FEMA Tours Creek County

Federal Emergency Management Agency was in Creek County checking out damage. They are assessing the more than two hundred structures and finding out exactly what fire victims need for relief. FEMA has to make it to each property to assess the damage. They will put each structure into a category of affected, minor, major, or destroyed.{}"This is the very first step in this process," says FEMA spokesperson, Ray Perez.Perez says the process will consist of the team of FEMA, state, and county assessors going to each location and seeing what kind of damage took place. It only takes a few minutes for them to get the information they need.{}But this area will take them awhile to go through because each property is spread out.{}"If you are in an metro area things are pretty well compacted and you can you can walk house to house to house. We are going to be driving everywhere," says Oklahoma Emergency Management Spokesperson, Jerry Lojka.{}The Oklahoma Emergency Management team will go around to every house with FEMA. This way they are prepared for their report to make it to the Governor and are not surprised about anything on it.{}"All this information will be turned over to the state government. They will decide how to use it. If they indeed want to make a request for a federal declaration," says Perez.Once the state government decides if they will ask for a federal declaration, that's when the report and FEMA's finding go to the federal government for approval. Federal assistance relies on several factors for each county, but a big factor is the amount of insurance in the area."If you are not insured or under insured that's where the federal government is going to come in. Without them here, I guarantee you would get nothing," says Lojka.{}For residents in the area if you are worried about who is at your place looking around. Lojka says each team member should {}have an official state or FEMA shirt. If you don't see one you can always ask who they are.{}"Be vigilant that's a good point. You have a right to ask for credentials and we are very happy to show them," says Lojka.Both the state and federal teams see disasters all the time but Lojka says the sites in Creek County are graphic.{}"You realize when you look at this, that lives were destroyed. So, it's a very tough thing to do," says Lojka.{}Lojka says you do not need to contact FEMA directly to get someone to asses your property. They work with the state agencies to make sure all the properties are counted.