Friday, May 16, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY – One year after severe storms and tornadoes, including an EF-5 tornado, devastated the central region of Oklahoma, progress continues to be made for survivors and communities affected.
Millions of dollars in state and federal assistance has helped in repairing and rebuilding homes, businesses and schools damaged by the storms.
To date, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have awarded more than $15 million to eligible survivors in Canadian, Cleveland, Le Flore, Lincoln, McClain, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties for rental assistance, repair or replacement of damaged homes and other disaster-related needs; the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved more than $50.9 million in low-interest disaster loans to 937 Oklahoma residents and businesses to help with their recovery; and more than $41 million in state and federal aid will pay for emergency protective measures, debris removal, and infrastructure repair and replacement in Atoka, Canadian, Cleveland, Coal, Craig, Haskell, Hughes, Latimer, Lincoln, McClain, McIntosh, Nowata, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Pottawatomie, Pushmataha and Seminole counties.
Also, $3.5 million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding has already been fast-tracked to support projects designed to help reduce damage in future disasters. This included residential safe room programs, warning systems and other projects.
“The spring of 2013 was a horrific time for Oklahomans, but the hard work and determination we’ve seen in only a year has been amazing,” said OEM Director Albert Ashwood. “We continue to work with FEMA, local emergency managers, other state, local and federal agencies, as well as voluntary organizations and private sector partners to help ensure the best possible recovery for these communities.”
“Oklahomans are a resilient people who come together to support one another when disaster strikes and stay together through both the short- and long-term recovery efforts,” said FEMA R6 Administrator Tony Robinson. “We were proud to work side by side with our local, state, federal, tribal, volunteer and private sector partners during this challenging time.”
The storms of May 18 to June 2, 2013 resulted in a federal disaster declaration on May 20 for Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties, while other counties and more FEMA programs were added at later dates. Find more information on the disaster operations at OEM.ok.gov or www.fema.gov/disaster/4117.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) prepares for, responds to, recovers from and mitigates against emergencies and disasters. The department delivers service to Oklahoma cities, towns and counties through a network of more than 350 local emergency managers.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private nonprofit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.