Oklahomans Reminded to Stay in Touch with FEMA Following Fires

Any Oklahoman who suffered losses from wildfires is encouraged to register with the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Once registered, they must stay in touch with FEMA throughout the entire process.

Inspectors who collect the information that may result in financial assistance to those registering for federal and state disaster assistance for wildfire losses must be able to contact applicants during the inspection process.

“Once you’ve applied for disaster assistance, keeping in regular contact with FEMA is a high priority,” Federal Coordinating Officer Philip Parr said. “After a disaster, displaced families sometimes change addresses a number of times as they look for suitable housing. Sometimes in the process they may fail to call the registration line (1-800-621-FEMA, TTY 1-800-462-7585) to update their address and leave a phone number where they can be reached.”

FEMA and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) emphasized that being out of contact will delay a family’s recovery from the effects of the wildfires.

Parr and the state also encouraged anyone who has suffered losses from the wildfires to register with FEMA even if they are not in a wildfire disaster designated county.

“Those outside the designated counties will not be eligible for financial assistance unless their county is added to the 26 counties currently designated,” State Coordinating Officer Kathleen Shingledecker said. “Registrations outside the designated counties help us track total damage in each county so we can determine whether that county should be considered for declaration. It also saves time for those registering for assistance if the county is eventually designated.”