Property owners seeking federal assistance to help rebuild their homes after last week’s flooding should not expect all of their costs to be reimbursed, an official with FEMA said Friday.

Kent Clark, response division director of FEMA Region 6, said the maximum FEMA will provide is about $30,000 and that a typical payment is much less.

“If your house is totally destroyed, then there is the possibility of getting up to that,” Clark said. “But that will not replace your home.”

The average payout is about $4,000, Clark said.

FEMA assistance is to pay for restoring a home’s living area to a “safe and sanitary” condition, not to rebuild it as it was, Clark said. The funding does not cover outbuildings or barns.

“One of the things that people need to remember is, their first course of action is to go with their insurance,” Clark said. “Insurance is really the No. 1 thing that people can do to kind of make themselves whole.”

FEMA assistance also can include rental assistance and low-interest loans to pay for major repairs.

Clark said FEMA’s disaster survivor assistance teams have already been deployed to flooded areas to encourage homeowners to register for disaster assistance and to answer questions.

People can register by phone at 800-621-3362, or online at disasterassistance.gov.


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Kevin Canfield

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Kevin Canfield has covered local government in Tulsa for nearly two decades. He also has reported on downtown development, zoning and community planning.

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