Oklahoma City, OK -- Federal and state officials announce $8.8 million has been approved for disaster assistance to help those individuals and businesses affected by the severe storms and tornadoes that began on May 8. Updated disaster information is as follows:
- As of Thursday night, 3,589 residents had registered for disaster assistance since President George W. Bush's May 10 declaration. Under the disaster declaration, individuals and businesses residing in the counties of Canadian, Carter, Cleveland, Delaware, Grady, Kay, Kingfisher, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Osage, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills, Texas and Washington are eligible to apply for disaster assistance.
- Approved disaster housing funds total nearly $956,165 and include assistance for temporary disaster housing and home repair. Some $739,482 has been approved for Other Needs Assistance that covers disaster-related medical, funeral, dental and transportation expenses, along with replacement of personal property and other serious disaster-related needs.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued more than 2,223 applications and approved more than $7.1 million for low-interest disaster loans for repairing or replacing damaged property. Those who receive application packets are urged to complete and return them as quickly as possible to the SBA.
- Consumers can report disaster-related fraud or price gouging incidents by calling the Oklahoma State Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at 405-521-2029.
- Volunteer agencies continue to identify those who have disaster-related needs and the Oklahoma Long-term Recovery Committee will be working with families who need assistance. The volunteer agencies are offering assistance to those who are not able to clear disaster debris from their homes. Residents can call 1-800-539-8541.
- State and federal officials set up nine Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) to further help individuals and businesses affected by the May severe weather. The centers provided information on disaster programs and allowed individuals to check on the status of their applications. The last two DRCs closed Thursday, June 12. A total of 1,144 people visited them.
- Both adults and children affected by the recent disaster may become stressed and confused by the sudden adversity in their lives. Crisis counseling assistance is available by calling the hotline number:
- The Oklahoma Bar Association provides free legal assistance for those who may need advice on disaster-related legal issues such as lease or insurance problems. Those who need legal advice can call: 405-416-7000 or 1-800-522-8065, Mon. - Fri. from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Individuals affected by this disaster may register for disaster assistance by calling FEMA's toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing- impaired. The line is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The registration deadline is 6 p.m. Wednesday July 9, 2003.
Most assistance offered under government programs will not compensate individuals for their entire disaster loss. However, disaster recovery programs can help meet basic needs in time of disaster.