Governor Kevin Stitt today announced the State of Oklahoma has requested a disaster declaration from the federal government related to the prolonged frigid temperatures and heavy snow caused by this historic series of winter storms that began on Feb. 8.
“Yesterday President Biden pledged the federal government’s support for Oklahoma when we spoke by phone,” said Gov. Stitt. “I am now urging the President and his administration to act quickly and deliver on our request to help Oklahomans recover from this historic storm.”
Under the Stafford Act, Gov. Stitt has requested an Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance statewide for all 77 Oklahoma counties and Public Assistance Category B, limited to mass care and sheltering. The governor may request additional federal assistance programs as more damage assessments are completed.
“The combination of nearly two weeks of record-breaking low temperatures, heavy snow, and freezing rain has had significant impacts on communities across the state,” said Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Mark Gower. “We hope the federal government will act quickly and approve Governor Stitt’s request so we can begin to help communities recover.”
If approved, the disaster declaration would allow for reimbursement to cities, counties and tribes for costs of eligible emergency protective measures related to mass care and sheltering operations through FEMA’s public assistance program. It would also authorize federal resources to assist state and local governments as they continue to respond to the widespread winter weather event.