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Disaster Assistance for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities

Release date: 
July 8, 2015
Release Number: 

OKLAHOMA CITY The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are ready to assist everyone, including seniors, persons with disabilities and others with an access and functional need before, during and after a disaster.

Oklahoma seniors and those with disabilities are eligible to receive the same services and assistance offered to anyone in the declared disaster areas. However, the means to register for and receive assistance may be different for someone with a disability. That person may require accommodations such as a sign language interpreter or information in alternate formats.

Anyone who experienced losses or damages as a result of Oklahoma’s severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding and tornadoes of May 5 through June 4 has several ways to register for disaster assistance.

They can apply online at, by smart phone or tablet at, or by telephone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. If they use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services, they should call 800-621-3362. Operators are multilingual and calls are answered seven days a week 24 hours a day. Or they can visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC).

Some frequently asked questions include: 

Will disaster assistance change my benefits?

  • If you receive Social Security benefits, you will not lose your benefits and they will not be changed or cut if you receive disaster aid from the state or FEMA.
  • If you receive Medicaid, food stamps, or Aid to Families with Dependent Children, you will not lose your benefits and they will not be cut if you receive disaster aid from the state or FEMA.
  • A FEMA grant does not add to an applicant’s taxable income.

What are the available accommodations?

  • For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, DRCs offer several communication methods, from captioned phones to iPads with video remote interpreting access to sign language interpreters. On-site interpreters are also available upon request.
  • For persons who are blind or have low vision, documents are available in large print and Braille.
  • For persons who use a mobility device, DRCs have accessible parking, ramps and accessible restrooms.
  • Remember: If you need an accommodation, just ask.

How will I know what I am eligible for?

  • Those who live in one of the 33 Oklahoma counties approved for federal Individual Assistance as a result of the storms that occurred May 5 through June 4 may be eligible for disaster assistance.
  • The only way to know if you are eligible – and what you are eligible for – is to apply. The application deadline for this disaster is July 27.
  • Anyone with a disability or any access or functional need who requires help registering should not hesitate to contact FEMA.


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. Follow us on Twitter at and the FEMA Blog at //


Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:05