Greater Chattanooga Tornado Relief

Responding to the April Tornado

Just after midnight on April 13, a powerful tornado carved a destructive path through our city, impacting the Brainerd, East Brainerd, Apison, Collegedale, and Ooltewah communities as well as large parts of North Georgia.

The exact scope of the damage is still coming into focus, but we know that dozens of families have lost their homes and at least two members of our community lost their lives in the disaster. And while providing relief and responding to a natural disaster is already challenging under typical circumstances, the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional difficulties in providing support to those most affected by the tornado. Below are some ways that you can get help and give help with tornado relief. 

Help Meet Immediate Needs:

Find Assistance:

  • If anyone is in need of assistance from the April 12, 2020 tornadoes, they can call the cleanup hotline (844-965-1386) for help. Crisis Cleanup connects families with volunteers from local relief organizations, community groups, and faith communities who may be able to assist with fallen trees; drywall, flooring, and appliance removal; tarping roofs; and mold mitigation. All services are free, but not guaranteed due to the overwhelming need. This hotline will remain open through May 15, 2020.
  • REALTOR® Relief Foundation (RRF) Funds
    • The RRF was established to provide housing-related assistance to victims of disasters whose primary residence was damaged by the April 12-13 tornadoes. Click here to learn more and apply. NOTE: Only one application per household. Apply by July 31, 2020.
  • If you are needing housing please call the Red Cross Hotline 1-800-733-2767
  • Individuals or families looking for resources and information on emergency shelter, food, clothing or financial assistance can contact United Way’s resource and referral line by calling 211, texting your zip code to 898-211 or visiting 211.org. Click here for more information. 
  • Families can find the Hamilton County Schools tornado relief update and resources here. 
  • You can also access other resources through our COVID-19 Get Help resource page

Donate to Relief Efforts:

In an effort to ensure that response organizations have the resources they need to effectively respond and the victims of this disaster have reliable support, the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga and United Way of Greater Chattanooga are partnering to launch the Tornado Relief Fund.

Grants from the Fund will be made to nonprofits providing immediate vital servicesThis joint fund will be held at the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. Its grants will be informed by a community task force, assembled in partnership with United Way and the Community Foundation, with input from local officials with the aim of understanding the most pressing needs on the ground. This fund will allow nonprofits to concentrate on delivering vital services while we connect generosity with need as our community sets out to rebuild and recover.

The road to full recovery is long and takes a significant, community-wide response. It will take time, energy and resources. We are hopeful that other foundations, businesses, and individuals that are moved to assist those in need will join us in this united effort. In times of crisis, coordination is vital and valued in getting critical resources to communities most impacted. We are grateful to our first responders, local officials, and philanthropic partners working to collectively support those most impacted by this disaster.

To make a donation to support our community’s recovery, give now using the link below or text TornadoRelief to 41444.



If you have questions and would like to get involved or make a contribution in another way, please don’t hesitate to reach out directly to our finance team at finance@uwchatt.org.

Funds will be distributed to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations and will remain separate from United Way’s general Community Fund. All decisions regarding fund distribution will be informed by the Tornado Relief Community Task Force, which is made of up community volunteers and leaders from the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga and United Way of Greater Chattanooga.