Picking up the pieces following tornadoes in western Kentucky

Updated: Dec 22, 2021


Kentuckians have been shaken following the December tornado disaster, and need help moving forward on solid ground. It’s a vulnerable time, which is why the Kentucky Equal Justice Center wants to help everyone understand their rights and the protections available to them. KEJC and its partners will continue to stand with and advocate for residents of the Commonwealth during this difficult time.


Kentucky Renters Assistance


The Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering help to renters who lost their homes or property due to the storms and tornadoes on Dec. 10, 2021. If you are a renter and live in these counties, you can apply for assistance;

  • Caldwell

  • Christian

  • Fulton

  • Graves

  • Hart

  • Hickman

  • Hopkins

  • Logan

  • Lyon

  • Marshall

  • Muhlenberg

  • Ohio

  • Taylor

  • Warren

Individual assistance is available to students and homeowners. It can be used for about one to two months of temporary housing. The deadline to apply is Feb. 11, 2022. Additionally, FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance program provides help to pay for personal property losses such as;

  • Furniture, appliances, clothing, textbooks, and school supplies

  • Tools or job-related equipment for the self-employed

  • Primary vehicles

  • Uninsured or out-of-pocket medical, dental, childcare, moving, and storage expenses

For additional information on housing resources for Kentuckians in need, visit our partner organization, the Kentucky Housing Corporation. The Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence is working to identify the unique needs of victims in the aftermath of the tornadoes.


Know your rights, keep scams at bay


It's a vulnerable time to be looking for help following the tornadoes, but knowing your rights can help prevent you from being taken advantage of. Kentucky has protections for people who enter into contracts as the result of door-to-door solicitation. People who enter into these types of agreements do have the right to cancel the contract. That includes contractors who are hired to help fix roofs.


Insurance dragging their feet?


If your insurance company is taking an unreasonable amount of time to process your claim or the compensation they’re offering seems especially low, know there are protections for that. You don’t have to accept unfair practices. This law, in particular, is designed to protect people who have been paying insurance companies for years in case of unexpected disasters and it discourages those companies from taking advantage of people. Our partner Kentucky Voices for Health is working to connect Kentuckians who need healthcare.


Need healthcare or access to a provider?


Kentuckians can enroll in Medicaid at any time throughout the year and Presumptive Eligibility (PE) Medicaid is the fastest way to get covered for people who need additional time to submit required documentation. Kentuckians who are displaced by the recent natural disaster may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. We encourage individuals to find a kynector or insurance agent nearby to help them explore their options.


Blood donations are needed.


Kentuckians are being encouraged to visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive or donation location near them if they would like to donate blood to help Western Kentuckians in need. Dozens of blood products have been used so far in the region to help injured tornado victims, and more donations are needed.


Monetary donations continue to be needed.


The newness of this tragedy still has many of us in shock and disbelief, and the weeks and months ahead will be extremely difficult for thousands of Kentuckians. If you want to help and are in a place to give, we encourage you to consider donating to the official Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund.


Medicaid and SNAP Resources


The Department for Medicaid Services (DMS), has updated its list of tornado recovery resources for our 1915(c) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver participants and providers. The listing also includes ways for individuals to help tornado survivors.


SNAP & Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) Information


The Mayfield/Graves County DCBS offices are inaccessible and closed. DCBS is working to secure temporary locations in order to serve Kentuckians in the area. Family Support customers can call DCBS at 855.306.8959 or visit kynect.ky.gov for assistance with benefits. Clients in tornado impacted areas can also be served at other nearby DCBS locations; search by county to find these locations here.


Kentuckians who need a replacement EBT card should follow these instructions:

  • If you are able to receive mail at the address they have on file with DCBS, call 888.979.9949 to request a replacement card.

  • If you are unable to receive mail at the address on file and are receiving mail at a temporary location, contact DCBS at 855.306.8959 to update this address information and request a new card once the address has been changed.

Forward Kentucky has put together a list of how and where you can donate to help #TeamKentucky build back our Commonwealth.


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