June 12, 2013
The White House today approved Governor Mary Fallin’s request to extend the major disaster declaration issued on May 20 to include the latest round of tornadoes, flooding, straight-line winds and severe storms that occurred in Oklahoma from May 28 through June 2. The governor’s request to include Canadian County for individual assistance was also approved, bringing the number of eligible counties to six.
“Extension of this disaster declaration means that many residents affected by the tornadoes and flooding at the end of May and beginning of June will now be available for individual assistance,” said Fallin. “This is a welcome relief for the hundreds of Oklahomans whose homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed. My thanks go out to our partners at FEMA, local and state officials, non-profits, faith-based groups, and all the men and women who have donated time and money to aid in this ongoing recovery effort."
In Canadian and Oklahoma counties alone, more than 538 homes and businesses were impacted by the May 28 through June 2 severe storms. This includes 52 destroyed, 193 with major damage, and 159 with minor damage.
A disaster declaration was first issued on May 20 for damage that occurred in Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties. Over $5.4 million in assistance has already been awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to individuals living in those counties.
With this updated designation, individuals in these counties as well as Canadian County are now eligible for assistance due to damage that took place between May 18 and June 2. Assistance options include payments for housing repairs or temporary housing, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property, disaster unemployment assistance, and grants for serious needs and necessary disaster expenses not met by other programs.
To apply for disaster assistance, individuals and business owners in the declared counties must call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or go online to http://www.disasterassistance.gov/.
Homeowners, renters and business owners with damages from the May 28 through June 2 storms who have already called FEMA to report damage prior to the declaration amendment will now be eligible for assistance. They may call again now to check the status of their registration or ask additional questions.
The state may seek to add additional counties at a later date should conditions warrant.