Tornadoes in Oklahoma and Disaster Assistance

by Brian on May 12, 2010

An estimated 12 tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma killing at least 8 people on Monday.

The tornadoes damaged and destroyed a number of homes and businesses.

Natural disasters suck, plain and simple. They are typically much worse than pictures or video can convey.

A lot of people don’t know who to turn to for disaster assistance.

I grew up just outside of Kansas City on the outskirts of a small farm town.

When I was growing up I saw dozens of tornadoes, thankfully none of them ever hit our home. However we lost everything in the flood of 1993.

At the time my step-father had a home remodeling business he ran out of the basement. Along with all of our personal belongings, he lost his business at the same time.

July 11, 2010 will be the 17th anniversary of our house house going under. The levees protecting us were among the last to fail in our area.

The water didn’t recede until mid-September… This devastated our family business.

In 1993 there were several programs to help families… But for the most part, small businesses got the run around from insurance companies and there was very little assistance to help them.

A lot of small business owners lost their businesses and weren’t able to recover.

Since 1993, there have been several natural disasters in the U.S. The natural disaster that sparked a ton of change to help individuals and businesses affected was Hurricane Katrina.

There are now a number of disaster assistance programs to help individuals and businesses who are affected by natural disasters.

Natural Disaster Assistance

Small Business Administration

Now when individuals and/ or businesses are affected by a natural disaster, they can turn to the Small Business Administration and apply for disaster loans.

“SBA provides low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery & equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.”


Another resource for help is the IRS Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses.

Often computers and paper records are lost or destroyed… Or the business or individual household is fine, but their accountant’s office was destroyed along with all vital records.

No matter what the circumstance is (if it’s related to a natural disaster), an individual or business owner can apply for extensions to file. Sometimes special tax exemptions are set up for people who were in declared disaster areas too.

Regardless if someone thinks they need it or not, it’s in their best interest to check it out.

This website shows links to government loan programs and program descriptions for individuals and businesses involved in a natural disaster that are seeking disaster assistance… Check it out here.

I’m sure there are tons of other disaster assistance programs out there I’m not aware of… These ones listed here are a great place to start.

Do you know of any additional disaster assistance programs you can share in the comments below?

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