The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

October 15, 2012

Disaster center closing

NORMAN — The Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at Twelve Corners Baptist Church has changed its hours for the remaining week and will officially close Saturday, Oct. 20.

The hours have changed to 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center will no longer be open after 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Visiting the center is not required to be considered for assistance. It is provided to assist those who would like help in filling out forms, checking the status of their claim and registering.

The deadline to apply for federal assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) is Nov. 21. As of Oct. 10, FEMA has provided nearly $4.1 million in grants to Cleveland County wildfire victims. There have been 132 residents register for assistance so far.

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and FEMA officials are cautioning Cleveland County residents working to rebuild to look out for phony building contractors and other scam artists that often take advantage of people following a disaster.

“In the wake of a disaster, it’s common to see the generous side of human nature. Unfortunately, there are also those people who try to take advantage of victims during this stressful time,” said Michelann Ooten, OEM Deputy Director and State Coordinating Officer.

“Disasters often bring out the best and worst in people,” said FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer William J. Doran III. “We strongly recommend that those who are rebuilding their homes and lives take a few simple steps to make sure they’re dealing with a reputable person.”

Housing inspectors: If a home’s damage is visible from the street, the homeowner may be especially vulnerable to the phony housing inspector who claims to represent FEMA or the SBA. Residents can ask to see the inspector’s identification badge. All federal employees and contractors carry official, laminated photo identification.

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