OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Homeowners in Creek County designated for disaster assistance due to the Aug. 3-14 wildfire may be eligible for assistance to repair or replace damaged septic systems and private wells that are the sole source of water for the home.
Disaster assistance may include grants to help pay for emergency home repairs or other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other sources.
In many cases, even for homeowners with insurance, water storage tanks, well pumps and septic systems may not be covered by homeowners insurance. Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) say anyone who is uncertain whether their insurance covers fire damage to a well or septic system is encouraged to first confirm their coverage with their insurance company.
If a homeowner’s private well or septic system was damaged or contaminated due to the wildfire, they may call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 even if a housing inspector has already visited the home. This is the same number they called when they registered. Applicants can always update information through this number or online at www.disasterassistance.gov.
If someone is using 711 Relay or Video Relay Services, they too may call 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Multilingual operators are available. Applicants can also visit the Disaster Recovery Center in Mannford to speak with a FEMA representative in person.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and private nonprofits for their uncompensated physical disaster losses (homes, personal property and business assets). For small businesses and most private nonprofits, SBA disaster loans are available to cover working capital needs caused by the disaster, whether or not the business suffered physical damage.
It is important that anyone receiving an SBA disaster loan application complete and return it. Returning the application does not obligate you to accept an SBA loan; however, it is a necessary step to be considered for other additional forms of federal disaster assistance.
To apply for an SBA disaster loan: After registering with FEMA, go online to SBA’s secure site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela; call 1-800-659-2955 or TTY 1-800-877-8339; or visit the Disaster Recovery Center. For more information on SBA disaster assistance, go to www.sba.gov.
Follow the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook at twitter.com/okem and www.facebook.com/oklahomadepartmentofemergencymanagement. FEMA tweets about the Oklahoma disaster are at twitter.com/femaregion6. Additional FEMA online resources include blog.fema.gov, www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema.