done all of this on their own, and for that, they deserve the upmost respect. However, out local “community heros” are nowhere to be seen.
    Oh, sorry…Poor Keith Urban lost musical equipment. Boo Hoo. There are thousands of people less fortunate than yourself out there whom you are turning your back on.
    And some of the Twitter “gurus” in this city are some of the biggest whiners that I have ever seen. They won't get out and offer any type of help, but they WILL sit behind their computers and iPhones all day and bitch and whine that the national media outlets aren't giving Nashville fair coverage.

  • NashvilleCitizen

    Ironic…See the last section of my above post.

  • http://metamarketer.com/ Kate O'

    Really, NashvilleCitizen? You're calling me out? For trying to bring attention to our disaster so that we can generate the kind of private as well as public aid that this city will need to rebuild?

    OK, fine. I'll take that charge. But “won't get out and offer any help”? Unless you were near me in the human conveyor line at the MetroCenter sandbagging Monday night and you were disappointed in how I struggled with the weight of the sandbags (I can't help it! they were freakin' heavy!), or unless you think I didn't ask enough times if anyone needed anything from the store while I was there yesterday, or unless you think I should've carried more buckets when I was helping my neighbor bail out her basement, or unless you think I didn't keep a good enough eye on my neighbors' homes who were out of town this weekend, etc., etc., etc., please don't presume to imply that I'm not getting out and offering any help.

    I say we need awareness. You may disagree. I'm a marketer; if there's one way I can potentially help my city, it's by helping to get people across the country and across the world to notice and care and open their wallets. That's my aim when I check in on Twitter throughout my day, in between dealing with my own flooded property and trying to find ways to help with others'. You may deal with everything in your own way. But isn't it better if we agree to respect each other's approach?



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  • mdewitte

    Jarvis Property Restoration * legitimate co registered with Gov't in Nashville Metro Smartrac and Federal * Duns #109189829 Central Contractor Registration and ORCA. 250 crew members in Nashville, 20 semi's of flood pumping, generator, structure drying equipment. 30 years in disaster response. Call them at 866-452-7847 Toll Free. or check their website at http://www.jarvisconstruction.com. Honest and reputable. They give their pricing up front. They handled all 24 Govt bldgs when the entire city of Cedar Rapids flooded just like we are experiencing now.

  • mlephoto

    Please let people know that if they have damaged home movie film (8mm, Super 8, 16mm projector film) to NOT LET IT DRY OUT- KEEP IT IN WATER if it is wet! Contact a local film lab or transfer house (PSU Film & Video or Chromatics) or Google “AMIA HOME MOVIE RECOVERY” for a informational article.

    If they have photos or documents that are dirty from flood water or stuck together, soak in water & dry on towels or a window screen.

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  • gladilivehere

    Are you really a Nashville citizen? There's a fundraiser on right now with all kinds of local celbrities. It's been discussed on local tv for days. Were you not aware of it? Didn't you hear the coverage of the Titan who helped because he was physically able to? Now there are all kinds of local celebrities contributing time and money. You mentioned Taylor Swift – she donated $400,000. I think that's significant. Young Buck is there answering the phone. Nashville celebrities have done everything from getting in the middle of the mud and moving dirty furniture with the rest of people to singing and talking and donating big money because they can. You are all about the talk. What have you done? Our family has donated money.

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  • Stephanie Braski

    NashvilleCitizen: You talk about whiners and it sounds like you are one of those. What are YOU doing to help??? Get off your computer and lend a hand instead of whining about who isn't out there helping! Attitude is everything and makes a huge difference in how people or communities get back on their feet. I am from Wisconsin and considering offering help instead of putting the responsibility on “celebrities”. Where the heck is your brain?

  • http://www.operationphotorescue.org/ Margie Hayes

    Operation Photo Rescue is gearing up to help those with damaged photos. We are a non-profit organizatione with over 2,000 volunteers in all 50 states and 49 countries. Since 2006 after Hurricane Katrina, we have restored over 6,000 photos. We do a digital copy (cameras on tripod) and upload to PhotoShelter where volunteers are able to pick a photo to restore and return. Once all of the photos are done, they are printed and shipped free of charge by DigMyPics back to the family. The most important thing right now is the care of the damaged photos. Here is a link for that information: http://www.operationphotorescue.org/forum/index

    Website: http://www.operationphotorescue.org/
    In the right hand corner is video shot by Jim Gagne of The Weather Channel of our Galveston, TX rescue after Hurricane Ike.

    Margie Hayes
    President of Operation Photo Rescue

  • Emily W.

    Is there any confirmed information available about the level of contamination the Harpeth River would have had when it was flooding Bellevue? Did anyone take (and since analzyed) samples of the water for bacteria count? Was the entire contents of the Williamson County sewage treatment plant in it, or were they able to contain that? People are coming up here and telling people to rip out their siding and subfloors and whole duct systems because “you just don't know what was in that water!” and I want to know what the (relative) risk really is.

  • Tina

    I saw on one website where a photo restoration company is coming to town in a week or two to help with restoring flood-damaged photos, but now I can't find the link again. Do you know anything about this? My daughter had some college sorority photos damaged and it broke her heart.

  • http://nashvillest.com Christy Frink

    Not sure about any companies coming into town, but check out this thread from Operation Photo Rescue for some tips: http://www.operationphotorescue.org/forum/index

    Good luck!

  • Tina

    Thank you so much!!

  • Tina

    Thank you so much!!

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