OKLAHOMA CITY – An additional $4.9 million has been approved in federal funding for debris clearance in Oklahoma following the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that occurred from May 18 – June 2, 2013. This figure along with additional amounts from Individual Assistance, Public Assistance, and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) brings State and federal assistance for Oklahoma to nearly $70 million.
The latest amount covers eligible debris removal costs under a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program. The accelerated debris removal program was initiated in Oklahoma following the devastating spring storms.
The program funds expenses such as debris removal and debris recycling from public property and right-of-ways. A fundamental element of the pilot program is the provision of financial incentives for applicants for accomplishing timely removal of debris and for developing a pre-incident debris management plan.
“Debris removal after disasters of this magnitude can be a daunting task. Oklahoma appreciates the opportunity to be part of this pilot program," said State Coordinating Officer and Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management Deputy Director Michelann Ooten.
“Anytime we can test a pilot program and provide financial incentives at the same time is a win-win for all,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy Coachman.
Meanwhile, more than $14.2 million in disaster assistance for housing and disaster-related expenses has been approved for qualified homeowners and renters. This includes more than $9.7 million in rental costs and house repairs, and more than $4.4 million for medical expenses, replacement clothing, vehicle repairs, funeral and burial costs, and other needs generated by the storms.
As of August 29, more than one million cubic yards of disaster debris had been cleared in Oklahoma, roughly 96 percent of the estimated total of 1,219,301 cubic yards generated by the storms.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $43.6 million in low-interest disaster loans for qualified homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma.
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.
SBA is the federal government’s primary source of funding 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 uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339).
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. Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.