OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- In response to a request by Governor Mary Fallin, twelve Oklahoma counties have been added to the presidential disaster declaration stemming from the deadly storms and tornadoes that occurred May 22-25.
The twelve counties now designated for Public Assistance are: Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Delaware, Grady, Jefferson, Kingfisher, LeFlore, Logan, Major, McClain and Osage Counties. The seven counties previously designated for Individual Assistance are: Caddo, Canadian, Delaware, Grady, Kingfisher, Logan and McClain Counties.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved Public Assistance based on a review of the storm damages gathered by federal, state and local disaster officials.
"FEMA works side-by-side with Oklahoma in our recovery," said State Coordinating Officer Albert Ashwood, who also serves as Director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. "Federal funds help ensure the economic recovery of affected communities and restore the quality of life for all Oklahomans."
FEMA provides federal funds to reimburse applicants -- such as state and local governments, federally recognized tribes and certain nonprofit organizations that provide critical and essential services -- for:
- emergency protective measures,
- debris removal and disposal,
- and the repair or replacement of levees, roads, parks, bridges and public facilities.
Debris removal from private property, however, remains the responsibility of the individual homeowner or business owner. If individual property owners move their disaster-related debris to a public right-of-way, local officials may arrange for curbside pickup and disposal for a limited period of time. Not all counties are offering curbside pickup of disaster-related debris at this time.
"Debris removal requires a team effort," said Federal Coordinating Officer William J. Doran III." The team consists of many people and organizations -- neighbors helping neighbors, faith-based organizations and voluntary groups, as well as the business community, local jurisdictions, tribal leaders and FEMA."
Under the Public Assistance program, FEMA reimburses applicants for 75 percent of their eligible and documented expenses. The federal portion goes directly to the state, which then makes disbursements to the local jurisdictions and organizations that incurred the costs. In Oklahoma, the state evenly splits the remaining 25 percent of the nonfederal share with the matching applicant.
Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management plan to hold Applicant Briefings as soon as possible to review the project formulation process and discuss funding options, documentation and reporting requirements, and Special Consideration issues. At the briefings, applicants may complete and submit their formal Requests for Public Assistance.
The grant program also offers mitigation funds to help rebuild infrastructure stronger and better, so that it is better able to withstand future storms.
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.