Stillwater News

Payne County’s Disaster Recovery Center closes July 20

Released:Jul 10, 2019

MEDIA RELEASE

(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / July 10, 2019) – Payne County’s Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will close Saturday, July 20 at 3 p.m.

Stillwater residents and businesses affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding between May 7 and June 9, 2019, are strongly encouraged to visit the center if they have not yet.

This is the community’s last opportunity to talk face-to-face with FEMA representatives at the DRC.

The center’s location and operational hours are as follows:

Payne County

  • Location: Stillwater Community Center / 315 West 8th Avenue, Stillwater, OK 74074

  • Hours (through July 20):

    • Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    • Closed: Sunday

Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) are at the centers to talk about assistance and to help anyone who needs guidance in filing an application.

If possible, homeowners, renters and businesses should contact their insurance company and register with FEMA before visiting a recovery center. Registration is available in the following ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.

  • Phone 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS-Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).

  • Via the FEMA app, available for Apple and Android mobile devices. To download visit: fema.gov/mobile-app.

The following information is helpful when registering:

  • Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address).

  • Current mailing address.

  • Current telephone number.

  • Insurance information.

  • Total household annual income.

  • Routing and account number for checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into a bank account).

  • A description of disaster-caused damage and losses.

The designated counties for eligible applicants are Canadian, Cherokee, Creek, Delaware, Kay, Le Flore, Logan, Mayes, Muskogee, Noble, NowataOkmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Payne, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington.

Individual Assistance for homeowners and renters can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses not met by insurance or other assistance programs. 

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters to cover residential and business losses as a result of the disaster. Applicants can visit their nearest disaster recovery center for one-on-one assistance or apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

In addition, applicants can get more information on SBA disaster assistance by calling SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, by visiting www.sba.gov/disaster, or by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call 800-877-8339.

Find out more at https://www.fema.gov/okmit and https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4438. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov

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Disaster Recovery Center to change operational hours and begin closing process

MEDIA RELEASE

(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / July 2, 2019) – Payne County’s Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will change their operational hours beginning Friday, July 5, and begin taking steps to project a closing date on Monday, July 8. Stillwater residents and businesses affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding between May 7 and June 9, 2019, are encouraged to visit the center if they have not yet.

The center’s location and operational hours are as follows:

Payne County

  • Location: Stillwater Community Center / 315 West 8th Avenue, Stillwater, OK 74074

  • Hours

    • July 2 to 3: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    • July 4: Closed

    • July 5 until further notice:

      • Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

      • Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

      • Closed Sunday

  • Open until further notice

Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) are at the centers to talk about assistance and to help anyone who needs guidance in filing an application.

If possible, homeowners, renters and businesses should contact their insurance company and register with FEMA before visiting a recovery center. Registration is available in the following ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.

  • Phone 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS-Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).

  • Via the FEMA app, available for Apple and Android mobile devices. To download visit: fema.gov/mobile-app.

The following information is helpful when registering:

  • Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address).

  • Current mailing address.

  • Current telephone number.

  • Insurance information.

  • Total household annual income.

  • Routing and account number for checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into a bank account).

  • A description of disaster-caused damage and losses.

The designated counties for eligible applicants are Canadian, Cherokee, Creek, Delaware, Kay, Le Flore, Logan, Mayes, Muskogee, Noble, NowataOkmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, PaynePottawatomie, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington.

Individual Assistance for homeowners and renters can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses not met by insurance or other assistance programs. 

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters to cover residential and business losses as a result of the disaster. Applicants can visit their nearest disaster recovery center for one-on-one assistance or apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

In addition, applicants can get more information on SBA disaster assistance by calling SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, by visiting www.sba.gov/disaster, or by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call 800-877-8339.

Find out more at https://www.fema.gov/okmit and https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4438. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov

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Proper Permits Needed Before Rebuilding in Stillwater 

MEDIA RELEASE

(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / June 27, 2019) – Stillwater residents and businesses affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding between May 7 and June 9 are advised to get proper permits when rebuilding their damaged property.

