OKLAHOMA CITY – An additional $4.6 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 $75 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.
“Clearing debris is the first step in long-term recovery. This pilot program is assisting Oklahoma communities as they continue the rebuilding process,” said State Coordinating Officer and Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management Deputy Director Michelann Ooten.
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.
“Not only is the pilot program helping with debris clearance, but it is also offering financial incentives that are helping with the recovery process. That’s a win-win for all,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy Coachman.
Meanwhile, more than $14.4 million in disaster assistance for housing and disaster-related expenses has been approved for qualified homeowners and renters. This includes more than $9.8 million in rental costs and house repairs, and more than $4.5 million for medical expenses, replacement clothing, vehicle repairs, funeral and burial costs, and other needs generated by the storms.
As of September 18, more than one million cubic yards of disaster debris had been cleared in Oklahoma, roughly 96 percent of the estimated total of 1,242,890 cubic yards generated by the storms.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $45.4 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.