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Monday, July 8, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY – Survivors of the tornadoes, severe storms and flooding that occurred in Oklahoma from May 18 to June 2 have less than two weeks to register for state and federal disaster assistance. The deadline is July 19.
“Even if you think your damage wasn’t that bad, you still should register with FEMA,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “It opens the door to all types of assistance, even if you have insurance. Take flood damage for example. Flood insurance doesn’t cover additional living expenses. If your damage was caused by a flood and your home is uninhabitable, FEMA may be able to help you relocate while your home is being repaired.”
Disaster assistance may include grants from FEMA to help individuals pay for rent and home repairs, replace personal property and reimburse medical, storage and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance. Registering is also important if you need help down the road.
“What if you receive your insurance settlement after the deadline and it’s not enough for you to rebuild? That’s why it is so important to get registered right now,” said Doak.
Once registered, survivors are also urged to fill out and return the disaster loan application from the Small Business Administration (SBA), which is offered to businesses and individuals. The loans can help pay for up to 100 percent of uninsured disaster-related losses. By filling out and returning an application, you can first determine whether you’re eligible. You do not have to take a loan if it is offered to you.
Registering is also important because the number of requests FEMA and the SBA receives determines the amount of funding communities will receive from grants and other sources.
Homeowners, renters and business owners in nine disaster-declared counties may be eligible for assistance. Those counties include Canadian, Cleveland, LeFlore, Lincoln, McClain, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee and Pottawatomie.
Individuals can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or on a smartphone at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 1-800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services (VRS) can call 1-800-621-3362.
The Oklahoma Insurance Department is holding a series of educational forums for storm survivors. The next forum is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Community Christian Church in Moore. The following week, a forum will be held on July 16 at El Reno High School at 6 p.m.
Survivors with insurance-related questions may also call the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Consumer Assistance Hotline at 1-800-522-0071.
About the Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
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