To report damages to the State of Oklahoma Emergency Management visit www.damage.ok.gov
To request volunteer Disaster Cleanup, contact Crisis Cleanup at 1-800-451-1954
To register for FEMA Assistance, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or www.DisasterAssistance.gov
To learn the latest disaster information visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4438
Below you will find repairing and rebuilding information for residents and communities in Oklahoma impacted by flooding and tornadoes.
Contact Your Local Building Official And/Or Floodplain Manager BEFORE Starting Repairs After ANY Damage To Your Home or Business!
- Learn about National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations regarding substantial damage and improvement BEFORE starting to make repairs.
- Ask for a Substantial Damage Determination from your local building official or floodplain manager. They will provide specific details regarding local ordinance requirements which will help you decide the best options for rebuilding.
- Local Floodplain Management requirements for new construction will apply to substantial improvements. The building must be brought into compliance with the NFIP. This may include elevating the building, relocating the building to an area outside of the high-risk flood zone, or demolishing the building and rebuilding in compliance.
- Learn whether or not there are specific re-building requirements for your community.
Building Permits - Necessary After ANY Disaster or Structural Damage!
- Consult local building officials for information and permits when considering new construction or repairs on property affected by recent flooding, tornados/high winds, fire, winter storms, and/or earthquake.
- Obtaining building permits for homes or businesses located within a high-risk flood area is especially important as additional permits may be required, such as a land use permit or zoning permit, depending on the property location.
- Local governments cannot reduce or ignore the floodplain requirements for building or repairs no matter what the cause of the damage.
- Repair projects must meet community building codes and flood-damage prevention ordinances.
- Residents are required to start construction and repair only after they have received permits from their local building department.
Cleaning Up After a Tornado
BEFORE ENTERING A BUILDING
- Check the outside of the building: Call your utility company immediately if you see downed power lines, detect gas leaks (Natural gas leaks smell like rotten eggs.) or see water gurgling up from underground.
- Look for external damage: Examine the foundation for cracks or other damage. Inspect porch roofs, overhangs and the foundation. If you find obvious damage, ask a building inspector to check the building before you go inside.
- Enter the building carefully: If the door sticks at the top as it opens, it could mean the ceiling is ready to cave in. Don't walk under a sagging ceiling until it has been checked.
AFTER ENTERING A BUILDING
- Turn off the main electricity breakers and valves for water and gas. Even if the power company has turned off electricity to the area, be sure to disconnect your home's main power supply. Have all utility connections inspected before resuming their use. Do not use appliances or motors that were exposed to water until they have been cleaned and dried.
- Dress for safety. A disposable dust mask will keep out nuisance dust, but consider a specialized mask with changeable filters to filter mold spores (organic vapor), asbestos, lead or other contaminants. Wear safety glasses, leather or rubber gloves and protective shoes (Avoid rubber-soled athletic shoes when walking in or around debris). This will minimize harm to you if you encounter a hazard. Hard hats, long sleeves and pants are encouraged to guard against bumps and scrapes.
- Look before you step: Floors and stairs may be covered with debris and may be very slippery. Watch out for window glass, broken bottles, nails and other hazards.
- Watch for critters: Snakes, skunks, raccoons and other wildlife seeking safety may choose your home for safety. Proceed with caution to avoid being startled.
- Be alert for gas leaks: Do not strike a match or use an open flame when entering a building unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage, not an open flame.
Centers for Disease Control - Tornadoes
Cleaning Up After a Flood
If you had water in your home, mold can become a health issue you will need to address. The following precautions are suggestions you may want to use:
- Confirm the water supply is safe to drink. Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply has been contaminated by the floodwaters. Remember to carry bottled drinking water and discard any food products that may have come in contact with floodwater.
- Wear protective clothing. Protect yourself during cleanup by wearing boots, gloves and masks. Clean and disinfect everything floodwater contacted.
- Ventilate your home. Open all doors and windows to allow air to circulate and dry out your home. Dehumidify as soon as possible after a flood.
- Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pit and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
- Make a list of lost or damaged items. Be sure to include their age and value, and if possible, have receipts for those items available.
- Isolate any moldy objects. Seal moldy trash in plastic bags and remove them immediately. Objects you can save should be dried or frozen as soon as possible. Freezing deactivates mold.
- Prevent mold growth. Wash all surface areas in the house that came in contact with floodwater. Disinfect and wipe surfaces dry with paper towels to minimize bacterial contamination.
Visit the Centers for Disease Control to learn more about cleaning up after a flood.
More Information on Flood Recovery
Know Your Flood Risk: Has it changed?
The flood may have changed your known risks to new risks you face today or tomorrow. Stay informed through your local Floodplain Manager and maintain flood insurance.