Every part of a building—including roofs, walls, plumbing, septic systems and heating/air conditioning systems—may require a permit before rebuilding. A permit is needed for demolition.

Permits protect owners, residents, communities and buildings by making sure repairs and/or construction meet current building codes, standards, floodplain ordinances and construction techniques. Permits also provide a permanent record of compliance with elevation and/or retrofitting requirements, which is valuable information when selling the structure or obtaining flood insurance coverage.

Obtaining building permits is especially important for those homes or businesses that are located within a FEMA-designated Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). However, residents rebuilding after the recent storms need to know that building permits are based on local codes and ordinances that are enforced locally, including the City of Stillwater Floodplain Regulations.

Officials warn that stop-work orders, fines or penalties may apply if permits are not obtained and the work is not inspected by the City. Any FEMA assistance in the rebuilding effort may require proof of permit and inspections.

Contact the City of Stillwater Community Development department for questions and guidance about your permitting needs.

FEMA does not recommend or endorse any contractors, and officials warn people to be leery of any contractors who claim they are authorized by FEMA. They are not.

Find out more about the recent disaster in Oklahoma at https://www.fema.gov/okmit and https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4438. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.

# # #

FEMA's mission is to help before, during and after disasters.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.

  • For media inquiries, contact the Department of Marketing and Civic Engagement at 405.742.8219 or email news@stillwater.org.

Understanding Your FEMA Assistance Determination Letter

MEDIA RELEASE

Keli Cain
Public Information Officer
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
(405) 521-2481 Office
keli.cain@oem.ok.gov
www.oem.ok.gov

Oklahoma City, OK – Survivors who registered with FEMA for disaster assistance as a result of the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding that occurred between May 7 and June 9, in Oklahoma, will receive a determination letter explaining the eligibility decision and the reason for that decision.

For those who are eligible, 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. Some common reasons include:

  • The person is insured and needs to provide an insurance settlement or denial to be considered for assistance.

  • Additional information is needed from the survivor, i.e. proof of identity, proof of occupancy, annual income, or a child care assistance letter.

  • There were multiple registrations using the same address.

  • Damages occurred to a secondary residence (where the survivor lives less than six months of the year).

  • The home is safe to occupy, and/or personal property had minimum or no damages.

  • Missed inspections and no follow-up communication with FEMA.

  • FEMA is unable to contact the applicant.

Once an applicant understands the reason for being ineligible, they can decide whether to appeal the decision. To do so, they need to submit all required information along with a letter describing in detail their reason (or reasons) for appealing.

The applicant should also attach documentation about unmet needs they believe were not covered by the initial decision. This might include official insurance documents, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses (including home repair or hotel expenses) and official estimates including the contractor’s license and contact information.

Every page of the appeal letter should include the applicant’s full name, address of the damaged property, disaster registration ID number and disaster number (DR-FEMA-4438).

Applicants should submit their appeal letter within 60 days of the receipt of their FEMA determination letter or within a year of the date of their disaster assistance registration.

Applicants who have trouble understanding their determination letter should contact FEMA by calling 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS-Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).

In addition, applicants can visit a state/federal Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). The locations of DRCs in Oklahoma can be found at fema.gov/ESF6/DRCLocator.

Find out more about the recent disaster in Oklahoma at https://www.fema.gov/okmit and https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4438. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.

# # #

FEMA's mission is to help before, during and after disasters.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.


Disaster Recovery Center Opening in Stillwater June 25

MEDIA RELEASE

FEMA 940-383-7384

OEM:  405-521-2481

SBA:   916-764-9918

Stillwater, OK – A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) is opening in Stillwater (Payne County) Tuesday, June 25.

The center will offer in-person support to Payne County homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage or losses during the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding between May 7 and June 9, 2019.

The Payne County center will be open until further notice.

Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) will be at the centers to talk about assistance and to help anyone who needs guidance in filing an application. The center is at the following location:

Payne County

  • Location: Stillwater Community Center / 315 West 8th Avenue, Stillwater, OK 74074
  • Opening: Tuesday, June 25
  • Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    • Open until further notice

If possible, homeowners, renters and businesses should contact their insurance company and register with FEMA before visiting a recovery center. Registration is available in the following ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.

  • Phone 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS-Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).

  • Via the FEMA app, available for Apple and Android mobile devices. To download visit: fema.gov/mobile-app.?

The following information is helpful when registering:

  • Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address).

  • Current mailing address.

  • Current telephone number.

  • Insurance information.

  • Total household annual income.

  • Routing and account number for checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into a bank account).

  • A description of disaster-caused damage and losses.?

The designated counties for eligible applicants are Canadian, Cherokee, Creek, Delaware, Kay, Le Flore, Logan, Mayes, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Payne, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington.

Individual Assistance for homeowners and renters can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses not met by insurance or other assistance programs. 

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters to cover residential and business losses as a result of the disaster. Applicants can visit their nearest disaster recovery center for one-on-one assistance or apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

In addition, applicants can get more information on SBA disaster assistance by calling SBA’s

Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, by visiting www.sba.gov/disaster, or by emailing

disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call

800-877-8339.

Find out more at https://www.fema.gov/okmit and https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4438. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov

# # #

FEMA's mission is to help before, during and after disasters.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.


Lawyers to Give Free Legal Advice to Oklahoma Storm Survivors

ANNOUNCEMENT

June 20, 2019 – Oklahoma lawyers are ready to lend a hand to survivors of the recent storms by offering no-cost, disaster-related legal advice.  Through the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Disaster Relief program and a partnership with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma (LASO), Oklahoma Indian Legal Services (OILS), and the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, legal help for those impacted by the recent storms has been expanded to four additional counties – Cherokee, LeFlore, Noble and Nowata counties.  Other counties eligible for assistance are Canadian, Creek, Delaware, Kay, Logan, Mayes, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Payne, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington counties.      

For assistance with legal help related to the storms, visit www.okbar.org/disaster to complete a short legal assistance form or call toll-free 888-602-8494 anytime to leave contact information for follow up.

OBA President Charles “Chuck” Chesnut of Miami said, “Oklahoma attorneys have a history of volunteering when disasters strike, and with many people working together we want to help in the recovery of Oklahomans who have suffered losses.”

Lawyers are prepared to help survivors with assistance securing FEMA and other government benefits; life, medical and property insurance claims; home repair contracts and contractors; replacement of wills and other vital legal documents destroyed in the disaster; consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures; mortgage-foreclosure problems and landlord-tenant problems.

There are limitations on disaster legal services.  Legal counsel will be provided in response to the damages caused by the recent severe weather and the need for quick advice.  Representation or legal services beyond basic information may require the client and attorney to enter into a separate agreement.

Lawyers are also available to speak to survivors in person at FEMA-coordinated multi-agency resource centers and disaster recovery centers for the next several weeks.

Leading the OBA’s efforts to help storm survivors is Molly Aspan of Tulsa, OBA Disaster Relief Committee chairperson.

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For more information, contact

Molly Aspan, OBA Disaster Relief Committee chairperson
(918) 594-0595
maspan@hallestill.com

Or

Carol Manning, OBA Communications Director
(405) 416-7016 | (405) 202-5001 cell
carolm@okbar.org


FEMA Begins Registering Residents, Businesses with Storm, Flood Damage June 15

MEDIA RELEASE

FEMA will distribute fliers like these across town in stores, churches, schools and more.

(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / June 14, 2019) – FEMA’s Disaster Survivors Assistance team (DSA), has arrived in Stillwater and will begin registering residents for disaster assistance beginning Saturday, June 15.

Registration is the first step in the road to recovery. If you sustained flooding or other severe weather damage to your property since May 17, 2019, you are strongly encouraged to register for potential FEMA assistance. Properties can include homes, businesses, agriculture or vehicles.

