Today, Wednesday, Aug. 14, is the last day for Oklahoma residents who suffered damage from the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding that occurred May 7 to June 9 to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
FEMA and OEM program specialists are hard at work coordinating with local officials to assess eligible projects for reimbursement from FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program, which may cover the cost of disaster-related debris removal, emergency work and repair and replacement of disaster- damaged public facilities and services, such as roads, bridges, public utilities, including water treatment and electrical plants, government buildings and parks.
FEMA reimburses the state, tribal jurisdictions or certain nonprofit organizations for these costs. FEMA normally pays 75 percent of the approved cost and the state and local government share the remaining 25 percent.
Residents who are just learning that their insurance will not cover their damages because of high deductibles should check with FEMA to see if they are eligible for disaster assistance. FEMA cannot duplicate benefits, but some survivors may be eligible for federal assistance.
More than $14.6 million in disaster grants has been approved for Oklahoma homeowners and renters who sustained uninsured or underinsured losses from the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding that occurred May 7 to June 9.
That total includes more than $12.5 million in housing grants for people to assist in rebuilding or repairing their home and to provide a safe place to stay while they consider their long-term housing options.
More than $2.1 million has been obligated for Other Needs Assistance, which includes replacement for damaged personal property not covered by insurance.
FEMA inspectors have issued 3,917 inspections. Four inspectors are in the field.
The DRCs have closed. They received a total of 2,104 visits.
SBA has received 1,830 applications and approved more than $31.7 million in low- interest disaster loans.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has received 567 claims for the 4438 incident period. Over $31.8 million paid to survivors.
Designated Counties: Alfalfa, Canadian, Cherokee, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Garfield, Kay, Kingfisher, Le Flore, Logan, Mayes, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner, Washington and Woods.
There are several different ways to register: online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA). Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly.
For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
Applicants are encouraged to follow up if they don’t understand their determination letter. Oklahoma survivors who registered with FEMA will receive a determination letter explaining the eligibility decision and the reason for that decision. The letter states the dollar amount of the grant and how the funds should be used.
If ineligible, the letter explains why and how the applicant can appeal that decision. It’s important to read the determination letter carefully to identify the reason for being declared ineligible. Once an applicant understands the reason for being ineligible, they can decide whether to appeal the decision.
FEMA funds the National Flood Insurance Program and encourages homeowners and renters in Oklahoma to purchase and maintain flood insurance. About 25 percent of flood insurance claims are paid out to people who don’t live in high-risk flood area.
Homeowners who have been recipients of FEMA disaster assistance for flooding and live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) must acquire and maintain flood insurance.
If they sell their home at any time after receiving flood assistance, they must inform the new owners of the requirement to maintain flood insurance coverage.
In most cases, an existing flood insurance policy transfers to the new owner with no lapse in coverage.
Renters may be eligible for flood insurance to cover personal property losses.
Insurance companies and agents who offer flood insurance can provide general information about policies and how to sign up. For more information about the National Flood Insurance Program and flood insurance, call the NFIP Call Center at 800-427-4661 or visit fema.gov/business/nfip.