The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), as an agency of the State of Tennessee government, conducts business with external entities as required under state and federal law, state purchasing regulations, and other standard accounting and procurement practices.
TEMA purchases materials and supplies through the state department of General Services, Purchasing Division. This first step in becoming a vendor with which the agency can do business is to become a registered vendor with the state's Purchasing Division. Specific instructions, forms, and information needed to accomplish this process may be found at the Purchasing Division website on doing business with the state. For items that are available on an existing statewide contract, the agency is required to purchase from these contracts unless the contract specifications are not suitable to the purpose for which the items are needed.
During emergencies, the agency is able to utilize special regulations and laws that allow the agency to bypass certain requirements during times of crisis. The state Purchasing Division normally deploys an Emergency Services Coordinator to the State EOC during emergencies to facilitate the purchase and acquisition of emergency supplies. Note that any vendor wishing to sell or rent material, services or supplies to the state during an emergency must still be a registered vendor as outlined above. On the registration form, there is a specific section to be completed to provide for your organization's emergency and after-hours contact information specifically for this purpose.
If you know that TEMA is requesting bids for a specific item or group of items, you can find the current list of Invitations to Bid on the General Services web site. Requests for Proposals for services and solutions outside the scope of a state contract may be found Professional Service Procurement -_Requests for Proposals, Solicitations, & Notices.
For all questions or issues related to the payment of invoices by TEMA, regardless of whether they are related to routine purchases or disaster/emergency purchases, please contact the agency's Business Office at 615-741-1221.
Parties or vendors with services or goods they believe may be of interest to the agency or the emergency services community are encouraged to contact TEMA's Director of Agency Support at 615-741-1221. Since the majority of emergency response activities takes place at the local government level, however, TEMA typically will buy any needed equipment, supplies or services using state contract procedures. Emergency purchases during a declared emergency may be handled differently due to the need for speed of delivery.
Many people often want to help following any significant disaster or emergency. Their first thoughts generally move toward donating materials or money to assist disaster victims. While donated items are often needed and appreciated, in many instances the logistics associated with organizing and distributing donated goods take away from the efficient handling of the disaster response itself. TEMA typically encourages non-government organizations to handle donations and the distribution of the donations to victims of the disaster. Businesses and other organizations wishing to donate goods during a major emergency or disaster may contact TEMA's Director of Agency Support at 615-741-1221.
TEMA frequently receives inquiries from citizens willing to donate their time or services to a disaster or perhaps to a local emergency services organization. TEMA itself does not presently utilize volunteers. When the agency receives such an inquiry, the person is usually directed to the local emergency management agency serving their community or the Tennessee Volunteers Active In Disasters (TNVOAD) group. Local officials are in a much better position to know what is needed in their communities, and to know where to direct the person in order to achieve the greatest benefit to the community.
A new initiative called CitizenCorps has been launched by the federal government in an attempt to encourage people to devote volunteer time and service to their local community.