After the storm: Rebuilding Oklahoma

May 27th 2013

Tragedy has struck Moore, Oklahoma. While the memories of Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent destruction it caused is still fresh in the national consciousness, an EF5 tornado struck the city of Moore and has caused a staggering amount of death and damage. 24 fatalities, 2400 damaged homes and roughly 10,000 affected people have been left behind in the wake of the storm.
As the population and urbanization throughout America increases, it is but a predictable outcome that natural disasters on the scale of Sandy or the Moore tornado would cause wanton destruction. Your only hope for any kind of financial relief is to be prepared, at least up to a certain level.
Where would disaster relief be coming from?
Although FEMA is the organization tasked to take control of recovery operations in such situations, there are smaller but equally significant instruments of reconstruction.
Insurance
The last time a disaster of such magnitude occurred, it was in Missouri with tornado Joplin tearing through. By May of 2012, insurance companies received 61,000 claims amounting to a grand total of $2.16 billion.
Going by the statistics, most of the damage recovery funds for both homeowners and businesses alike are going to come from insurance companies. According to III statistics, without insurance coverage, at least a fifth of the 10,000 affected will not be able to recover financially.
Charitable donations
The Red Cross, the Salvation Army and a gamut of other charitable organizations have stepped up to the plate and begun a campaign to gather donated funds for disaster relief. The larger portion of the funds acquired by these organizations through donations would be used to take care of immediate needs like food, water and temporary shelters.
Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant has already taken the lead and donated $1 million to the Red Cross. Following suit, the Thunders also matched Durant’s contribution to disaster relief. Large corporations like the Chesapeake Energy Corp. has also promised to donate significantly to fund the Red Cross’ relief efforts.
Federal and state aid
State and Federal aid is something on which rebuilding efforts are largely dependent on. After the 1999 hurricanes and tornado Joplin, the state created a fund to solely cover costs in case of such a disaster. After Joplin, the state received Federal aids totaling to $350 million.
The governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin has already announced at a press meeting on Tuesday that the state would match whatever Federal funds are received for disaster recovery. As of now, they are spending primarily on temporary shelters, clearing debris and rebuilding infrastructure.
Although the disaster was not as devastating as Joplin, more than 10,000 people have lost their homes and have been jolted out of their daily lives. Relief efforts are ongoing but progress is going to be slow as far as rebuilding is concerned. The primary priority is giving immediate relief to the disaster struck people. FEMA and charitable organizations have stepped in to accelerate the rescue process.

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