OKLAHOMA CITY – Just one week after President Obama signed a major disaster declaration for the Sooner State, more than $1.2 million in disaster assistance has been approved for Oklahomans, according to officials with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Nearly 450 Oklahomans have registered for disaster assistance to date. Eligible applicants include homeowners, renters and business owners in Canadian, Delaware, Grady, Kingfisher, Logan and McClain Counties who sustained property damage stemming from the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding May 22-25.
Housing Assistance accounts for more than $1.1 million of the total, which includes grants to help pay for rent and home repair or replacement. More than $166,000 has been approved for Other Needs Assistance—which includes grants for the repair or replacement of personal property, as well as reimbursements for medical, dental and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance.
“With so many Oklahomans still hurting, we are thrilled to see such quick relief,” said State Coordinating Officer and OEM Director Albert Ashwood. “The faster the survivors receive assistance, the sooner they can rebuild their homes and lives.”
“When it comes to disaster assistance, don’t prejudge your eligibility,” said Federal Coordinating Officer William J. Doran III. “It’s imperative that you register with FEMA as soon as possible.”
People can register for disaster assistance by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. To apply online, visit www.disasterassistance.gov. Or visit a Disaster Recovery Center in person. Representatives from OEM, FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be available at the centers to answer questions, help with disaster loan applications and provide recovery information.
SBA offers low-interest federal disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations for their uncompensated losses. Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property. Businesses may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace their property damage and/or economic losses.
For additional information on SBA disaster loans, call the SBA at 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339 or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
Storm survivors may also be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) if they lost work or earnings due to the storms. For more information, contact the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission or go to www.fema.gov/additional-assistance.
Three Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are now open. Hours of operation run 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The centers have welcomed more than 100 people. Closing dates may be extended if needed. OEM and FEMA plan to open more DRCs at other locations.