Weakley County Long Term Recovery Group (WCLTRG)

Assisting in the recovery and rebuilding of Dresden, TN community affected by the December 10, 2021, tornado



The Weakley County Long Term Recovery Group [WCLTRG] is a cooperative committee that is comprised of representatives from community faith-based groups, local volunteers, and other organizations working to help individuals and families as they recover from disaster. Working in partnership with the United Methodist Committee On Relief [UMCOR] and the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA], the WCLTRG works with disaster survivors to help identify and assist with the recovery efforts for those who were affected by the tornado and storms that took place December 10, 2021.

The purpose of this site is to provide information and resources to survivors of the December 10th tornado.

Moving Toward Recovery

The Mission

The mission of the Weakley County Long Term Recovery Group is to provide recovery services
to individuals and families affected by the December 10, 2021, tornado, in the Weakley County community. Services will be provided regardless of the individuals’ race, creed, color, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or religious preference.

The goal of Weakley County Long Term Recovery Group is to partner with survivors impacted by this disaster to assist in their reasonable and equitable recovery.

Getting Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an unmet need?

FEMA defines an unmet need as being a deficit between verified disaster-caused damages and obtainable disaster aid, including insurance assistance, Federal and State assistance, and personal resources.  

An unmet need is a disaster-caused immediate need of an individual or family and is something those affected by a disaster cannot meet for themselves. This could include a substantial negative impact on income, housing, vehicle, or household goods. It could also include loss of life or injury.

  • An unmet need is NOT a pre-disaster condition.
  • An unmet need is NOT an ongoing social issue.
  • An unmet need is NOT intended to be an upgrade to a survivor’s previous living condition, although could occur in the reconstruction process in order to provide safe, sanitary, and secure housing.
  • An unmet need is identified by the person affected, verified, and sent through the case management process as agreed upon by the WCLTRG.

If you believe you have an unmet need as a result of the tornadoes that hit Dresden on December 10, 2021, and you haven’t come forward with your need to the WCLTRG, please come forward and self-identify your need – we want to help you!

I have an immediate unmet need. What should I do?

If you have an immediate unmet need as a result of the December 10th tornado, we encourage you to come forward and share it with the WCLTRG. Once validated and approved, your request will be processed and directed through the system to the member of the team designated to partner with you on your need. 

What is case management?

In partnership with FEMA and UMCOR [United Methodist Committee on Relief], the WCLTRG is assembling a case management team that is undergoing placement and training. Individuals who have come forth with unmet needs will be assigned a case manager. The case management process links case managers with individuals and families with services and assistance available to them. More importantly, they can assess and recommend resources that can help stabilize survivors’ lives and livelihoods and move them toward recovery.

Case management involves identifying and reviewing unmet needs. A case manager understands the unique needs of a disaster survivor, whether the needs be social, financial, emotional, or spiritual. Case managers will help identify any additional unmet needs and connect individuals with resources. They work with individuals to ensure that an unmet need is truly a deficit between verified disaster-caused damaged and disaster aid and has undergone complete processing through insurance, federal and state assistance, and personal resources.

I donated to the recovery efforts. Where is my donation?

Whether you donated through a civic, faith-based, or other verfied and legitimate local organization, your donation is in the dedicated account opened for recovery efforts by that specific organization. All money donated for tornado relief is being used to assist survivors. In partnership with UMCOR, FEMA, the United Way of West Tennessee, and local civic and faith-based organizations, funds will be dispersed as authorized by case managers, through the allocations committee, and tracked by the United Way of West Tennessee.

The disbursement of funds and overall recovery efforts seems like it's taking a long time. Why?

Disaster recovery is intensive and extensive, and thusly, very time-consuming. Several hurdles hinder the allocations and disbursement process for survivors. Attaining partnerships, planning, preparation, and extensive training is required to move toward recovery. Multiple teams and channels must be organized to support the efforts. Once all necessary pieces are in place, unmet needs cases can go through the allocations and case management process. Case managers must validate and confirm the need, ensure that all insurance matters have been filed and settled, and any other applicable documentation necessary relative to FEMA directives.

