Disaster News


Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

Federal Emergency Management Agency

June 19, 2010

Joint Field Office: Oklahoma City, OK

FEMA News Desk:  405-917-3250

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


OKLAHOMA CITY – If you lost your home or property during the May 10-13 storms, you undoubtedly have a lot on your mind right now. Amid the turmoil, don’t forget the one detail that could ensure recovery assistance reaches you: Keep in touch with FEMA.

Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are working hard to make sure eligible Oklahomans get their post-disaster needs met. They urge applicants to keep their contact information current.

“As many as three applicants out of every 10 forget to let us know they’ve moved or changed phone numbers,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Gregory W. Eaton. “We want to help. Just tell us how to find you.”

Consider housing inspections, for instance. It’s vital to keep your contact information up to date so a FEMA housing inspector can reach you to schedule a damage assessment of your property.

Within 10 business days of registering for Individual Assistance (IA) programs, you should receive a packet from FEMA containing the details of the aid program, a copy of your application and referrals to other potentially helpful programs.

If you haven’t received the packet after 10 days or if you need to update the information it contains, call FEMA’s Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for people with hearing or speech impairments.

Three problems frequently delay delivery of aid information to applicants:

  • A minor mistake in the applicant’s address, ZIP code or phone number is made on the application.
  • Registration information is outdated because applicants temporarily move in with family or friends, repeatedly changing contact addresses and phone numbers.
  • Postal regulations forbid letter carriers from delivering mail to a mailbox that has blown down or toppled over — a common situation after tornadoes or wind storms. 


“Follow up on your application and tell FEMA about your changes so they can follow your trail,” said State Coordinating Officer Fred W. Liebe. “Remember, it’s a small step that could put money in your pocket at this critical point for you and your family.”

If you haven’t registered for disaster assistance yet, you still can. The deadline for IA registration is July 23.

There are two ways for homeowners, renters, business owners and representatives of nonprofit organizations to register:

  • Call FEMA’s toll-free numbers at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with hearing or speech impairments.
  • Log on to


For more information on Oklahoma disaster recovery, click, visit the OEM website at or follow OEM on Twitter at Users of smart phones and other mobile devices can visit

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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.


These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call the Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339).