Emergency Management Agents Assess Tulsa's Tornado Damage

Thursday, August 10th 2017, 5:47 pm

FEMA agents are in Tulsa touring the tornado-ravaged areas of the city.

They started early this morning and will likely be out until dark.    

The city requested FEMA, the Small Business Administration and the state's emergency management teams to come out and take a look at the damage.

They're doing a preliminary assessment.

They've formed two teams: one to check out home damage and the other is assessing business damage.

The agencies will use the information they gather here to determine if Tulsa meets their threshold for assistance.

Roger Joliff, Tulsa Area Emergency Management director, says they look at the city's overall ability to sustain itself and the uninsured loss.

He says after the last few tornadoes in the area FEMA did not offer assistance, but the Small Business Administration did.

In the end, Joliff says, helping each other will make the largest impact. 

"We don't wait on them. This disaster is local. All disasters are local. Ownership of that is in our community, regardless of what they do, this is ours. It's our neighbors, it's our families, it's our friends, so we need to help each other," Joliff said.

Joliff says these things take time, so there won't be anything definitive from FEMA in the near future other than some preliminary data.

In the meantime, Joliff says, the city has operated its own recovery plan in the past and can do that again.