State of Oklahoma still waiting on a request for emergency declaration

Monday, January 9th 2006, 6:20 am
By: News On 6

Because of the wildfires, Oklahoma asked for a federal emergency declaration on December 30th.

More than a week has passed now, and a federal declaration still hasn’t been made. A federal declaration would include re-imbursement for pre-positioning of firefighters and equipment. It would also provide, individual assistance to help victims with little or no insurance, and small business administration low interest disaster loans.

With more fires popping up across the state, many wonder why it's taking so long to get that declaration. FEMA tells the News on 6, there is no time table, and that declarations for past emergencies have taken months to get.

Paul Sund with the Governor's Office: "it has to go thru a local FEMA office, then to national FEMA, then to Homeland Security, then to the White House. It’s our understanding its still in the Homeland Security area."

Oklahoma has already received some money from FEMA through a separate grant program. That money came in the form of 17 Fire Management Assistance Grants. Those grants are separate from federal disaster declaration assistance.