1. Make sure you get your Social Security checks and other important mail
If you receive Social Security or other checks in the mail, and you have been displaced by the flooding, be sure to let Social Security know of your new address. Consider changing to direct deposit so that you will continue to receive your money as quickly as possible. For information on Social Security direct deposit, click here. To change your address with Social Security, click here. To change your address with the U.S. Postal Service, click here.
2. File insurance claims
Even if you think your losses won't be covered, it is still a good idea to make a claim on your policy, because some federal assistance programs require this as a first step to receiving aid. For general information on insurance claims, click here.
3. Recover Important Documents
You may have lost important documents in the flood. Determine whether or how to replace those documents.
--Car titles are registered with the state. Information on obtaining duplicate copies is here.
--Deeds that have been recorded will be lodged with the Register of Deeds in your county. That office can provide you with a copy for a nominal charge. If you receive a letter from a private company offering to help you get a copy of your deed for a charge, please know that your local Register of Deeds will probably be able to help you faster and for much less.
--Duplicate Driver's Licenses can be ordered online here.
--Social Security Cards are replaced for free, but you must have appropriate documentation to verify your identity. More information is located here.
--Birth Certificates and other vital records can be ordered through the state here.
--Shot Records are filed with the local county department of health where the child lived at the time of immunization.
--U.S. Savings Bonds that have been destroyed can be reissued. For more information, click here. In Presidentially Declared Federal Disaster Areas, the initial holding period for savings bonds can be waived, allowing you to cash them earlier.
--Damaged Currency can be replaced. Learn more at the U.S. Treasury's website, here.
--Original Wills, Powers of Attorney, and other Estate Planning Documents that have been destroyed should be re-executed, because if a will is destroyed, the law considers it to have been revoked. Call your estate planning attorney to make arrangements to execute new documents. Lawyers at this firm have volunteered to assist flood victims whose estate planning documents have been destroyed.
--Financial and Health Records. Many financial and health records are now kept online. Contact your banks, credit card companies, health insurance company, doctor's offices, and pharmacies to see if you can access your personal records through their websites.
--Tax Records. The IRS will waive fees and expedite requests for records. Use IRS Form 4506 or 4506-T and write in the top in red ink the assigned disaster designation. For more information, click here.
--Military Discharge Records. To request replacements, click here.
--Federal Employment Records. For information, click here.
--Immigration Documentation. For information on replacing documents, click here.
--Medicare Cards. Click here to request a replacement Medicare Card.
--TennCare/Medicaid. Click here for a list of contact information. Please note that the TennCare offices were affected by the flood.
--Damaged Photos. Click here to read information on Operation Photo Rescue's trip to Nashville.
4. Get new prescriptions
If you regularly take prescription medicine and your prescription was lost or destroyed, contact your pharmacy. The Tennessee Pharmacists Association has made its members aware of provisions in the law that allow them to replace your medication.
5. Beware of Scams
Although this disaster has brought out the best in this Volunteer State, there are always those who will try to take advantage of the needy. Be especially aware of persons who are charging to help clean up or repair your home; they may take your downpayment and never come back. If someone says he's from the electric company, the telephone company, or any other utility or service provider, ask for identification and write down the name before you let them inspect for damage or come inside your home. Federal Assistance Programs do not require fees to apply; do not pay anyone "processing fees" to help you get government grants or loans.
6. Don't forget your legal obligations
If you are a renter or landlord, make sure you obtain legal advice quickly as to your rights and obligations. If you owe child support, have a visitation schedule, or have an upcoming court date, make sure that you let the appropriate persons know if you will have trouble meeting your obligations because you are a flood victim. The IRS has extended the dealines for certain tax reporting requirements. If you have outstanding tax returns or if you are contacted for an audit or examination, be sure to inform the IRS that you are a disaster victim. Information on free legal clinics can be found here.