DISASTER ASSISTANCE TOPS $17.5 MILLION FOR OKLAHOMA

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Release date: 
June 21, 2013
Release Number: 
DR 4117 OK NR010

OKLAHOMA CITY – Disaster assistance for Oklahoma now tops $17.5 million, just one month after a federal disaster declaration for the severe storms, flooding and tornadoes that started hammering the state on May 18.

Nearly 12,000 households in six designated counties have applied for assistance from the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following the storms of May 18 through June 2. The designated counties are Canadian, Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie. 

“Everywhere we look, we see positive change,” said State Coordinating Officer and OEM Deputy Director Michelann Ooten. “Survivors, businesses and communities continue to clean up, rebuild and move forward in their recovery.”

“We report disaster assistance in dollars,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy Coachman. “But we measure success in recovery by how far we’ve bounced back.”

Recovery takes a team effort that involves many people and organizations—survivors, faith-based and voluntary agencies, as well as the business community, local jurisdictions, OEM and FEMA.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE RECOVERY OPERATION:

  • More than $9.2 million in disaster assistance under the Individuals and Households Program has been approved for qualified homeowners and renters. This includes more than $6.5 million in Housing Assistance and more than $2.7 million in Other Needs Assistance.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved more than $8.3 million in low-interest disaster loans for qualified homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations.
  • More than 6,000 people have visited four mobile registration intake centers and six disaster recovery centers to get information and to apply for disaster assistance. For updates on locations and hours, go to http://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/.
  • Nearly 400 business owners have visited the SBA Business Recovery Center since it opened on June 1 to get information or help in filling out an SBA loan application.
  • More than $10,000 has been approved for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Nearly 40 people have filed claims with Workforce Oklahoma Center. For more information, call 800-555-1554.
  • More than 600 survivors were welcomed, fed and cared for in eight emergency shelters. Shelters operated until June 18.
  • Hours after the federal disaster declaration, FEMA issued a mission assignment to the Environmental Protection Agency to monitor hazardous waste collection and disposal, as requested by the state of Oklahoma.
  • Two days after the federal disaster declaration, FEMA deployed more than 400 personnel in support of response and recovery efforts, including three Urban Search and Rescue teams (Texas Task Force 1, Nebraska Task Force 1 and Tennessee Task Force 1) to perform search and rescue operations in Oklahoma.
  • In the first days after the declaration, FEMA’s Geospatial Information System group obtained aerial photos of the Moore tornado’s path, which OEM received from the Civil Air Patrol. All of the images were geo-tagged and uploaded to the FEMA Geoplatform. In addition, FEMA leveraged a new DHS contract for high-resolution aerial imagery. The combined aerial images were able to deliver house-by-house geospatial damage assessments and provide greater situational awareness to OEM, FEMA and other agencies.
  • Three FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams arrived in Oklahoma the day after the federal declaration to help address immediate and emerging needs of survivors, including on-site registration, applicant status checks and on-the spot needs assessments and referrals in the hard-hit neighborhoods and emergency shelters. After staffing up, DSA teams visited 15,171 homes, registered 1,543 households and performed 661 case inquiries.
  • AmeriCorps and FEMA Corps members assisted the state and FEMA with donation warehousing and community volunteer management.
  • OEM and FEMA have received 49 Requests for Public Assistance from PA applicants—such as tribes, state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations in five counties designated for Public Assistance funding for debris removal and emergency protective measures. The designated counties are Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie.
  • In Oklahoma, OEM administers the PA program and disburses the FEMA funding to PA applicants only. To date, OEM has completed 33 PA Applicant Briefings to explain the program and application process to local jurisdictions.
  • As of June 18, disaster-damaged communities have picked up more than 392,000 cubic yards of disaster debris. Officials estimate there were more than 900,000 cubic yards of debris. Working together as part of a joint task force, OEM and FEMA continue to address the removal of disaster debris.  
  • As requested by the State of Oklahoma, FEMA issued a mission assignment to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide technical assistance to local jurisdictions for proper debris disposal.
  • To further help communities recover, FEMA will reimburse PA applicants for the collection and disposal of eligible disaster debris that has been moved to the curb or public right-of-way by homeowners, at no cost to the homeowner.
  • More than 340 people at home improvement stores have received tips on how to rebuild safer and stronger. FEMA advisers operated a mitigation station at The Home Depot in Moore. Advisers are currently at Lowe’s home improvement stores in Norman and Moore.

To Apply For Disaster Assistance

Homeowners, renters and business owners in the six designated counties (Canadian, Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie) who sustained damage from the May 18-June 2 storms can apply for state and federal assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov.

Survivors may also apply by phone at 800-621-3362 (Voice or 7-1-1/ Relay) or TTY 800-462-7585. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339).

For more information on Oklahoma disaster recovery, click fema.gov/disaster/4117 or visit the OEM site at oem.ok.gov.

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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 network of more than 350 local emergency managers.

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.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

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Last Updated: 
June 21, 2013 - 16:23
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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