Facilitated through UMCOR, our case management team is currently assembling and undergoing placement and training. While it takes time, the case management process ensures the most equitable situation for all survivors. Case managers are specially trained to define, identify, categorize, and prioritize unmet needs as they pertain to each unique survivor. The methods they follow ensures that every individual is considered and no community member is left without regard.

What is the process for funding an unmet need?

Under the advisement and direction of all partners, the WCLTRG can allocate funding only after an individual/family:

  • Settles with their insurance company
  • Self-identifies the unmet need for the WCLTRG
  • The need is verified, confirmed, and sent through the WCLTRG ‘s allocations process and/or case management

Why can't you fund my unmet need without the allocations process and/or case management?

The mission of the WCLTRG is to ensure the unmet meeds of every survivor receives  fair and equitable consideration. The allocations and case management process ensures the appropriate and responsible use of donated recovery funds. Case managers are specially trained to define, identify, categorize, and prioritize unmet needs as they pertain to each unique survivor. The methods they follow ensures that every individual is considered and no community member is left without regard.

I have an unmet need that I haven't disclosed to the WCLTRG. What should I do?

If you have an unmet need as a result of the tornado that hit Dresden on December 10, 2021, and you haven’t come forward with your need to the WCLTRG, please come forward and self-identify your need. The entire purpose of the Weakley County Long Term Recovery Group is to help you: (731) 699-7913.

What organizations are providing funds for survivors through the Weakley County Long-Term Recovery Process?

As of April 10, 2023, Dresden Rotary Club, First Baptist Church of Dresden, Lutheran Disaster Response, the Middle Tennessee Community Foundation, and the Weakley County Baptist Association have funding available and are currently paying vendors and suppliers to assist survivors in case management. Each of these organizations has kept all the donations they received. Case summaries are presented to the organizations, and they make the decision whether to fund the requested unmet needs. All payments are made through the case management process. These organizations maintain accounting and records for the money they use in the Weakley County Long-Term Recovery Process. The Weakley County Long Term Recovery Group also tracks the total amounts of payments made on behalf of survivors and files this information with the United Way of West Tennessee.
Dresden Church of Christ, Greenfield Church of Christ, and Lebanon Church of Christ have paid vendors and suppliers to assist survivors in case management and have spent all donations they received.


Is Weakley County Long Term Recovery Group a nonprofit organization or a 501c3 organization?

Weakley County Long Term Recovery Group (WCLTRG) is not registered as a nonprofit or 501c3 organization. WCLTRG does not handle any money, donations, bank accounts, or any type of funding. All donations are held by the organizations that received the donations. The United Way of West Tennessee holds all grant funds as the fiscal agent for WCLTRG and makes payment directly to the supplier, vendor, or contractor.


What are the functions of the Weakley County Long Term Recovery Group?

WCLTRG established committees in the spring of 2022 to assist with the survivor recovery process:
  • Will Norrid, who chairs the Spiritual and Emotional Needs Committee, has partnered with Carey Counseling to establish a path of access to mental health resources through case management. Additionally, this committee has partnered with Lutheran Disaster Response to provide virtual/in-person services to survivors, caregivers, and public officials.
  • Alisha Melton chairs the Allocations Committee, which requests funding from partnering organizations when financial needs are identified in the case management process.
  • Bobby Goode chairs the Donation Management Committee, which assists with identifying, moving, and storing donations and connecting with the Allocations Committee to purchase items not available in donation storage.
Weakley County Long-Term Recovery Group serves as a facilitator for case management. When a survivor has a need identified by the case management provider, WCLTRG contacts the organizations holding money to request payment be made on behalf of a survivor.
For example, a disaster case manager determines that a survivor needs a new central heating and air unit due to tornado damage. The disaster case manager contacts the WCLTRG Allocations chair and requests $5,000 for a new central unit to be purchased and installed. The WCLTRG Allocations Chair contacts the funding organizations to determine who will pay the expense. The Dresden Rotary Club agrees to pay the expense. Company XYZ installs the central unit and sends an invoice for payment. The Dresden Rotary Club then writes a check directly to Company XYZ. WCLTRG maintains records about the total payments made and files records with the United Way of West Tennessee.
Weakley County Long-Term Recovery Group also looks for grant opportunities to provide additional money for recovery and develops grant proposals for requests. The United Way of West Tennessee receives funding from grants received and then pays the money as outlined by the grant. WCLTRG does not directly receive any money from grants. The current American Red Cross grant received by WCLTRG is budgeted to pay the salary for the full-time Program Coordinator, the storage fees for donated materials, communication expenses, and assistance to survivors in the form of rent, household items, and cleaning supplies.


