OK disaster assistance tops $7.6 million

6/15/2013, 12:46 p.m.

OKLAHOMA CITY - State and federal disaster assistance now tops $7.6 million for Oklahoma homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the May 18-June 2 severe storms, flooding and tornadoes, according to the federal government.

More than 10,000 households in six designated counties have applied for assistance from the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following the storms. The designated counties are Canadian, Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie.

Disaster assistance includes:

• Housing Assistance grants which help pay for temporary housing for qualified homeowners and renters. Housing Assistance may also include home repair grants for homeowners with uninsured losses.

• Other Needs Assistance that may include grants to help pay for personal property replacement or disaster-related necessary expenses—such as uninsured medical and dental costs, transportation, lost work tools, and moving and storage fees related to the disaster.

• Low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations are available from the SBA.

• SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs), which provide necessary business working capital until normal operations resume after a physical disaster. The law restricts economic injury disaster loans to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Two new disaster recovery centers have opened. OEM and FEMA currently have six Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) and one SBA Business Recovery Center, including newly opened sites in Midwest City and El Reno, where survivors may get information and apply for assistance. Specialists from OEM, FEMA and the SBA are at the centers to answer questions and help survivors. To date 4,402 people have visited the centers.