Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
OEM OPERATING DAMAGE ASSESSMENT HOTLINE
Individuals, business owners with damages urged to call toll-free number
In order to expedite the collection of damage reports related to this past weekend’s severe weather, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) has opened a call center. Residents and business owners who have damages are urged to call the toll-free Oklahoma Damage Assessment Hotline (877) 216-1618 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Operators are on-hand to take the calls daily.
Additionally, anyone with property damage is urged to contact FEMA at (800) 621-FEMA (3362). Callers will be told the state has not been declared for disaster assistance however, FEMA will take the applicants’ information and contact them if their county is declared at a later date. Registrations are also taken on-line at www.fema.gov
The Oklahoma Damage Assessment Hotline is needed to gather preliminary damage information to strengthen the state’s application for federal disaster assistance for individuals and business owners. Since Sunday, damage assessment teams have surveyed the hardest hit areas. However, due to the overwhelming number of Oklahomans impacted by the storm, OEM is operating the call center.
“We are asking anyone with damage caused by this weekend’s storms to make two important phone calls,” explained OEM Director Albert Ashwood. “The damage reports will identify where we need to send damage assessment teams and help to make the case that many Oklahomans are in need of disaster assistance,” he said. Due to privacy laws, FEMA cannot share with the State information obtained from individuals. Therefore, the two phone calls are necessary.
Callers will be asked to provide their name, address of the damaged property and the type damage their property sustained. They will also be asked if they sustained financial loss because their business or place of employment was closed due to the storm.
The OEM announcement comes as Oklahomans await word on Gov. Brad Henry’s request for federal disaster assistance for Blaine, Caddo and Kingfisher counties and as 24 counties remain under a State of Emergency.