OKLAHOMA CITY – Atoka County renters who lost their homes or personal property as a result of the April 14 tornado might be missing out on assistance.
Renters may be eligible for a range of disaster-related assistance from the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other agencies, such as the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
“Disaster aid is not limited to homeowners,” said State Coordinating Officer and Director for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management Albert Ashwood. “Thanks to state and federal rental support programs, eligible Oklahomans who sustained damages in this disaster can receive the boost they need to get back on their feet.”
Through its Individual and Households Program (IHP), FEMA offers two kinds of housing assistance for eligible renters:
- Money to rent a different place to live for a limited period of time while repairs are made if the home was made unlivable by the storm.
- Free assistance in finding a replacement rental property.
Renters and homeowners alike may also be eligible for Other Needs Assistance (ONA), available through the IHP and designed to help survivors with uninsured necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster. ONA money can be used for:
- Disaster-related medical and dental expenses.
- Replacement or repair of necessary personal property lost or damaged in the disaster, including clothing; household items such as room furnishings or appliances; and tools and equipment required by the self-employed for their jobs.
- Primary vehicles and approved second vehicles damaged by the disaster.
SBA disaster loans up to $40,000 are available to homeowners and renters to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.
To qualify for any of this aid, renters must first register with FEMA in any of the following ways:
- Phone 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for people with hearing and speech impairments.
- Log on at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Visit the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) currently located in Tushka Town Hall in Atoka County.
- Visit the SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) which will replace the DRC in Tushka at the same location starting at noon on Monday, May 9, 2011.
- Call the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at (800) 659‑2955, or contact SBA by email at email@example.com, or visit SBA’s Website at www.sba.gov.
“We want everyone affected by the April 14 tornado to register with FEMA,” said Federal Coordinating Officer William J. Doran III. “FEMA is here to ensure that all eligible survivors get the recovery help they need.”
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) prepares for, responds to, recovers from and mitigates against emergencies and disasters. The department delivers service to Oklahoma cities, towns and counties through a networ...