Editor's note: This was originally posted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on May 22.
FEMA, Federal Partners Continue to Support Response to Severe Storms in Oklahoma
Survivors are Encouraged to Register for Assistance
WASHINGTON -- The Administration, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) remains in close contact with emergency officials and continues to coordinate federal support to state, tribal and local officials in Oklahoma through FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center in Washington, D.C. and Regional Response Coordination Center in Denton, Texas. At the President’s direction, FEMA continues to provide resources to support response and recovery efforts.
On Monday, May 20, 2013, the President declared a major disaster for the State of Oklahoma, supporting state, local and tribal emergency work in affected areas. Federal disaster aid also is available to affected individuals in Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in these affected areas are encouraged to apply for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by web-enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Survivors who use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT seven days a week.
Today, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano traveled to Moore, Oklahoma to meet with Governor Mary Fallin, state and local officials and ensure that first responders are receiving the assistance they need in on-going response and recovery efforts to the severe weather that impacted the region. At the direction of the President, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate is on the ground in Oklahoma to ensure all Federal resources are supporting our state, local, and tribal partners in life saving and safety operations including search and rescue.
"Our priority is to get disaster assistance to the survivors of this storm,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Residents and business owners who sustained losses are encouraged to register for federal assistance.”
Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams (DSATs) are on the ground to help federal, state, local, and tribal partners gather detailed information on the affected communities during the critical first hours, days and weeks. DSATs address immediate and emerging needs of disaster survivors including: on-site registration, applicant status checks, on-the-spot needs assessments, and access to partners offering survivor services. All teams wear FEMA photo identification badges in plain sight. As of 7 a.m., more than 1,000 Oklahomans have registered for assistance.
Disaster Recovery Centers also continue to be established in the affected areas where survivors can register for assistance and receive information about FEMA and other disaster assistance programs.
In coordination with the state, FEMA has more than 400 people on the ground in support of response and recovery efforts, including a liaison officer, three national Urban Search and Rescue teams, a national Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) and a regional IMAT to Oklahoma to coordinate with state and local officials in support of recovery operations. Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) assets also are in Oklahoma to provide self-sustaining telecommunications, logistics and operations support elements. Additional teams are en route.
Rapidly removing disaster related debris enables a community to recover more rapidly. Yesterday, FEMA implemented a pilot program for debris removal that offers communities financial incentives for the timely removal of debris and a time limited financial incentive for having a pre-incident debris management plan.
The Red Cross Safe and Well secure website provides a way for people to find information on survivors affected by the storms. To register, visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell. Open Red Cross shelters can also be found on www.redcross.org/find-help/shelter.
The state of Oklahoma in coordination with the United Way of Central Oklahoma, has established the OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund Donations. Those who wish to provide assistance to support disaster relief efforts can donate online at www.unitedwayokc.org or find additional information on the voluntary agencies playing a vital role in disaster recovery by visiting: National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD).
Individuals with a Blackberry, Android or Apple device can download the FEMA app to access safety tips, shelter locations, and more.
Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at www.fema.gov/medialibrary and www.youtube.com/fema; Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/fema and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fema.
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.