OKLAHOMA STORM SURVIVORS URGED TO REGISTER FOR DISASTER ASSISTANCE

Homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the recent severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding in Oklahoma are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as they may be eligible for disaster assistance.

“We are relieved to have FEMA assistance for three Oklahoma counties hard hit by storms that began in early May,” said Deputy Director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and State Coordinating Officer (SCO) Michelann Ooten. “We encourage everyone impacted by the storms and tornadoes to contact FEMA as soon as possible as we work to bring assistance to additional counties as well.”

The presidential disaster declaration of May 26 makes federal assistance available to eligible individuals and business owners in Cleveland, Grady and Oklahoma counties.

“We are working side by side with our state partners at OEM to make sure all eligible survivors receive the help they need to get the recovery process started,” said Federal Coordinating Officer John Long. “But the only way you will know if you are eligible for federal disaster aid is to register.”

Individuals and business owners in the designated counties can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 1-800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

Oklahomans should register with FEMA even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but under-insured applicants may receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.

Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if the person has registered with another disaster-relief organization such as the American Red Cross, or local community or church organization. FEMA registrants must use the name that appears on their Social Security card. Applicants will be asked to provide:

•    Social Security number
•    Address of the damaged home or apartment
•    Description of the damage
•    Information about insurance coverage
•    A current contact telephone number
•    An address where they can get mail

Bank account and routing numbers if they want direct deposit of any financial assistance.

For more information on Oklahoma disaster recovery, click http://www.fema.gov/disaster/4222  or visit the OEM site at www.oem.ok.gov.

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