Thursday, August 23, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin announced today that the White House has approved disaster aid for Oklahomans impacted by recent wildfires. The action grants assistance for residents and business owners in Creek County.
Still under consideration in Washington, DC is the governor's request for the counties of Cleveland, Oklahoma and Payne, which also sustained significant damage and were part of the governor's initial request. Despite the declaration's failure to be inclusive of the governor's complete request, all those who have sustained wildfire damage since July 28 are urged to call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or go online at www.disasterassistance.gov and go ahead and report their damage. This will help bolster the case for additional counties to be added to the declaration.
"I am happy to see the federal government has approved our request for assistance in Creek County," said Fallin. "However, large areas of the state and hundreds of families are currently receiving no federal assistance. I personally spoke with men and women in other areas of the state who had lost everything to the wildfires. Those people need help."
"Given the tremendous damage suffered in huge areas of the state, I find the response from the White House to be insufficient and unacceptable. I will continue to make the case in no uncertain terms that the federal government has an obligation to assist the hundreds of families and businesses victimized by wildfires in recent days."
Nearly 680 homes and businesses were damaged beginning July 28 as fires burned more than 114,000 acres across the state. This includes 603 homes that were destroyed. An estimated 85 percent of the homes damaged or destroyed were not insured.
Oklahomans who suffered uninsured fire damage in Creek County are eligible for assistance 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.
"Regardless of the county, those with wildfire damage to their homes or businesses should reach out to FEMA and report their losses," Fallin said. "Doing so will help to support the case for additional federal assistance for the many Oklahoma families in need."
For more information please call Keli Cain with the Office of Emergency Management at 405-590-0120.