FEMA aid now available to wildfire victims

CREEK COUNTY, Okla. - Help for wildfire victims is on the way.
    
Thursday is the first day Creek County residents can apply for federal aid.

Resident Stan Drake is like most wildfire victims -- he didn't have insurance and he lost everything.

"I've been through a lot but this is probably the toughest thing I've been through in 66 years of my life," Drake said.

He's been hard at work clearing his property, making it a home again.

"You just need to be out here," he said.

"There's things to be overseen and taken care of and if you just leave it then nothing happens," he said.

He's hopeful he can get some federal aid, whether it's in the form of a trailer, a low-interest loan or a grant.

One thing is for sure: he doesn't want to leave his property.

Mike Nunneley, the Mannford town administrator says it's important residents call or fill out an online form as soon as possible.

"The faster they call, the quicker they get a case number, the quicker they get people out here looking at their losses, the quicker things happen," said Nunneley.

Nunneley says 85 percent of Creek County residents who lost their homes were not insured. He hopes to keep as many residents inside the county during this rebuilding process as possible.

"We're hoping the assessment will say there is a need to for temporary housing on site and they bring them in, while people build or purchase," Nunneley said.

FEMA will be giving aid on an individual basis.

Representatives are expected to set up a base in Creek County early next week.
    
Nunneley, who was contacted by FEMA representatives Thursday, says FEMA will assist fire victims in the order they contact FEMA, so the sooner, the better.

"I've already done it, I got signed up, just about 10 minutes ago," Drake said.

Drake says he doesn't mind waiting and he's not going to let this disaster take away his spirit.

"We're going to come back, just look around, people are not going to quit, this is not going to get us," said Drake.

You can call 1(800) 621-FEMA or 1-800-462-7585 for hearing and speech impaired residents. The toll free numbers will be open between 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

You can also log onto disasterassistance.gov.

Print this article Back to Top