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When in Doubt, Register for Disaster Assistance

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Release date: 
October 5, 2012
Release Number: 

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urge Cleveland and Creek County residents who sustained property damage or losses from the Aug. 3-14 wildfires to apply for disaster assistance even if they think they may not qualify.

Register even if:

  • You have insurance
  • Your well and septic system was damaged
  • You already started to rebuild – save receipts for work already done
  • You think you may not qualify

You can call the same number you called when you registered to:

  • Confirm your registration
  • Check your status if you called before your county was declared a major disaster
  • Change your contact information or report additional damages

“Don't prejudge your eligibility. You may be eligible for assistance you didn’t think was available,” said State Coordinating Officer and OEM Deputy Director Michelann Ooten.

“Registering provides access to a host of Federal, State and voluntary programs.  We are here to provide assistance for all eligible applicants,” said Federal Coordinating Officer William J. Doran III. “FEMA may provide assistance that can address a person’s specific needs, not just housing.”

Federal disaster assistance may include FEMA’s grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs or other serious disaster-related expenses, such as wells or septic tanks, medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs, not covered by insurance or other sources.

Since the disaster declaration, 596 individuals in Creek County and 150 in Cleveland County affected by the wildfires applied for assistance with FEMA.
Homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations, that have not yet registered should do so now by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585, visiting or via web-enabled phones or using the FEMA app. Anyone using 711 Relay or Video Relay Services can call 1-800-621-3362. Phone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT seven days a week; multilingual operators are available.

To apply for a disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA):  After registering with FEMA, go online to SBA’s secure site at; call 1-800-659-2955 or TTY 1-800-877-8339; or visit the Disaster Recovery Center in Noble.  For more information on SBA disaster assistance, go to

SBA’s low-interest disaster loans are available 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

For more information on Oklahoma disaster recovery, click on or Information can also be accessed via smartphone at or the FEMA app.

Follow the OEM on Twitter and Facebook at and FEMA tweets about the Oklahoma disaster are at Additional FEMA online resources include, and

Last Updated: 
October 5, 2012 - 12:03
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