Federal disaster assistance is available through FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program to help Oklahomans recover from the Dec. 24-25, 2009, blizzard and the Jan. 28-30, 2010, ice storm.
Under the program, FEMA is providing supplemental financial assistance to the state and state agencies, local and tribal governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations for their eligible response and recovery expenses.
Although funds go to government entities and nonprofits, the PA program is intended to benefit everyone — neighborhoods, cities and states. PA dollars help clean up communities overwhelmed by disaster-related debris, repair the roads and bridges people use every day getting to work and school, put utilities and water systems back in order, repair hospitals and emergency services, rebuild schools and universities, and put playground equipment back in public parks.
Following are some key dates, facts and deadlines for applicants seeking federal assistance as a result of Oklahoma’s two winter disasters:
- President Obama issued a major disaster declaration on Feb. 25 for the December blizzard and a major disaster declaration on March 5 for the January ice storm.
Help is available to applicants in 29 Oklahoma counties affected by the blizzard. These are Canadian, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Craig, Delaware, Garvin, Grady, Hughes, Jackson, Jefferson, Kay, Lincoln, Love, McClain, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Ottawa, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Sequoyah, Stephens, Tillman and Tulsa.Help is available to applicants in 25 Oklahoma counties affected by the ice storm. These are Alfalfa, Caddo, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Delaware, Dewey, Ellis, Grady, Greer, Harmon, Haskell, Hughes, Jackson, Kiowa, LeFlore, McClain, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills, Seminole, Stephens and Washita.
- The state of Oklahoma, with FEMA support, has held 10 Applicant Briefings throughout the disaster-affected areas to provide a general overview of the PA program and answer questions. FEMA/state PA program specialists are now meeting individually with applicants to focus on their eligibility and requirements for documenting expenses for reimbursement.
- FEMA Public Assistance dollars come to Oklahoma communities through a cost-sharing partnership among the state, the applicants and the federal government. FEMA is reimbursing applicants 75 percent of their eligible costs, with the state and applicants dividing the remaining 25 percent.
- FEMA obligates federal PA funds directly to the state, which disburses the money to the local jurisdictions and organizations that incurred costs.
- Applicants must file Requests for Public Assistance (RPAs) within 30 days of a presidential disaster declaration.
- Those affected by the December blizzard have until March 27 to file RPAs.
- Those affected by the January ice storm have until April 4 to file RPAs.
- Two types of work are eligible for reimbursement under the PA program:
- Emergency Work
- Removal and disposal of eligible disaster-related debris
- Emergency measures taken to protect lives and property ahead of and in the immediate aftermath of the storm
- Permanent Repairs to:
- Roads and bridges
- Water control facilities
- Public buildings and equipment
- Public utilities
- Parks, recreational and other facilities
- Emergency Work
- To be eligible for FEMA reimbursement funding, applicants must complete ...