Flooding in Avant, Sperry, Skiatook

Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s airboat was participating in water rescues. LINDSEY CHASTAIN/Skiatook Journal

There is one month left to register with FEMA for individual disaster assistance. That deadline is July 31, 2019.

Many people who have registered with FEMA have already received a determination letter explaining the eligibility decision and the reason for that decision. The letter states the dollar amount of the grant and how the funds should be used. When ineligible, the letter explains why and how the applicant can appeal that decision. It’s important to read the determination letter carefully to identify the reason for being declared ineligible. Once an applicant understands the reason for being ineligible, they can decide whether to appeal the decision. They can also bring their determination letter with them to a Disaster Recovery Center for further explanation.

If you suffered damage to your property, you should make sure to get the proper local permits before you start rebuilding. Every part of a building — from roofs, walls and siding to plumbing, septic systems and heating/air conditioning systems — may require a permit before rebuilding. Permits protect owners, residents, communities and buildings by making sure repairs and/or construction meet current building codes, standards, floodplain ordinances and construction techniques.

Oklahomans who had family treasures, heirlooms, photos and books damaged during the recent disaster may be able to salvage them. FEMA offers a free fact sheet with advice on how to save personal possessions (www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/113297). Basic salvage guidelines are also available from the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, a coalition of 58 national organizations and federal agencies co-sponsored by FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution (https://culturalrescue.si.edu/hentf/).

More than $11.9 million in disaster grants has been approved for Oklahoma homeowners and renters who sustained uninsured or underinsured losses from those storms. That total includes more than $10.4 million in housing grants for people to assist in rebuilding or repairing their home and to provide a safe place to stay right now while they consider their long-term housing options.

FEMA inspectors have completed more than 2,972 home inspections in the 27 counties as of June 30 — more than 98% of the inspections requested. A total of 11 inspectors are currently deployed across Oklahoma’s disaster-hit counties.

The DRCs had received 1,069 visits as of June 30.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has received 710 applications for low-interest disaster loans and has approved more than $12.8 million as of June 30.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has received 540 claims and approved $12.4

million as of June 28.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has received 536 claims and approved $10.8 million as of June 27.

Use FEMA Disaster Assistance Grants Wisely

• Disaster Assistance grants should be used only for disaster-related expenses.

• Money received for repairs should be used right away.

• While the assistance is tax-free and the grants do not have to be repaid, survivors should use their funds wisely and solely for recovery.

Osage County

City Hall – On the Street

235 Broadway Street

Avant, OK 74001

Four days only

Opens Friday, June 28 at 2 p.m.

Friday (June 28): 2 to 7 p.m.

Saturday-Monday (June 29 – July 1):

7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Closes COB today, July 1

(this is a Mobile DRC)

Follow me on Twitter @SkiatookJournal.

E-mail lindsey.chastain@skiatookjournal.com

Managing Editor

Lindsey is the managing editor for the Skiatook Journal. She holds an M.A in English from the University of Central Oklahoma. Prior to the start of her news career in 2011, Renuard was a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma.