OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Local governments and other public entities in 41 Oklahoma counties hit by the December blizzard and/or January ice storm face a deadline this week to file their official requests for federal assistance, Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials announced.
Filing a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) with the state is the first step in the process of applying for federal reimbursements under FEMA’s Public Assistance Grant Program. Without it, applicants, including state agencies, local and tribal governments and certain private nonprofit organizations, cannot receive reimbursements for their storm-related expenses.
On March 22, President Barack Obama issued amendments to the original major disaster declarations. The amendments added counties to those already designated for the blizzard, and additional counties to those designated for the ice storm. Applicants must file RPAs within 30 days of the designation of their counties, so applicants in those counties have until April 21 to file their RPAs.
The combined counties are Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Bryan, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cherokee, Craig, Creek, Custer, Dewey, Garvin, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Haskell, Kiowa, LeFlore, Lincoln, Logan, Major, Mayes, McCurtain, McIntosh, Murray, Nowata, Okfuskee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Pittsburg, Roger Mills, Rogers, Seminole, Sequoyah, Texas, Wagoner, Washington and Washita.
"Don’t wait to file. All eligible applicants should submit their requests for assistance as quickly as possible," said Federal Coordinating Officer Gregory W. Eaton. "We don’t want anyone to miss this opportunity to be reimbursed for eligible expenses related to either storm."
The grants are obligated to the state to reimburse applicants for expenses they incurred in taking emergency measures to protect lives and property; in cleaning up downed trees and power poles, and other debris; and in making repairs to public infrastructure, including roads and public utilities.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.