Catholic Charites of Eastern Oklahoma, which has an outreach office in Sallisaw, is working alongside other community organizations to provide a range of services for families and individuals affected by floods and other disasters.
MaryLynn Lufkin, Director of Disaster Relief for Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma, has been in contact with the state’s Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and other disaster partners and shares information for victims of this devastating flooding going on in our communities.
“Our primary assistance in these early stages is with food and clothing,” Lufkin said. The local Helping Center is located at 409 N. Adams St. in Sallisaw, and is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; for information, call 918-775-6111.
Lufkin said long term aid will be available once damage assessments are made.
She advised that it is extremely important that all those who have sustained damage report this through 211 or the Oklahoma Emergency Manager’s office at 405-521-2481. Reporting will assist with services victims may need when the waters recede.
The 2-1-1 system has been enhanced to accommodate many more needs relating to this flood disaster, according to Lufkin. Victims can contact 211 if they need a particular job done or need assistance with a cleanup or muck-out job, or if a victim area needs certain items, and donors or volunteers can contact 211 to donate items or to volunteer to help with cleanup.
“They will submit the names to Americorps, who will then get them connected to the agencies who will be doing the muck-out jobs,” Lufkin said. “This can help them match volunteers in each area to the jobs that need to be done.”
Lufkin said one noteworthy bit of information she has learned is that, when the time comes for reporting damage to insurance companies, victims need to go ahead and file with their insurance company -- even if they didn’t have flood insurance.
“They will need the denial letter if and when the time comes to apply for FEMA funds,” she added.
Once Distribution Centers are established, those locations can provide cleanup kits, paper products and possibly some food items.
“This disaster will be with us for a long time. Tempers will flare, patience will run thin,” Lufkin said. “Let’s all pray for God’s peace and guidance as we work through the recovery process together.”
Pam Cloud, Managing News Director
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