FEMA center opens, ready to help

FEMA center opens, ready to help

LAWTON, Okla._FEMA opened a disaster recovery center Thursday in Lawton for the victims of last month's severe flooding.

The center is at Tomlinson Middle School, which is just west of Sheridan Road and Ferris Avenue. Dozens of homes have been damaged across the area, with the worst of it in Cache, Indiahoma and northeast and central Lawton.

FEMA has been assisting residents since they opened at 1:00 p.m. Thursday. FEMA representative Carmen Rodriguez has a few tips for people to keep them from being the victim of a scam.

"FEMA recommends the community to ask the FEMA inspector for identification each time they go to your home to make an inspection. Also, we recommend to question strangers offering to do repair work and demand to see their identification too," said Rodriguez.

Some scam artists may take advantage of FEMA being in town as an easy way to get confidential information or to get their victims to sign documents.

"And never give any personal financial information to an unfamiliar person. And also, never sign any documents without reading the document in full and ask for an explanation of any terms or conditions you do not understand about the jobs and repairs to your home," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez also has a warning about paying for services.

"And never pay for a job in advance. Never pay for a FEMA inspection, FEMA inspections are free. And also, never pay to speed up your case. If somebody calls you and wants to speed up your case, never pay for that," said Rodriguez.

Flood victims can apply at any recovery station in the state, which means you don't have to apply in the county where the damage occurred.

The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center for the Lawton area is located at Tomlinson Middle School, 702 NW Homestead Dr. The center will be open Monday through Saturday from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

If applying for assistance, be sure to bring along the following:

  • A valid phone number
  • Your social security number
  • An active mailing address
  • The address of where the damages occurred
  • A description of the damages
  • An insurance policy, if you have it.

If you have any questions, call 1-800-621-3362.