Oklahoma Severe Storms and Tornadoes (DR-1465)

Incident period: May 8, 2003 to May 30, 2003
Major Disaster Declaration declared on May 10, 2003

Updates and Articles, Blogs, and News Releases

May 21, 2003
News Release
Oklahoma City, OK -- The Disaster Recovery Centers at Bethany and Edmond will close at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 23, 2003. The centers have successfully served those who needed disaster information relating to the severe storms and tornadoes that began on May 8. The three remaining centers listed below will continue with operations to serve those who may need additional disaster information:
May 20, 2003
News Release
Oklahoma City, OK -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Helpline is open to those who need information on the status of their application or other disaster assistance information. All that's necessary is a toll-free call to 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those who are hearing- or speech- impaired may call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. The Helpline number is the same number used to register for disaster assistance, and it is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.
May 20, 2003
News Release
Oklahoma City, OK -- Federal and state officials encourage those who need disaster assistance information to visit any one of the five Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) that are open throughout the disaster-affected areas. Visitors can get one-stop disaster information on:
May 19, 2003
News Release
Oklahoma City, OK -- Federal and state recovery officials encourage residents to be cautious when removing harmful debris from homes and roadways. "Debris removal and disaster recovery go hand in hand," Federal Coordinating Officer Justin DeMello said. "Property owners should make sure that the debris on their property doesn't block storm drains, fireplugs, right-of-ways, or pedestrian traffic." Be cautious when hiring contractors to remove debris. Residents should check the contractor's references carefully and put all agreements in writing.
May 19, 2003
News Release
Oklahoma City, OK -- Homeowners, landlords and business owners are urged to check with local governments regarding permits before repairing or rebuilding a disaster-damaged structure. There are requirements on how and where structures may be renovated. "Many regulations are in place to lessen or to remove the potential for future disaster damages," said Federal Emergency Management Agency Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer for Mitigation, Greg Solovey. Information on these requirements is available from local city and county permitting offices.
May 17, 2003
News Release
Oklahoma City, OK -- The Bethany disposal site for household chemicals has completed service to the community and will close today (Saturday, May 17). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) advise those who still have disaster-damaged household chemicals to use one of the three remaining sites that are open for disposal.

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