Important Message for Flood Survivors With Flood Insurance
Contact your Insurance Agent immediately.
- If your home or business was damaged or destroyed by flood, you face major decisions about your property.
- If you have questions or need help with your flood insurance contact the National Flood Insurance Program Help Center:
1-800-427-4661 or visit: www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-technical-support-hotline
Below are links to general flood insurance information:
- After the Flood - tips from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
- Flood Insurance Requirements for Recipients of Federal Disaster Assistance
- Starting Your Recovery: FEMA's Flood Insurance Claims Process
- NFIP Flood Insurance Claims Handbook - gives policyholders tips about what to do before and after a flood, including filing a claim, and the steps involved in appealing a denied claim.
- Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) - is part of most Standard Flood Insurance Policies. Claims for ICC benefits are filed separately from your claim for contents or building loss.
Filing a Flood Insurance Claim
Contact your agent or insurance company. An insurance adjuster should contact you within a few days to inspect the property. Have this information ready:
Name of the Insurance Company, Policy Number, Contact Information
Obtain a Proof of Loss form from the insurance adjuster. The insurance adjuster will collect evidence, take photographs of damaged property, capture high water marks inside and outside the structure, place damaged items outside the home for the adjusters inspection.
File claim with your Insurance Company within 240 days of the May 2015 floods. This is required to pay your claim.
Agree to Damage Amount with Insurer. Sign the Proof of Loss. File the claim. If major flooding has occurred, it may take longer to process claims due to the number of claims.
Increased Cost of Compliance
- ICC is also “Coverage D” in the NFIP Standard Flood Insurance Policy. It pays the insured up to $30,000 to comply with a state or local floodplain management law or ordinance affecting repair or reconstruction of a flood-damaged building. Qualifying structures must be declared a “substantially damaged” or “repetitive loss” property by a community official.
- Eligible mitigation activities are floodproofing (with few exceptions, floodproofing is only approved for commercial buildings), elevation, relocation, and demolition (or any combination thereof).
- Construction funded by ICC payments must be completed within 4 years of the substantial damage determination. ICC funds are available in addition to some federal assistance allocated for use to protect the building from future loss.
ICC claims are filed through your insurance agent. The NFIP Flood Insurance Claims Handbook provides good information about filing your ICC claim.
Lower Your Flood Insurance Premium
Talk to community officials, builders, and other experts about how you can reduce future flood losses. Then talk with your flood insurance agent about how building smarter can save you serious premium dollars.
Options May be Available to Offset Cost Cost of Repairing, Rebuilding, or Re-Locating
Choosing the right option requires research, planning, contacting local officials, and benefit-cost assessments (e.g. relocating or elevating the building will impact flood insurance premiums, while other options will not). Talk to your local community officials about available grants to help fund mitigation activities. Also ask about relocation, buyout or acquisition programs.
The National Flood Insurance Program Help Center at: 1-800-427-4661
- Visit FEMA's Flood Insurance Reform webpage (www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program/flood-insurance-reform) for information on the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 and other reforms.
If You DON'T Have Flood Insurance
What you need to know:
- Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover flood damage.
- Whether you rent or own, make sure to ask your insurance agent about contents coverage. For most standard policies, contents coverage is not automatically included with the building coverage.
- Review Why You Need Flood Insurance for facts and information you may need for recovery, for example
- Everyone in a participating community of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can buy flood insurance.
- Clear up common misconceptions about flooding and flood insurance, that includes important facts about flooding and the coverage options available to you.
- Contact your local Insurance Agent to learn about purchasing flood insurance for structures and contents.
- Visit Flood Smart at www.floodsmart.gov to learn more about flood insurance and to find an agent.
How Do I Find My Flood Zone?
Map Specialists at the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) support the public and other FEMA stakeholders with inquiries pertaining to a wide variety of flood hazard mapping and floodplain management topics including how to find and read flood maps on the Flood Map Service Center, preliminary flood hazard data, Letters of Map Change, Elevation Certificates, and the National Flood Hazard Layer. The FMIX also connects stakeholders with technical experts specializing in subjects such as hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, coastal mapping and the Hazus loss-estimation software.
- Telephone: (877) FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627)
- Try the Live Chat service or send us an email using the online form for disaster survivors
- Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 6:30 pm Eastern Time
Information and Resources
- Visit the Flood Hazard Mapping website
- View flood maps and other flood mapping products at the Flood Map Service Center
- Review preliminary flood hazard data for your community
- Learn about risks associated with levees
- Other frequently asked questions
Rebuilding Safer and Stronger - After A Flood, Tornado, or Other Natural Hazard - FEMA Building Sciences Can Help
FEMA has multiple publications with information to help you and communities rebuild to be more resilient and disaster resistant.
