FEMA has set up its mobile disaster recovery center in the parking lot at the Expo Center in Shawnee, and will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week to handle applications for assistance.
Rita Egan, media relations specialist for FEMA, said the Shawnee location is one of two established to assist victims of the storms which struck the Shawnee and Bethel Acres areas and other locations on Sunday night, and city of Moore Monday afternoon.
Five counties, including Pottawatomie, Lincoln, McClain, Cleveland and Oklahoma, have been declared federal disaster areas, she said.
Victims from the storms can go to either the Expo Center in Shawnee or to the First Baptist Church in Moore located at 301 N.E. 27th Street where a mobile unit is also set up, Egan stated.
Egan said these are the only two locations set up as of Wednesday morning.
FEMA was reporting that by 3 p.m. Wednesday 1,500 disaster survivors had registered for FEMA assistance.
To apply for assistance or if you have questions, Egan explained, “you can sit down with one of the FEMA representatives face to face at these locations,” she stated.
A person also can call FEMA at 800-621-3362, go to disasterassistance.gov, or m.fema.gov for smart phones, said Egan.
It’s recommended people call their insurance companies first, if they have it, then keep that information out “cause we are going to need it. We will not duplicate benefits, but if you qualify you may be eligible for benefits the insurance company doesn’t cover. Give us the opportunity to say yes,” she suggested.
Egan explained FEMA comes in at the request of the state because this community was hard hit.
Egan said staying in touch with local emergency management personnel to report any damage is always important to do. She related the state working with FEMA can provide different types of public and private assistance.
She stressed “call the insurance agency first, then FEMA. If there is no insurance, call FEMA. But read all the documentation you receive from FEMA,” she cautioned.
FEMA is covered by the Privacy Act, meaning the agency doesn’t share a person’s information. The state has set up as website, she said, okstrong.ok.gov.
Red Cross also has a website Safeandwell.org. People can sign on to say they're safe and people can then check on them.
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