Thursday, May 06, 2010

For Flood Relief, Help a friend or friend of a friend

For those of us who live in southwest Nashville, close to the Harpeth River, it shouldn't be difficult to find a friend or a friend of a friend in need of help or assistance. We have many friends who suffered water damage particularly in Bellevue, but also up and down Hillsboro Rd towards Franklin. Even our church, Harpeth Presbyterian, suffered water damage through out the building and into the sanctuary. I've heard about the telethons, the radio-thons, and the foundations being started for flood relief, and I support those who wish to give to those organizations. But for me, this natural disaster hit very close to home and so finding someone who needs financial help or a helping hand has not been difficult. However, at the same time, I wonder where and how the telethon funds are distributed. From ground zero, people need new walls, flooring, carpet, and furniture. There is no flood insurance for many victims of this disaster.

A friend of mine in the insurance business said that in 2009 there were $250,000 total claims for flooding in the greater Nashville area. Early estimates by Mayor Dean predict at least $1.5 billion in damages from the Great Flood of 2010.  My friend's company is very prominent locally, and admittedly, he and his staff are having a hard time getting up to speed on processing claims, and the nuances of what is covered and what is not covered. Most policies cover the dwelling but not the contents. So structural repairs are covered, but nothing else like appliances, furniture, and anything else considered "content". One of the telethons is benefitting the Salvation Army.  A fine organization, but how can they help homeowners in Franklin or Bellevue? And as a Board member of Second Harvest Food Bank, I love SHFB! But the problem is not food oriented here in these areas, it's home oriented.  Personally, I donate generously to Second Harvest year in and year out, but as for these telethons, I believe that giving of your time, and your resources to help a friend recover or to help a homeowner in need of buying new items for his or her home after flooding is the best way to help.