Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced Tuesday morning that the White House has approved the state's request for disaster assistance for five Oklahoma Counties hit by this week's deadly tornadoes.
The disaster assistance benefits individuals and business owners impacted by the severe storms that occurred May 18 and continuing in Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties. Gov. Fallin noted with additional damage assessments other counties could be added to the declaration.
The announcement comes in the wake of three days of tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding, which killed more than 50 people and injured more than 120.
"We very much appreciate the support and quick action of President Obama in approving Oklahoma's request for federal disaster assistance in the wake of today's devastating storms," Governor Fallin said.
To apply for disaster assistance individuals and business owners may call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or go online at www.disasterassistance.gov.
The designation ensures federal assistance for housing repairs or temporary housing, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or replace damaged property, disaster unemployment assistance, and grants for serious needs and necessary disaster expenses not met by other programs.
Additionally, the declaration grants public assistance for state and local governments in the five counties to assist with debris removal and emergency protective measures to include overtime for first responders. The declaration also provides direct federal assistance in the form of bottled water, blankets, meals-ready-to-eat and other bulk supplies.