Registration only take about 20 minutes. There are several ways to register:

  • Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)

    • If you use a TYY: 1-800-462-7585

    • 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS): 1-800-621-3362

  • DisasterAssistance.gov

  • Download the FEMA app

  • Register in person with a DSA team representative beginning Saturday, June 15

    • Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) for help


Your Registration

Once you are registered, FEMA will issue you a nine-digit identification number. This is the only number FEMA will ask you to provide throughout the rest of the process.

Should you forget your nine-digit identification number, FEMA can access your account using your name, phone number, address and the last four digits of your Social Security number. FEMA will not ask you to provide the full nine digits of your Social Security number.


Identifying the Disaster Survivors Assistance Team

The DSA team will stay in Stillwater to help register affected residents until both the Stillwater and Payne County emergency managers comfortably feel everyone potentially in need of assistance has registered.

DSA team members will always identify themselves with their full name and a federal FEMA badge.

Team members will also wear clothing identifiable to FEMA, including blue shirts with the agency’s logo or blue logoed vests with yellow reflective material.

Team members will visit neighborhoods throughout Stillwater every day. Their anticipated hours of operation are:

  • Monday through Saturday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Sunday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

FEMA will never require you to pay a fee to register for assistance or to receive an inspection.

If you are unsure as to the identity or validity of an individual claiming to represent FEMA, you are encouraged to contact the Stillwater Police Department or Payne County Sheriff’s Office at any time.


Property Inspections

About one week after you complete registration, an inspector from FEMA should arrive at your home to conduct a 30-minute inspection. They will identify themselves with a federal badge and they will have your nine-digit identification number on file.

FEMA will never require you to pay a fee to register for assistance or to receive an inspection.

If you are unsure as to the identity or validity of an individual claiming to represent FEMA, you are encouraged to contact the Stillwater Police Department or Payne County Sheriff’s Office at any time.


I received a FEMA packet. What’s next?

About one week after registering, you should receive a packet in the mail. It will include:

  • A letter with your nine-digit identification number

  • A list of what to do after a disaster, including any steps you need to take

  • A potential letter from the U.S. Small Business Administration with the process to apply for a loan (applies to businesses only)

You can call FEMA’s Disaster Assistance phone line for any questions you have about your packet: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).


Disaster Recovery Center

After FEMA has sent out the packets, the DSA team will establish a Disaster Recovery Center in Stillwater. The DSA, Stillwater Emergency Management and Payne County Emergency Management teams are currently coordinating this location.

We will post updates about the Disaster Recovery Center’s official location and the next steps you need to take at http://stillwater.org/fema


Frequently Asked Questions

I’m not sure if I had enough damage done to my property to qualify for disaster assistance. Should I register?

  • Yes. FEMA strongly recommends you register for assistance for any kind of flooding or severe weather damage you received. The DSA team cannot assess whether you are eligible for assistance if you do not register.

Can I register after I’ve already filed a claim with my insurance?

  • Yes. FEMA strongly recommends you register for assistance even if you already filed a claim. FEMA will wait until your insurance company provides a settlement letter and will request a copy.

  • Your insurance company’s approval or denial of coverage does not mean FEMA will or will not provide you potential assistance.

Will FEMA charge me a fee to register?

  • No. FEMA will never require you to pay a fee to register for assistance or to receive an inspection. If you are unsure as to the identity or validity of an individual claiming to represent FEMA, you are encouraged to contact the Stillwater Police Department or Payne County Sheriff’s Office at any time.

Who can I contact for more information?

  • The FEMA Disaster Survivors Assistance team members will be in Stillwater as long as it takes to help register residents who sustained damage and answer questions.

  • You can always call FEMA’s Disaster Assistance phone line for any questions you have about the process: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

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For media inquiries, contact the Department of Marketing and Civic Engagement at 405.742.8219 or email news@stillwater.org.

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