Almost six months ago, we started seeing the devastation that would become known as the Gatlinburg fires. As soon as it was determined to be safe enough to enter the zone, FirstCall teams were there. What they reported, will never be forgotten. The next few weeks would be some of the most emotional and challenging our company has seen. But we never forgot that we were there to help people who had lost everything. Literally everything.
Our commitment to becoming a part of the community has never been stronger than it was then. You see, our first priority was not to sign up clients or ask people about their insurance coverage. Our first priority was sending supplies and coordinating donations of clothing, food, water and basic necessities from Nashville to Gatlinburg. It was also important for us to support the men and women who were first on the scene. The First Responders worked tireless hours in unimaginable conditions. We knew they needed our support, too, and were honored to be able to provide even basic resources to help them as they helped others.
You see, what we know, what we’ve experienced, is that it takes strength and courage to rebuild. It takes bravery to face what you’ve lost and to walk among the ruins of what was once a good life. The people who were injured – physically, financially and emotionally – in the Gatlinburg fires are more than survivors. They are conquerors who have faced the unthinkable and are rebuilding their lives from the ground up.
We are honored to be a part of this journey with so many people in that community. We have been able to work with property owners, community leaders, business owners and volunteers to bring back the unique character of this amazing part of Tennessee. We’ve also partnered with organizations like the American Red Cross to make sure that anyone who needed it had shelter, food and the basic necessities for those first few weeks.
FirstCall’s commitment is to our clients and that means we have a duty to the communities they call home. The people we represent know that we will do everything in our power to make sure their insurance company gives them every dime they deserve under the terms of their insurance policies. Nothing can bring back the things that were lost; but we can do everything possible to make rebuilding easier.
After all, rebuilding takes courage, a plan, and the help of a caring community.