OKLAHOMA CITY, Okl. -- State agencies, local and tribal governments and certain private nonprofit organizations in the Oklahoma counties hit hard by the December blizzard and/or January ice storm are facing deadlines to file their official requests for federal assistance, state of Oklahoma and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials have announced.
Filing a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) with the state is the first step in the process of applying for federal reimbursements under FEMA’s Public Assistance Grant Program.
Applicants must file RPAs within 30 days of a presidential disaster declaration. President Obama issued a major disaster declaration on Feb. 25 for 29 counties affected by the December blizzard, so applicants in those counties have until March 27 to file their RPAs. The counties are Canadian, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Craig, Delaware, Garvin, Grady, Hughes, Jackson, Jefferson, Kay, Lincoln, Love, McClain, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Ottawa, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Sequoyah, Stephens, Tillman and Tulsa.
On March 5 the president designated 25 counties eligible for federal disaster assistance as a result of the devastating ice storm, meaning affected government entities and nonprofits in those counties have until
April 4 to file RPAs. The counties are Alfalfa, Caddo, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Delaware, Dewey, Ellis, Grady, Greer, Harmon, Haskell, Hughes, Jackson, Kiowa, LeFlore, McClain, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills, Seminole, Stephens and Washita.
“We encourage every eligible applicant to get their requests for assistance filed as soon as possible,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Gregory W. Eaton. “The sooner they get those forms to the state, the sooner we can start the process of getting their eligible costs reimbursed.”
The grants are obligated to the state to reimburse applicants for expenses they incurred in taking emergency measures to protect lives and property; in cleaning up downed trees and power poles, and other debris; and in making repairs to public infrastructure, including roads and bridges, water control facilities and public utilities.
Although the program is oriented to public entities, private nonprofit organizations may apply directly to FEMA via the RPA for uninsured costs of debris removal and emergency protective measures. Additionally, nonprofits may qualify for FEMA assistance to make infrastructure repairs if they provide critical services, such as fire and emergency rescue; medical treatment; power, water and sewer utilities; and communications systems.
Details of the PA program are available on the FEMA Web site at www.fema.gov
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.