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What flood-affected Oklahomans should and should not do; new counties eligible for assistance

Posted: 12:56 PM, Jun 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-11 17:42:35-04
Muskogee flooding

Seventeen counties have been included as part of Oklahoma's federal disaster declaration for severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding that began on May 7 and continued throughout the month.

Delaware, Kay, Mayes, Okmulgee, Payne, Pottawatomie, and Sequoyah counties were added to the disaster declaration on Tuesday.

Canadian, Creek, Logan, Muskogee, Osage, Ottawa, Rogers, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington counties had already been approved for assistance.

Affected residents can apply for disaster assistance by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 800-621-3362. Online applications can be filled out here.

FEMA provided the following advice for residents affected by flooding.

Dos:

• Do file a claim with your insurance company.
• Do register for FEMA disaster assistance. Register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling toll-free 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or VRS, you may call 800-621-3362.
• Do know that FEMA grants may help pay for a temporary place to stay, make essential repairs or replace certain damaged contents.
• Do inspect for structural damage before entering your home.
• Do report flood damage to local officials.
• Do throw away wet contents such as bedding, carpeting and furniture. These items may be a health hazard due to mold. If you need to keep a sample of damaged carpet or drywall for an inspector, it should be about 12 inches by 12 inches.
• Do take photographs of flood damage. The insurance company may want to see these.
• Do keep recovery-related receipts. FEMA, SBA or the insurance company may want to see these.
• Do submit a completed application for a low-interest disaster loan if you have been referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA low-interest disaster loans are available to businesses, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters that have been impacted as a result of the disaster. Submitting the SBA application is necessary for FEMA to consider you for certain grants.
• Do remember that FEMA grants do not need to be repaid, are not taxed and do not affect other government benefits.

Dont's:

• Don’t submit more than one registration per household.
• Don’t wait for visits from FEMA or insurance adjusters before cleaning up flood damage and starting repairs.
• Don’t wait for an insurance settlement to register.
• Don’t worry that federal disaster assistance is taking money away from someone else. FEMA provides assistance to all eligible applicants.
• Don’t assume only homeowners can apply for help. Renters may qualify for assistance too.

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