OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Survivors of Oklahoma's May 10-13 storms and tornadoes have just two weeks left to register for state and federal disaster assistance.
Friday, July 23, is the last day to begin the assistance process by contacting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It is also the deadline to return any loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
"Registration is the first step to getting help from FEMA or our state or federal partners, but time is running out," said Federal Coordinating Officer Gregory W. Eaton. "We want everyone who is eligible to receive assistance to get that help as soon as possible."
Homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained property damage in nine disaster-designated counties should contact FEMA and register before time runs out. Those counties are Carter, Cleveland, Creek, Garvin, McIntosh, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Pottawatomie and Seminole.
"Don't just wonder if you are eligible for assistance, find out," said State Coordinating Officer Fred W. Liebe of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM). "If you sustained property damage and haven't registered yet, do so today."
Oklahomans can register for assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. They can also apply for assistance, ask questions or check on the status of an application by dialing FEMA's Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are staffed from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Help in all languages is available.
To date, more than $7 million in state/FEMA grants and/or low-interest disaster loans has been approved for Oklahomans recovering from the storms.
SBA disaster loans of up to $200,000 are available to qualified homeowners to repair or replace real estate, while homeowners and renters may be eligible to borrow up to $40,000 to repair/replace personal property. Qualified business owners and nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million. For more information, call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955.
The SBA loan application also can be the gateway to further assistance. If the SBA is unable to approve a loan, the applicant may be referred back to FEMA for other disaster aid.
For more information on Oklahoma disaster recovery, click www.fema.gov/Oklahoma, visit the OEM site at www.oem.ok.gov or follow OEM on Twitter at www.twitter.com/okem. Users of smart phones and other mobile devices can visit m.fema.gov.
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.