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Disaster Recovery Update 06/04/2013 THIS NEWS ITEM EXPIRED 7/30/2013 AND IS NO LONGER ACTIVE AND MAY NOT REFLECT CURRENT INFORMATION! THIS INFORMATION IS FOR ARCHIVAL PURPOSES ONLY!
6/4/2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pottawatomie County/City of Shawnee
June 4, 2013
Office of Emergency Management
Contact: Don Lynch
Disaster recovery efforts continue in Pottawatomie County
Shawnee, OK – Work continues in Pottawatomie County to provide assistance to county residents affected by the tornado that hit the Shawnee area on May 19. Even though response efforts are being scaled back, several area groups and governmental agencies are still providing services and stand ready to help. The latest damage assessment figures show 240 homes in Pottawatomie County were damaged.
The Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) is located at the Gordon Cooper Technology Center, with representatives from the American Red Cross, Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA), US Small Business Administration (SBA), FEMA, and partner agencies still available to work with those needing assistance. Residents who have suffered losses should visit the MARC to acquaint themselves with the resources that are available and apply for assistance as needed.
More than $1 million in aid is available for those needing assistance with housing. As of June 4, more than 400 area households in Pottawatomie and Lincoln counties have been assisted. Included in assistance packages are grants from OHFA for housing-related expenses including: utility deposits; security deposits; hotel rooms; and first month’s rent. These grants are capped at $2,000 and are not cash grants. OHFA will issue checks directly to landlords, utility companies, and hotels. There is no income limit attached to the grants.
FEMA representatives staffing the Disaster Recovery Center, located at the MARC, can assist with questions concerning applications for assistance, including criteria that must be met to be eligible for assistance programs. Damage caused by flooding following the storms of May 31 is not yet covered under FEMA guidelines.
Residents who have not yet registered with FEMA are encouraged to do so. Applications for assistance can be made by phone at 1.800.621.FEMA (3362) or via TTY service at 1.800.462.7585. Online application can be made at www.disasterassistance.gov or m.fema.gov (on mobile devices). Applicants should have the following information available: a phone number where they can be contacted; Social Security number; current mailing address; address of affected property; brief description of damages; and insurance information, including policy number.
In addition to injuries, the trauma and stress brought about by experiencing storms of this magnitude (and the subsequent recovery effort) can also take a toll on mental health. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of counseling services available through the American Red Cross, FEMA, and the Salvation Army.
Donations of goods and materials to aid storm victims have been overwhelming. At this time, though, relief organizations do not have the capacity or facilities necessary to accept additional donations of goods and materials. Those who wish to make monetary contributions are encouraged to donate to the United Way of Pottawatomie County Disaster Relief Fund. In addition to an initial grant of $25,000, the Avedis Foundation has pledged to match up to $100,000 of United Way donations, which stand at more than $80,000 as of June 4.
The City of Shawnee will be removing debris from the city limits around Shawnee Twin Lakes. Residents should place debris on side of the road (road rights-of-way), without piling debris on utility equipment such as telephone boxes, meters, hydrants, and pipes. Debris should be sorted into three categories: woody and vegetative (tree trunks and limbs); household hazardous waste (chemicals and paints); and construction and demolition (structural materials and household contents). The pickup process will continue until June 30, with two passes being made. Individuals may haul vegetative debris to the reduction site at the NW side of Homer Lane, just west of Glen Collins Memorial Park.
Burning of debris is restricted to only vegetative debris and other debris should not be co-mingled with that being burned. All other materials must be properly disposed of in a landfill. Permits are required prior to burning and can be obtained from the Shawnee Fire Marshal. Fees will be waived. Call 878.1675 or 878.1676 for more information.
People who need a tetanus vaccine prior to working to clear debris in the impact area may obtain shots, free of charge, at the Pottawatomie County Health Department. The location is 1904 South Gordon Cooper Boulevard, and shots are available between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. So far in this disaster, the Health Department has administered 860 vaccines.
The Oklahoma State Health Department, in Oklahoma City, will replace birth certificate and death certificate copies lost in the storm free of charge. Applicants will need some type of photo ID or document showing their address.
If you're thinking about starting a construction project?
Be sure to check on the necessary permits and licenses. Call the Code Enforcement Division at 405-878-1666 if you have questions regarding City Building Codes. Zoning issues are handled by the Community Development Division
Residential or "Garage" Sales require a permit too. The cost is $10.00 for a 2 day permit and you are allowed 3 sales a year. The price includes 3 signs. They can be obtained at 222 N Broadway and you can call 405-878-1616 if you have any questions. Your sale will be Listed Here for free as well.
The City issues numerous other permits and licenses. If in doubt, call the Planning and Building Department at one of the above numbers.
Need to Report Nuisance Property?
You can view and report high grass and weeds, inoperative cars, derelict cars, or vacant buildings, online at the Action Center or call 405-878-1602.
Several assistance programs are available to help ensure that our citizens are able to afford quality housing. The City's CDBG Urban Renewal Office administers loan and grant programs for emergency repairs and home improvement.