Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 25, 2007
OEM OPENING ICE STORM DAMAGE ASSESSMENT LINE
Individuals, Business Owners with Uninsured Damages Urged to Call Toll-Free Number
In order to better collect damage reports related to the Jan. 12th ice storm, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) will open a call center tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 26). Residents and business owners who have uninsured damages are urged to call the toll-free Oklahoma Ice Storm Damage Assessment Line (877) 628-5297 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Operators will be on-hand to take the calls daily.
The call center is needed to gather preliminary damage information to strengthen the state's application for federal disaster assistance for individuals and business owners. For more than a week, damage assessment teams have surveyed damage in the hardest hit areas. However, due to the high number of rural residents impacted and because storm debris has made some areas difficult to access, OEM is operating the call center.
"We are asking anyone with uninsured damage caused by the ice storm to please call," explained OEM Director Albert Ashwood. "These damage numbers will help us make the case for additional federal assistance," he said.
Callers will be asked to provide their name, address of the damaged property and the type damage their property sustained. They will also be asked if they sustained financial loss because their business or place of employment was closed due to the ice storm.
The OEM announcement comes as approximately 2,700 electric customers remain without power across the state and as Oklahoma awaits word on Gov. Brad Henry's request to Pres. George W. Bush for a major disaster declaration to help communities and individuals impacted by the ice storm.