Oklahoma secures federal disaster aid

The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Sunday announced that federal disaster aid has been made available for the State of Oklahoma to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms and tornadoes during the period of February 10-11, 2009.
Acting FEMA Administrator Nancy Ward said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President Obama.  The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Carter, Logan, and Oklahoma.

The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.

Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all counties and tribal nations statewide.
Douglas G. Mayne has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.  Mayne said that additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov/ or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (local time) Monday through Sunday until further notice.

FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.