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October 9, 2012

Disaster assistance deadline extended

NORMAN — The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Monday that the deadline to apply for disaster assistance in Cleveland and Creek counties is being extended to Wednesday, Nov. 21.

“We want to make sure that all eligible residents have enough time to apply for assistance,” said Michelann Ooten, state coordinating officer and OEM director.

Ooten said since the two counties were not declared at the same time, they decided to extend the deadline.

To date, more than 750 residents of Cleveland and Creek counties have applied for assistance. Nearly $9.8 million in federal assistance has been distributed in the counties to help residents with recovery efforts.

“We hope this additional time will ensure that everyone in Cleveland and Creek counties affected by the wildfires has an opportunity to register for state and federal assistance,” said William J. Doran III, federal coordinating officer of FEMA. “We want to be sure to reach all wildfire survivors who still need help.”

Nov. 21 will be the last day for residents to apply for disaster assistance to help them recover from the Aug. 3-14 wildfires. This deadline also applies to homeowners, renters and businesses submitting applications for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Residents with computers or smartphones may apply or track their status online at www.disasterassitance.gov or web-enabled phones at m.fema.gov or the FEMA app. To apply by phone, call 1-800-621-FEMA or TTY 1-800-462-7585.

If using 711 Relay or Video Relay Services, call 1-800-621-3362. FEMA lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

Homeowners, renters and businesses affected by the wildfires can apply for an SBA disaster loan after registering with FEMA by going online to SBA’s secure site at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or calling 1-800-659-2955 or TTY 1-800-877-8339.

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