THREE DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS SERVING OKLAHOMA TORNADO SURVIVORS OPENING

Disaster News

May 27, 2010

FEMA News Desk: 405-917-3250

OEM PIO Michelann Ooten: 405-521-2481 (office); 405-205-1879 (cell)

THREE DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS SERVING OKLAHOMA TORNADO SURVIVORS OPENING

OKLAHOMA CITY – Specialists from the state of Oklahoma and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other agencies will be reaching out to Oklahoma tornado survivors at Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) opening this week in Cleveland, Pottawatomie and Oklahoma counties.

“The May 10-13 tornadoes and storms brought considerable damage and heartache to Oklahomans throughout the state,” said State Coordinating Officer Fred Liebe. “We are glad to have this chance to begin the assistance process.”

“We want to give the survivors every opportunity to register and get help as they recover from these devastating storms,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Gregory W. Eaton. “Visiting a Disaster Recovery Center can be that first step.”

A DRC opens Friday, May 28 at 9 a.m. in Cleveland County:

Little Axe School

2000 NE 168th Ave.

Norman, OK 73026

Two more DRCs will open Saturday, May 29 at 9 a.m. in Pottawatomie and Oklahoma counties:

Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center

1700 W. Independence St.

Shawnee, OK

East Side Church of Christ

916 S. Douglas Blvd.

Midwest City, OK

The hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. The centers will be open on Memorial Day.

Additional centers will be opening soon in other areas affected by the tornadoes.

Registering for assistance before visiting a DRC will shorten applicants’ time at the center. However, visiting a center is not required to be considered for assistance.

FEMA and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management establish DRCs to circulate information to assist survivors with their recovery. Those with property damage can register for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing or speech impaired. Registration can also be completed online at www.disasterassistance.gov.

Representatives from the state, FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration will be available to answer questions and provide recovery information. Written materials about various assistance programs and other agencies are also available to individuals and business owners. FEMA does not distribute cash, checks, debit cards or vouchers at DRCs.

For more information on Oklahoma disaster recovery, click www.fema.gov/oklahoma or www.oem.ok.gov. Information can also be accessed via smart phone at m.fema.gov.

###

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) prepares for, responds to, recovers from and mitigates against emergencies and disasters. The department delivers service to Oklahoma cities, towns and counties through a network of more than 350 local emergency managers.

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.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and covers the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property.

Applicants may apply in person at a Disaster Recovery Center or online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at http://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained at a DRC location, from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling toll-free 800-659-2955, e-mailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.  Hearing impaired individuals may call TTY 800-877-8339.