Does Weakley County Long Term Recovery Group require survivors to sign waivers?

Weakley County Long Term Recovery Group does not require signatures from survivors to become involved in the recovery process. Homeowners who request services from the Weakley County Long Term Recovery Group for their home and/or property are asked to sign a Homeowner Release of Liability.
Survivors sign a Disaster Recovery Connections Rights and Responsibilities Agreement as part of the disaster case management intake process with the United Methodist Council on Relief (UMCOR). UMCOR provides disaster case management services.
Weakley County Long-Term Recovery Group board members and volunteers sign a confidentiality agreement to protect the confidentiality of survivors being served in the long-term recovery process as recommended by the National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster Guidelines (https://www.nvoad.org/).

Why is the lengthy case management process required?

WCLTRG partners with TWKUMC to provide case management services and ensure that all required documentation is available to support the distributions made by our funding partners. TWKUMC also provides case management for the Mayfield Graves County Long-Term Recovery Group. Disaster case management partnerships are a recommended best practice by the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (www.nvoad.org).
Nonprofits who collect donations to assist in disaster-related recovery must be careful to follow the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standards for charities providing disaster relief and to maintain the following documentation:
-complete description of the assistance
-cost of the assistance
-the purpose for which the assistance was given
-the charity’s objective criteria for disbursing assistance under each program
-how the recipients were selected
-the name, address, and amount distributed to each recipient
-any relationship between the recipient and officers, directors, or key employees of or substantial contributors to the organization
-the composition of the selection committee approving assistance
-description of the needs assessment and a complete description of assistance
“In the chaotic and disorienting aftermath of a disaster, a charity can attend to a victim’s immediate needs without regard to financial means…But as time goes on, the danger recedes, and people are able to call upon their individual resources, it becomes increasingly appropriate for charities to conduct individual financial needs assessments. Those who require additional assistance can have it, but those who do not need such continuing assistance should not use charitable resources…Appropriate documentation is needed to support activities undertaken to carry on a relief program. Supporting documents should show the amounts paid, the purpose of the payments, and information to establish that distributions were made to meet charitable purposes and victims’ needs.” (https://www.irs.gov/…/disaster-relief-how-charities…)

Why is long term recovery taking so long? Shouldn't we be done?

