OKLAHOMA CITY (March 22, 2021) – February 2021 brought record cold weather to Oklahoma and Arkansas for several days. The mix of rain, snow, sleet, and gusty winds caught many by surprise and left vulnerable homeless, low-income individuals, and families exposed in both states. Demand on gas production caused outages and/or interruptions to utility services. The strain on the power grid across multiple states resulted in rolling blackouts for many. Water supply facilities in numerous communities were disrupted, multiple communities were under boil orders and widespread reports of residential water pipes bursting have occurred. We continue to work with emergency management and VOAD to assist with these needs and distribute water as needed.
COVID restrictions required us to consider new ways to assist individuals after this storm. Working with our OK VOAD partners, an online survey was created for individuals to self-identify needs as a result of the storm. Disaster-related damages may include burst pipes, damaged heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, and appliances. Other disaster-related damage could include damage to electrical, plumbing, or gas in the home, leaks in the roof that caused damaged ceilings, broken windows, or flooring in essential occupied parts of the home.
The Salvation Army has sponsored a call center in Oklahoma by partnering with 211 and Heartline to post this survey and accept calls from those impacted by the storms to express the individual damages/needs of their households. To date, they have worked with close to 350 households.
The Salvation Army is working with case managers with the identification of critical needs. Where appropriate, The Salvation Army is providing funding with those needs and assisting in determining other agencies to provide support and resources.
In addition to the above services, The Salvation Army is working with VOAD agencies, State, and federal partners to maximize client’s recovery. Outreach efforts are being made to assist clients with education on the registration process with FEMA, assisting in submitting documentation, as well as the FEMA appeal process. For those with damaged homes and belongings, there are three ways to register:
Financial donations can be made at helpsalvationarmy.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY to support recovery efforts. For the latest Salvation Army disaster information please go to www.disaster.salvationarmy.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/salvationarmyaok/ and www.twitter.com/salarmyeds and www.twitter.com/salarmyedsaok.About The Salvation Army