WASHINGTON D.C. - The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Friday that federal disaster aid has been made available for the state of Oklahoma.
The funds will supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, flooding and tornadoes since June 10.
FEMA Administrator David Paulison said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President George Bush.
The president's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Ottawa and Washington counties.
The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all counties and tribes within the state.
Paulison named Philip E. Parr as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Rosenberg said damage surveys have been scheduled and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are completed.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties may begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.