“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same.”
~ From the poem “If…” by English writer Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
By JIM HAWKINS
Living in Middle Tennessee, I am alert to severe weather watches, and for good reason. My home and neighborhood were hit by a deadly tornado in April 2006. I witnessed and helped victims in the aftermath of the Super Tuesday tornado in February 2008 that struck Sumner, Trousdale, and Macon Counties; and I waded and swam in flood waters to secure neighbors’ property during the May 2010 flood.
Tennessee has a law against price gouging following disasters. With my personal hope that you never need its protections, here are some Q’s and A’s about this special law.
Q. What do you mean by “price gouging”?
“Price gouging” happens when businesses sharply raise the prices of their goods and services after a high profile event, such as a natural disaster or an act of terrorism.
Q. Does Tennessee have any laws against price gouging?
Yes. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a few businesses in Tennessee unfortunately took advantage and engaged in price gouging.
In the spring of 2002, the Legislature passed the Tennessee Price-Gouging Act. This law deals with businesses that jack up prices after a disaster for “goods and services that are vital or necessary for the consumer.”
Q. When and where does the anti-price-gouging law take effect?
The law takes effect whenever there is a declared state of emergency, and in the counties or towns that are covered by the state of emergency.
The President of the United States and the Governor of Tennessee can each exercise the power to declare a state of emergency. The law stays in force and effect until the state of emergency is officially ended.