Federal Assistance Granted for three Oklahoma Counties
FEMA has approved disaster assistance for 3 of the most severely hit counties in Oklahoma with more expected to come in the near future as damage assessments are completed. All 77 counties in Oklahoma remain under a state of emergency.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced yesterday that FEMA has approved the state’s request for disaster assistance for three of the most severely hit counties in the state. Currently, all 77 counties in Oklahoma are under a state of emergency. The approval makes assistance available to individuals and business owners impacted by the flooding, tornados, severe storms, and straight line winds that occurred in Cleveland, Grady and Oklahoma counties since May 5th, 2015. FEMA has approved federal assistance for: (i) housing repairs or temporary housing, (ii) US Small Business Administration low-interest loans for individuals and business to repair or replace damaged property, (iii) disaster unemployment assistance, and (iv) grants for other needs and expenses not met by other programs. Though these three counties are the first to receive assistance, others may soon receive similar types of assistance in the near future as the damage assessments from storms striking other parts of the state since May 10th are still in progress.
Part of the request process for assistance from the federal government is completion of a damage assessment. This assessment tells the federal government what conditions on the ground are and expected to manifest into in the near future. This may seem like a bureaucracy at its finest, but it is imperative to complete. Without an accurate damage different state and federal agencies who are willing to provide assistance, may not provide the right assistance at the right time. For example, if you need assistance removing debris, having a National Guard or Army Reserve Engineer Battalion mobilized to assist would be a lot better than the Red Cross showing up with Coffee and Blankets (though this is merely an example to show the difference in assistance and support, the Red Cross does much more than hand out Coffee and Blankets. The American Red Cross is actually chartered by the federal government to oversee sheltering during disasters).
Read the Oklahoma Governor’s statement here.
Read the Oklahoma Governor’s Amended Executive Order here.
Visit Disaster Assistance.gov here.
Read FEMA’s Press Release from May 26th, 2015 here.