When Disaster Strikes
We Care for Oklahoma Disciples
As you know, Oklahoma has two disasters overlapping: the ongoing pandemic AND the February 2021 Winter Storm. The Area Moderators have met and determined that in addition to whatever your congregation may be doing to help, we have money we would like to gift! So, the Region is partnering with the Northeast Area, a couple of generous donors, and Week of Compassion to provide some relief for members of your church whom you know are experiencing economic vulnerability.
For Disciples Members
To help us process the gifts, we have created two Applications.
The Family Relief Application is for your church members who are in need from COVID-19 OR the 2021 Winter Storm. Just as a shepherd knows each of their sheep by name, you know your church members and what their needs are. If you know a church member is in need, please download this form to your computer and rename it. Then complete the Family Relief Application and return it to me via email or USPS so we can help.
The Congregation Relief Application is for your congregation’s loss and/or damage from the 2021 Winter Storm. If your congregation has experienced a loss, please download this form to your computer and rename it. Then complete the Congregation Relief Application and return it to me via email or USPS so we can help. If you have any questions, please contact us by text, phone, or email.
For OK Homeowners & Renters
Oklahoma homeowners and renters in the 16 counties designated for individual assistance who sustained damage may now apply for disaster assistance with FEMA. The counties are Canadian, Carter, Cherokee, Comanche, Cotton, Hughes, Jefferson, LeFlore, McIntosh, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Pittsburg, Stephens, Tulsa, and Wagnoner.
After applying for assistance, if you received a letter from FEMA that says you’re ineligible for help or that there is “no decision,” read the letter carefully. FEMA may need additional information from you to continue processing your application. If you have insurance and are applying for federal assistance, you must file a claim with your insurance provider. If applicable, you will need to provide a copy of your insurance settlement approval or denial letter.
A few common reasons for being determined ineligible or receiving “no decision” include:
- You are insured. You must provide a copy of your insurance settlement approval or denial letter to FEMA. If your insurance settlement is insufficient to meet your disaster-related needs, you may be eligible for federal assistance. Contact FEMA to provide any additional information or documentation.
- You reported no home damage or minimal damage when you registered with FEMA. If you reported your home had no disaster-related impacts, but later discover new or additional damages to living areas, contact FEMA to let them know. Documentation from a local official or contractor supporting your appeal may help you prove that your home has suffered impacts to its habitability.
- Proof of occupancy. When FEMA is unable to verify the occupancy of your primary residence, you may need to provide documentation, such as utility bills, a bank or credit card statement, phone bill, pay stubs, a driver’s license, state-issued ID card or voter registration card showing the damaged dwelling’s address.
- No initial rental assistance. You indicated to the inspector that you were not willing to move while your damaged home was being repaired. This made you ineligible for FEMA temporary rental assistance. If you later found further damage to your home or your housing needs have changed, contact FEMA as soon as possible to update your housing status and explain why you have a need to relocate.
- No communication with FEMA. If you missed an inspection and did not follow up with FEMA, your assistance could be affected. Make sure that FEMA has your contact information. If you are unable to meet with an inspector as planned, let FEMA know.
- Your home is safe to occupy. FEMA housing assistance typically only covers costs to make your home habitable. Damage to non-essential space, landscaping or spoiled food is not covered by FEMA grants.
If you have questions or need to speak about your eligibility status, call 800-621-3362, open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., CDT. Multilingual operators are available.
Applicants can appeal a FEMA determination, to do so, you need to submit supporting information along with a letter describing in detail the reason (or reasons) you are appealing.
You should include your full name, FEMA application number and disaster number, pre-disaster primary residence address and current phone number and address on all submitted documents. You can find the application and disaster number printed on page 1 of your determination letter.
You can submit your appeal and any associated documentation by:
- Uploading your documentation online at disasterassistance.gov.
- Mailing your documents and letter within 60 days of receiving your determination letter to the address below. Your letter with accompanying documents must be postmarked within 60 days of the date on your letter from FEMA regarding your eligibility.
FEMA National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055
- Faxing your information to 800-827-8112.
Survivors should register online at disasterassistance.gov. If you cannot register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.
If you know of your church members or people in the community who have had home damage from the 2021 Winter Storm, please encourage folks to apply for these funds at disaster assistance.gov. If someone cannot register online, call 800-621-3362. This is the only way Oklahoma can assess the full damage from the storm and available funds can be distributed. FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.
We Care for Oklahoma Disciples
In 2015, spring storms pummeled hundreds of Oklahoma families with floods and tornadoes. Within hours of the storms the Week of Compassion reached out to the Oklahoma Region to offer support and comfort. Together in 2015 we have provided financial support to 12 Oklahoma families. Disasters bring hardship in many kinds of ways – emotionally, physically and spiritually. Your regional church is here for you.
If you know someone in your congregation who may need assistance, please speak to your pastor so we may be notified of the circumstances. Any of our regional pastors are available to take a call to see if we might be able help.