Here to Help: Flood Resources and Next Steps

Over the past few weeks, Oklahomans around the state faced record rainfall and severe weather, leading to widespread destruction and flooding. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost their lives in this tragedy and all families affected by the devastating flood, tornadoes and other severe weather.

The State of Oklahoma received a major federal disaster declaration for 21 counties in the state: Canadian, Cherokee, Creek, Delaware, Kay, Le Flore, Logan, Mayes, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Payne, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Tulsa, Sequoyah, Wagoner and Washington. As conditions develop, more counties may be included. This declaration means that families can receive individual assistance, communities can receive grants to assist in rebuilding efforts, and agriculture producers can access USDA assistance.

What Now?

When it is safe to do so, register your damage as soon as possible with the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov or calling 1-800-621-3362.

When you call, have the following information ready:

  • Social Security Number

  • A description of your losses that were caused by the disaster

  • Insurance information

  • Directions to your damaged property

  • A telephone number where you can be contacted

Contact your insurance company. Document the damage to your home, vehicle, and property with photos and videos. Reach out and help your neighbors get registered.

As you begin the clean-up and recovery process, keep all receipts. This may help you with your disaster assistance claims.

What happens next?

After submitting your application for assistance, you will receive a FEMA application number. Within a few days, FEMA will contact you and will send a representative to your home to inspect the damage. When the inspector arrives, please have the following ready:

Personal identification

  • Proof of Ownership
  • Deed or official record
  • Title number from purchase of dwelling
  • Mortgage payment book
  • Real property insurance
  • Tax receipts or property tax bill

Proof of Occupancy

  • Utility bill
  • Merchant’s statement
  • Employer’s statement
  • Current Driver / Non-Driver’s License

The inspector will not make the final determination. The approval process will take approximately 7 to 10 days.

Please contact the Oklahoma City office at 405-208-8841 if we can assist you or your family with this process.

What about schools, hospitals, and roads?

Repairs to public buildings, roads, and critical infrastructure are covered under Public Assistance funding and will be requested by state and local governments. The office is here to assist with these requests in whatever way we can.

What about my business?

Small businesses in Haskell, McIntosh and Pawnee counties are also eligible for SBA’s economic injury disaster loans.

To learn more or apply for SBA disaster loans, please call 1-800-659-2955 or visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/Index.

Avoid Scams and Price Gouging

Unfortunately, after times of tragedy, people attempt to scam those affected or impersonate legitimate officials. Some good guidelines:

  • FEMA inspectors will carry identification and will not ask for money
  • Get repair information in writing, and be wary of contractors who show up at your door
  • Don’t be pressured into buying
  • Never pay in full up front

Report all scams and suspected price gauging to the Consumer Protection Unit of the Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General at 405-521-2029, 918-581-2885 or ConsumerProtection@oag.ok.gov.

FEMA and SBA’s services also include the following for qualified individuals and businesses:

Housing Assistance:

Rental Assistance: Financial assistance to rent temporary housing while disaster-caused repairs are made to your primary residence, or while transitioning to permanent housing.

Lodging Expense Reimbursement: Financial assistance reimbursement for short-term lodging expenses.

Home Repair: Financial assistance for homeowners to repair uninsured home damage caused by the disaster. The assistance is intended to repair the home to a safe, sanitary and functioning living condition.

Home Replacement: Financial assistance for homeowners who must replace or rebuild their primary residence as a result of the disaster.

Direct Housing: In limited circumstances where adequate temporary housing resources are not available within a reasonable commuting distance, FEMA may provide a temporary housing unit directly to homeowners and renters.

Business Disaster Loans: SBA offers affordable financial help in the form of low-interest, long-term loans for losses not fully covered by insurance or other means to businesses and private non-profit organizations in declared disaster areas.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): These loans are provided to qualified businesses in the amount of up to $2 million for physical damage or economic harm in the declared county.

Business Physical Disaster Loans (BPDL): Qualified businesses of all sizes can qualify for loans to repair or rebuild property including machinery, fixtures, inventory, real estate and other business assets.

Home and Property Loans: These loans are offered to qualified applicants who have experienced damage to the applicants’ primary residence and/or personal property including clothing, furniture, cars and appliances damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster area.

Other Needs Assistance:

Personal Property: Financial assistance to repair or replace common household items including, but not limited to, furnishings, appliances, essential tools and assistive equipment that supports daily living activities.

