OKLAHOMA (KFOR) – Oklahoma residents who were impacted by damaging weather in May have one month left to apply for aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Parts of Oklahoma were hit hard by tornadoes, severe storms and floods from May 2-8, sustaining heavy damage. Seminole sustained massive damage, with multiple structures destroyed by tornadic activity.
Residents whose property incurred damage can apply for federal assistance through FEMA, and they have until Sept. 28 to do so.
FEMA officials said community members who have not applied for aid may have misconceptions, thinking they do not qualify.
Here are some common misconceptions about not qualifying for FEMA aid, as well as facts from FEMA debunking those misconceptions:
- “I have my own insurance.” Even if you have insurance you should apply for assistance. Sometimes damage is found that insurance won’t cover, but federal disaster assistance may.
- “I’m still waiting on a visit from my insurance adjuster.” You should still apply with FEMA, as your insurance may not meet all your disaster-related needs.
- “I think I make too much money to apply for assistance.” Most state and federal disaster assistance programs are available to individuals of all income levels. The kind of help provided depends on the applicant’s circumstances and unmet needs.
- “I don’t think I sustained enough damage to qualify.” Damage that may not be visible now, may be discovered during repair work. If you applied for disaster assistance, these repairs may be covered.
- “I don’t want to take assistance from someone else.” There are enough disaster funds to take care of every eligible applicant, so you should not worry that you are taking money from other applicants whom you feel need it more.
- “I’m worried that disaster assistance will interrupt or interfere with my other federal assistance.” Disaster assistance grants are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, welfare assistance, SNAP, Supplemental Security Income or any other federal programs.
FEMA officials ask residents to do the following if they incurred damage during May’s severe weather but have not yet applied for federal assistance:
- Log onto DisasterAssistance.gov. The website is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use a video relay service, captioned telephone service, or other communication services, please provide FEMA the specific number assigned for that service. Lines are open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week.
- Visit a Disaster Recovery Center. To locate the closest DRC to you, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362, visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov, download the FEMA app or visit the DRC Locator. You can also text 43362 and type DRC (your ZIP Code); for example, DRC 12345.