For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 10, 2003
Statement on Federal Assistance for Oklahoma
The President declared a major disaster exists in the State of Oklahoma and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms and tornadoes on May 8, 2003, and continuing.
The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Canadian, Cleveland, Grady, Kingfisher, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding is available to State and eligible local governments in the counties of Cleveland and Oklahoma on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures at 75 percent Federal funding.
In addition, Federal funding is also available on a cost-share basis for hazard mitigation measures.
Representing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Michael D. Brown, Undersecretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security, named Justin DeMello as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.
The Agency said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional counties may be added for assistance after the assessments are completed.
The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FEMA (202) 646-4600.