Learn how to protect your home or business from floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and high winds, and manmade disasters (terrorism/bombs):
Below are examples of Safe Room Resources.
- Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room Inside Your Home or Small Business (FEMA P-320) - Having a safe room in your home or small business can help provide "near-absolute protection" for you and your family or your employees from injury or death caused by the dangerous forces of extreme winds.
- Design and Construction Guidance for Community Safe Rooms (FEMA P-361) - This publication presents design, construction, and operation criteria for both residential and community safe rooms that will provide near-absolute life safety protection during tornado and hurricane events.
- Tornado Protection: Selecting Refuge Areas in Buildings (FEMA P-431) - This booklet presents information that will aid qualified architects and engineers in the identification of the best available refuge areas in existing buildings.
- Design Guidance for Shelters and Safe Rooms (FEMA 453) - The objective of this manual is to provide guidance for engineers, architects, building officials, and property owners to design shelters and safe rooms in buildings.
- Safe Room and Community Shelter Resources CD (FEMA 388 CD) - On this CD, you will find displays, posters, handouts, multimedia, and other resources that provide information about mitigating for tornadoes or other high-wind events and about the importance of safe rooms and community shelter construction in saving lives during such events.
- Community Safe Room Fact Sheet - This fact sheet provides information about safe rooms and explains that a safe room is a room or structure specifically designed and constructed to resist wind pressures and wind-borne debris impacts during an extreme-wind event, like tornadoes and hurricanes, for the purpose of providing life-safety protection.
- Residential Safe Room Fact Sheet - This fact sheet provide information about residential safe rooms and explains that a safe room is a room or structure specifically de-signed and constructed to resist wind pressures and wind-borne debris impacts during an extreme-wind event, like tornadoes and hurricanes, for the purpose of providing life-safety protection.
Publicaciones en Español
- Acerca del Moho
- Reconstruya de Manera más Segura y Resistente
- Inicie el proceso de reclamación de Seguro de Inundación
- Por Que Usted Necesita Seguro De Inundacion
- Manual de Reclamación para Seguros Contra Inundaciones
- Las apelaciones y orientación para reclamaciones de inundación
- Qué debo saber y hacer antes, durante y después de una inundación?
- No tengo seguro de inundación--¿Por qué lo necesito?
- Tengo seguro de inundación ... ¿realmente necesito mantenerlo?
- ¿Cómo puedo comprar seguro de inundación?
- Mi pregunta es acerca de los Mapas de Inundaciones...¿Qué debo hacer?
- ¿Qué puedo hacer para preparar o incluso reducir el daño causado por la inundación? ¿Y hacer estas cosas puede disminuir cuánto pago por el seguro de inundación?
FEMA collects Mitigation success stories, encourages the public to share their stories, and to review stories from other residents, it is known as the Best Practices Portfolio.
General Mitigation Publications
- Above the Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone House
- Answers to Questions about Substantially Improved/Substantially Damaged Buildings
- Flood Damage - Resistant Materials Requirements
- Flood Insurance Requirements for Recipients of Federal Disaster Assistance
- Floodproofing Non-Residential Buildings
- Frequently Asked Questions about Building Codes
- Home Builder's Guide to Coastal Construction
- Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting
- National Flood Insurance Program Claims Handbook
- Protecting Building Utility Systems from Flood Damage
- Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards
- Protecting Your Home and Property from Flood Damage
- Why Do I Need Flood Insurance?
Find Help in Oklahoma
- Disaster Scam Prevention - Office of Attorney General, Mike Hunter
- Oklahoma Sooner Safe -- to learn more about this rebate program
- https://www.owrb.ok.gov/ - Oklahoma Water Resources Board
- //www.ok.gov/oem/ - Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
- Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
- To have your septic or water well checked call Oklahoma Department Environmental Quality, 1-800-522-0206
- Oklahoma State Department of Health - Avoid Floodwater to Prevent Injury and Illness
To Register with FEMA
- Register Online
- Call 1-800-621-3362/TTY 800-427-5593
- Obtain a tailored list of assistance available on www.DisasterAssistance.gov
Region 6 Mitigation Contacts
- Region 6 Mitigation Contacts -- to talk to a FEMA Mitigation Specialist
Hazard Mitigation - The Basics
Hazard Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of future disasters by taking action now—before the next disaster—to reduce human and financial consequences later (analyzing risk, reducing risk, insuring against risk). Effective mitigation requires that we all understand local risks, address the hard choices, and invest in long-term community well-being. Without mitigation actions, we jeopardize our safety, financial security, and self-reliance.