Medical/Dental: Financial assistance to pay for medical or dental expenses or losses caused by the disaster. This includes, but is not limited to, hospital and ambulance services, medication, and the repair or replacement of medically necessary assistive devices or technology.

Funeral: Financial assistance for expenses incurred due to a death or disinterment caused directly or indirectly by the disaster. Expenses include, but are not limited to, the cost of a casket or urn and funeral services.

Child Care: Financial assistance for increased child care costs as a result of the disaster. Eligible expenses include child care costs for children aged 13 and under and/or children with a disability, as defined by Federal law, up to age 21, who need assistance with activities of daily living.

Miscellaneous Expenses: Financial assistance to purchase specific items not owned prior to the disaster. They may include, but are not limited to, items such as a wet/dry vacuum, chainsaw, or a generator for a medically necessary device.

Transportation: Financial assistance to repair or replace a vehicle damaged by the disaster.

Moving and Storage Expenses: Financial assistance to temporarily move and store personal property from the damaged primary residence while repairs are made. Assistance may also be provided for moving essential household goods to a new primary residence.

Clean and Removal: Financial assistance for services to remove contaminants and disinfect surface areas of the home affected by floodwater.

Critical Needs: Financial assistance for applicants who have immediate or critical needs because they are displaced from their primary dwelling.

Assistance for Agriculture Related Damage:

Following a disaster event, the US Department of Agriculture and the Farm Service Agency have a number of assistance programs and emergency loan options available to assist producers recover. For flooding, USDA has an Emergency Loan Program and the Emergency Conservation Program that can be particularly useful. A full list of USDA disaster resources are available here: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/

It is clear that our rural communities face unique challenges to recovering from flooding and I want to ensure that our Oklahoma farmers, ranchers and community leaders have the right info to get the help they need to recover.

Below you will find a comprehensive list of resources available to you through your local USDA service center. The assistance programs listed below are available on a county by county basis. As the full extent of flood damage is known, additional counties may be included.

To begin the process of recovery, agricultural producers will need to visit their local USDA service center with appropriate documentation of farming activities and damage assessment information.

USDA Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool

USDA has a Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool that walks producers through five questions to help identify personalized results of which USDA disaster assistance programs meet their needs to recover. That tool is available here: https://www.farmers.gov/recover/disaster-assistance-tool

Emergency Loan Program

The Emergency Loan Program is triggered when a natural disaster is designated by the Secretary of Agriculture or a natural disaster or emergency is declared by the President under the Stafford Act. These loans help producers who suffer qualifying farm related losses directly caused by the disaster in a county declared or designated as a primary disaster or quarantine area.
https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/farm-loan-programs/emergency-farm-loans/index

Livestock Indemnity Program

Livestock owners and contract growers who experience above normal livestock deaths due to specific weather events, as well as disease or animals attacks, may qualify for assistance under this program through FSA.
https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/livestock-indemnity/index

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program

NAP provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory or planting occur due to natural disasters.
https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/noninsured-crop-disaster-assistance/index

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program

ELAP provides payment to these producers to help compensate for losses due to disease and adverse weather or other conditions, such as blizzards and flooding that are not covered by certain other disaster programs.
https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/emergency-assist-for-livestock-honey-bees-fish/index

Environmental Quality Incentives Programs

Farmers, ranchers and non-industrial private forestland owners can apply for resource assistance through EQIP. EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural and forestry producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits.
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/eqip/

Emergency Watershed Protection Program

The EWP program offers technical and financial assistance to help local communities such as cities, counties and towns reliever imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, windstorms and other natural occurrences that impair a watershed.
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/landscape/ewpp/

Rural Development

From housing to safe drinking water system, RD offers technical assistance, loans, grants and loan guarantees to rural communities and individuals to assist with the construction or rehabilitation of utility infrastructure including water and watershed systems and community infrastructure.
https://www.rd.usda.gov/

Emergency Forest Restoration Program

The EFRP, administered by the USDA and FSA provides payments to eligible owners of nonindustrial private forest land in order to carry out emergency measures to restore land damaged by a natural disaster.
https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/efrp_2015.pdf

Tree Assistance Program

The TAP provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters. (Budget Act of 2018 made several changes to TAP, including removing the per person and legal entity program year payment limitation ceiling of $125,000. It also increased the acreage cap and growers are eligible to be partly reimbursed for losses on up to 1,000 acres per program year)
https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/tree-assistance-program/index

Our community has been tested, yet we have so many blessings in our first responders, state employees, and countless volunteers. Please contact us if we can answer questions, direct you to appropriate resources, or assist in any way possible.