President approves federal disaster

Governor Kevin Stitt announced that President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. has approved his request to declare a federal disaster exists in all 77 Oklahoma counties due to the historic winter storm, clearing the way for federal aid to be directed to the state.

“I want to thank President Biden for his swift action to grant our request and make federal resources available to Oklahomans,” said Gov. Stitt. “We will continue to leverage all resources as we recover from this storm.”

As requested by the governor, the federal government will provide emergency protective measures for mass care and sheltering as well as direct federal assistance to state and local agencies at 75% federal funding. Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. This may include technical assistance for water system repairs or commodities for shelters.

The declaration also provides reimbursement to state and local government entities for eligible mass care and sheltering costs including shelter facility costs, staff costs, shelter supplies and commodities, shelter security, transportation for residents to and from shelters, and Emergency Operations Center costs associated with sheltering activities.

The state continues to work with the federal government to identify federal assistance that may be available to aid residents with increases in utility costs due to the winter storm.

Additional resources for farmers, ranchers and communities are available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Indemnity Program, which provides assistance payments equal to 75% of average fair market value for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather and unpreventable through good animal husbandry and management.

“USDA is committed to getting help to producers and rural Americans impacted by the severe weather in many parts of the country. As severe weather and natural disasters continue to threaten the livelihoods of thousands of our farming families, we want you and your communities to know that USDA stands with you,” said Kevin Shea, acting Secretary of Agriculture. “Visit farmers.gov or your local USDA Service Center to inquire about assistance.”

For 2021 livestock losses, you must file a notice within 30 calendar days of when the loss is first apparent. Additional information is available on the USDA website or by contacting the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry at 405.742.1130.

Additional Request

Governor Kevin Stitt announced he has asked the White House for additional federal aid for all 77 Oklahoma counties related to this month’s historic winter storm. The request seeks aid for homeowners, renters, business owners and government entities impacted by the winter storm from Feb. 8-20.

If approved, the designation would deliver relief for Oklahomans who have had storm-related damage to their homes or businesses through FEMA’s Individual Assistance program as well as additional support for cities, counties, and tribes with infrastructure damages and eligible response costs through FEMA’s Public Assistance program.

“This request continues my effort to turn over every rock and do everything we can to help Oklahomans recover from this historic storm,” said Gov. Stitt. “I appreciate President Biden’s initial actions and urge him to act quickly to approve this request as well.”

Homeowners, renters and business owners are asked to continue reporting their property damages or other significant winter storm-related impacts online at damage.ok.gov. Doing so helps support the case for further assistance to help Oklahomans recover.

Leave a Comment