OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- The American Red Cross, the state, SBA and FEMA are working together to help disaster victims. For urgent needs such as food and household items, call the american red cross at 1-877-753-7324. For longer-term needs such as funds for housing assistance and home repairs call 1-800-462-9029.
The IRS can refund your 1998 federal taxes if you're claiming losses from the tornado disaster. the irs staff can answer your tax questions at the disaster recovery centers. You can get the same information by calling the helpline at 1-800-525-0321.
American Red Cross, State and FEMA Help Disaster Victims: ARC Focuses on Urgent Needs; State and FEMA Focus on Long Term Help
Immediately following the May 3-5 disaster, the American Red Cross (ARC) began working to meet the immediate needs of disaster victims; ARC workers continue to do so.
Help from the American Red Cross is meant to assist with a disaster victim's most immediate concerns: a safe place to stay for a few days, food, groceries, clothing and urgently needed household items.
State and federal disaster assistance is intended for longer-term needs disaster victims may have: temporary housing grants to find people housing when needed for more than a few days, or grants for minor repairs to make a home safe, secure and sanitary, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help them rebuild, or grants to pay other essential disaster-related costs when storm victims can't qualify for a loan.
People who have yet to register for state and federal disaster assistance should do so by calling 800-462-9029 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The ARC contact number is 877-753-7324 (TTY: 800-522-8506).
IRS Can Provide Immediate Tax Refund to Disaster Victims: Disaster Loss Claims May Mean Refund of Federal Taxes Paid in '98
People living in the 16 Oklahoma counties designated for state and federal disaster assistance for individuals may be eligible to receive an immediate federal tax refund.
The benefit allows people in federally declared disaster areas to claim deductible casualty losses caused by a disaster on their previous year's tax return. The claiming of the deductible losses can mean an immediate refund of some or all of the federal taxes paid last year.
Taxpayers who received an extension on paying their taxes this year can claim the losses on their 1998 tax return. Taxpayers who have already filed their 1998 return may file an amended tax return using IRS Form 1040X.
Representatives from the Internal Revenue Service are staffing the five FEMA/state disaster recovery centers in Oklahoma City, Moore, Midwest City and near Tuttle. The centers are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To date, IRS representatives at the five Disaster Recovery Centers have met face-to-face with 1,055 individuals to explain tax options related to the recent disaster.
Teleregistration and Helpline Change Hours on May 27
Beginning Thursday, May 27, the Teleregistration and Helpline hours will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday until further notice. (Currently the hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.)
Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) Change Hours on May 27
The Disaster Recovery Centers set up by FEMA and the Oklahoma Department of Civil Emergency Management (ODCEM) can provide individuals with an array of information about disaster assistance from voluntary organizations and from state and federal programs.
Effective May 27, the DRCs will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. (Until May 27, the centers will continue to operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.) The locations are as follows:
- Mulhall (Logan County), Mulhall Community Center at the corner of Lewis and Baty streets.