The beginning of summer is usually an enjoyable time for many families, but the flooding across Oklahoma has turned it into a devastating time. Homes and buildings have been destroyed, roadways have been washed out, and many rivers and lakes have risen to record-breaking levels. Many people have lost everything- their homes, their property and tragically, some have even lost their lives.
I visited some of the hardest hit areas in the Second District recently and Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence even made a trip to Oklahoma to tour the damage and thank volunteers. They got to see firsthand the Oklahoma Standard of neighbors helping neighbors and the Vice President reminded us all that with faith, we can get through even the toughest trials. It will be a long road ahead to recover from this, but we are with those affected every step of the way. I wanted to take this opportunity to share some important resources for flooding victims.
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management continues to ask residents impacted by the recent storms to report damages to their property at damage.ok.gov or by calling 211. Reporting damage helps local and state emergency managers better coordinate response and recovery efforts. Residents can report damage to homes, businesses or agriculture through the online survey.
Twenty-seven counties in Oklahoma have been designated for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance: Alfalfa, Canadian, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Garfield, Kay, Kingfisher, Logan, Mayes, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner, Washington, and Woods. To be eligible for a grant, the damage must have happened because of the disaster and during the disaster period. Check with your insurance agents first. Insurance payouts have typically been higher than FEMA assistance. No two cases are the same so don’t be discouraged from applying because someone else did or did not get assistance. If you sustained damage, you should apply for assistance.
To apply for FEMA assistance, call the hotline at 800-621-3362. It’s open 7am-10pm CT, 7 days a week. You can also go to disasterassistance.gov or use FEMA’s mobile app to apply. The Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner can help with any insurance questions www.oid.ok,gov or 1-800-522-0071.
Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency has Emergency Housing Assistance available to Oklahoma families displaced by recent storms when their home has been left uninhabitable. OHFA provides grants of up to $1,500 for temporary hotel accommodations and/or security or utility deposits for more permanent housing. To apply for assistance, call (405) 419-8196 to leave a message on OHFA’s housing hotline for the disaster housing grant. Visit http://tinyurl.com/ohfahelp for updates and information on how you can meet with an OHFA representative for application assistance.
The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs reports that veterans who have been impacted by the recent weather may be eligible for a Financial Grant. Visit their website at okvets.ok.gov and click on the “get help” tab to find a service officer or location near you to assist. You can also call (918) 781-7766 or (405) 523-4000 to locate a service office or location near you.