Wildfire Relief

Last week Oklahoma experienced a series of devastating wildfires that scorched over 93,000 acres and left hundreds homeless. Saturday in Tulsa, residents saw hazy orange skies and ash raining from the sky... visual evidence of the destruction and heartache that was impacting fellow Okies. As the smoke begins to clear, literally & figuratively, families and communities across Oklahoma will start rebuilding. Here are a few organizations that are assisting those impacted by fires, tips for people who have lost homes or other personal articles due to the fires, or ways that individuals can assist neighbors or strangers who are victims of the devastation.

As of August 6, the Red Cross is still operating 3 emergency shelters for individuals or families displaced by the fires:

  • Slaughterville Baptist Church -- 10101 60th Street, Lexington
  • Sand Springs United Methodist Church -- 101 W 38th Street, Sand Springs
  • Cushing Senior Citizens Cetner -- 203 E Cherry, Cushing

Many family pets were also impacted by the fires. The Oklahoma Agriculture Department and Sand Springs Animal Control have teamed up with area veterinarians to provide food and medical care to animals impacted by the wildfires. Headquarters for pet assistance is the Sand Springs United Methodist Church (101 W 38th St).

Today, Aug 7 at 2:30 p.m., Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak will offer an insurance update regarding the wildfires. The Commissioner's address will be at held ib the parking lot of Lake Church, 35903 W Hwy 51, Mannford. Oklahoma Insurance Department representatives are also on-hand at Lake Church to answer questions and assist with claims.

If your property was damaged by the wildfires, the Oklahoma Insurance Deparment suggests taking the following steps:

  • Phone your insurance agent or claims department as soon as possible.
  • Make a list of damaged property and make any necessary repairs to protect your home or property from further damage.
  • To fully understand your rights and coverage, carefully read your home owner's insurance policy.
  • Know if you have replacement cost or cash value coverage.
  • Ask about additional living expenses or loss of use.
  • Know what deductible you'll be required to pay.
  • For questions about claims or to report insurance fraud, contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department consumer assistance department at 1-800-522-0071 or online at http://www.ok.gov/oid/.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved disaster funding to help reimburse local municipalities, volunteer fire departments, and other first responders for costs associated with responding to the fires. 

Don't forget... there is a state-wide burn ban in effect. This limits all outdoor burning except gas, electric and charcoal grills that are operated on a non-flammable surface and are at least 5-feet from any vegetation.

Thoughts are with those effected by the wildfires, the first responders and the volunteers.  To offer more than thoughts to those in need, contact the Red Cross Tulsa Area Chapter or access other donation needs and drop-off locations via the Tulsa Organizations & Services database.