Nebraska winter storm traffic road

(The Center Square) – As Oklahomans look to recover from the impact of recent winter storms, residents and businesses can apply for different relief funding now available.

“The easiest way to apply is by going to www.disasterassistance.gov, the website is open 24 hours a day,” a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) spokesperson told The Center Square. “Or, if someone doesn’t have internet access, call 1-800-621-3362.”

Applications are now being accepted.

“Be sure to say the damage was caused by ice/snow,” the spokesperson said. “Remember, FEMA helps with uninsured and underinsured damages. Someone who had damages as a result of the winter storm should file with their insurance company first, then apply for assistance from FEMA.”

Those without insurance can apply for FEMA assistance, but if you have insurance, FEMA can’t duplicate benefits.

“You’ll need to provide FEMA with documentation about what your insurance did, or did not cover,” the spokesperson said.

Assistance may range from grants to help pay for damages, to assistance if you had to stay somewhere other than your home, the spokesperson said.

“Over the past few years, those grants have averaged between $3,000 and $6,000,” the spokesperson said. “FEMA can’t put your home back exactly as before, but can help survivors get back in their homes.”

The spokesperson said that the goal is to help people get well on the road to recovery, and emphasized two points: be assured that assistance is available and beware of scams.

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center (OKSBDC) also is hosting financing workshops titled "Winter Weather Disaster Declaration – Discussion and Benefits Review," on March 17 and March 24.

The virtual events will feature a live conversation with representatives from OKSBDC and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Cindy Ruminer, OKSBDC training manager, told The Center Square.