Long-term disaster recovery often takes 2-5 years to be completed. Caldwell County LTRG, Fulton County LTRG, Graves County LTRG, Mayfield Graves County LTRG, and many others continue actively working in their communities in response to the December 2021 tornado. These LTRGs are also still assisting survivors in case management and distributing funds from funding partners. A listing of active LTRGs with their contact/FB pages is available at https://www.kentuckyvoad.org/long-term-recovery-groups/.
“Families across western Kentucky continue to face the impact of the December tornadoes that roared through several communities as one Catholic Charities agency accompanies them along the way. Susan Montalvo-Gesser, director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Owensboro, said that tornado recovery is both short-term and long-term. Recovery efforts are expected to take two to four years, she told The Western Kentucky Catholic, the diocesan newspaper.” https://cruxnow.com/cns/2022/01/kentucky-tornado-recovery-expected-to-last-two-to-four-years?fbclid=IwAR1Vn25iGG9KKlDUk6PAbtiMb1QKKI4X8HyxtZ0rStpwnlLFix4viNiw1zQ
“The activities created in response to the Colorado floods and Hurricane Sandy in 2013 had the quickest completion rates, at 3.5 years. On the other end of the spectrum, housing activities associated with Hurricanes Ike and Gustav in 2008 had the longest recovery timeline, at 5.9 years.” – Urban Institute, https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/why-does-disaster-recovery-take-so-long-five-facts-about-federal-housing-aid-after-disasters?fbclid=IwAR0fUdrAc5GZrzGMz8xK2Vdnw6_BwY0gyQ3BLNXBdZTKQ5R96VWwbjEquoY

Here When You Need It

Disaster Resources & Assistance Links


United Way of West Tennessee

The United Way works with emergency management, disaster partners and our community to support services for families affected.

Tennessee USDA Farm Service Agency

This important organization helps producers recover from production and physical losses due to natural disasters.

Disability Rights Tennessee

This nonprofit organization provides free legal services to protect the rights of Tennessee residents with disabilities. Call toll free: 1-800-342-1660

Veteran County Service Office

The Veteran County Service Office can assist veterans and/or their family members who need information or assistance.

Disaster Legal Services

Residents with legal issues due to the December 10th tornadoes can call 844-HELP4TN (844-435-7486) or reach out to attorneys online by visiting the website:

United Methodist Committee On Relief

UMCOR comes alongside those who suffer from natural or human-caused disasters to alleviate suffering and to be a source of help and hope for those left most vulnerable. They help provide relief, response and long-term recovery grants when these events overwhelm a community’s ability to recover. UMCOR also provides technical support and training for partners to address emerging and ongoing issues related to disaster relief, recovery, and long-term health and development.

On The Same Team

We’re Stronger Together

A storm that completely changed the landscape of our community in a matter of minutes will take years to rebuild. To do it right, we need to stick together.  Let’s stand united for the greatest good and work side by side to rebuild our beautiful community together. We are stronger together: we must all remain patient, trust the process, and help however we can – whenever we can.

The WCLTRG is made up of volunteers who are working to serve survivors as efficiently, equitably, and appropriately as possible. The WCLTRG’s volunteers have an unwavering responsibility to equitably assist all survivors in partnership with community members, elected and appointed leadership, and programming partners.

There will be many important opportunities to help our friends and neighbors. Stay up-to-date by visiting our Facebook page.

Our Team

Weakley County Long Term Recovery Group Members

WCLTRG Members

  • Justin Crice, Co-Chair
  • Alisha Melton, Co-Chair & Allocations Chair
  • Joyce Washington, Secretary
  • Sherryl McCulley, Treasurer
  • Bobby Goode, Donations Coordinator
  • Will Norrid, Spiritual/Emotional Needs Chair

Current Ex-Officio Members

  • Jason Hypes, EMS/Gov Liaison
  • Mark Maddox, City of Dresden Mayor
  • Robert Craig, UMCOR Consultant
  • Elizabeth Soard, UMCOR Case Management Supervisor
  • Michael Creasy, West Tennessee Legal Aid
  • Nora Betancourt, FEMA Consultant
  • Yvonne Antonio-Wilson, FEMA Consultant
  • Matt Marshall, United Way of West TN Director
  • Alayne Chapman, American Red Cross Consultant
  • Chris McGreevy, American Red Cross Consultant
  • Pastor Morgan Gordy, Lutheran Disaster Response Southeastern Synod
  • Jeff Lysycztn, Lutheran Disaster Response Southeastern Synod
  • Beth Smith, Lutheran Disaster Response Southeastern Synod

Reach Out

Contact Us


8250 Highway 22
Dresden, TN  38225


By appointment only

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