OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Oklahoma’s June 13-15 tornadoes and floods caused extensive damage to public buildings, roads, utility poles and other infrastructure in seven counties. Today, specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are working with state and local officials to speed disaster assistance to Oklahoma.
President Barack Obama's July 26 disaster declaration makes federal funding available through FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program. The program reimburses state agencies, local and tribal governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations for eligible expenses they incurred in protecting lives and property ahead of the storms, and in cleaning up and rebuilding afterward.
Under the declaration, assistance is available to applicants in Beaver, Cimarron, Lincoln, Logan, Major, Oklahoma and Texas counties.
In addition to Public Assistance, the state will receive funds through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to implement long-term measures aimed at reducing the loss of life and property during future natural disasters.
“We are pleased with the pace of this recovery effort,” said State Coordinating Officer Fred W. Liebe of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM). “OEM has just finished briefing applicants, the usual first step, and already OEM and FEMA specialists are helping some of them write up their documentation of expenses, one of the last steps before grants are awarded.”
“This is Oklahoma's fourth disaster declaration this year,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Gregory W. Eaton. “We understand the need to work quickly to get money back into hard-hit local communities for repairs and rebuilding.”
The deadline for applicants to file their official requests for Public Assistance with the state is Aug. 24, said Liebe.
Under the PA program FEMA reimburses applicants for 75 percent of their eligible expenses, while the state and the applicant evenly divide the remaining 25 percent. The federal portion is paid to the state, which then makes disbursements to the local jurisdictions and organizations that incurred costs.
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.