May 22 2013
Operation HOPE Responds to the Oklahoma Tornado with Financial Recovery Guidance
HOPE Coalition America, a first responder to disasters, implements plans to provide on-the-ground assistance in tornado-torn areas
LOS ANGELES, May 24, 2013 – Financial empowerment nonprofit Operation HOPE today announced that it will assist efforts to rebuild and restore tornado-devastated areas in Oklahoma, through its disaster preparedness and recovery division, HOPE Coalition America (HCA). Employees will be deployed to Oklahoma to provide one-on-one financial recovery information and guidance and to encourage individuals to call the national assistance hotline, at 888-388-HOPE (4673), to register as HCA clients and receive services.
“Our hearts go out to the families and individuals in storm-stricken areas of Oklahoma,” said Fred D. Smith president of HOPE Coalition America. “Reestablishing financial stability is a critical part of the rebuilding and recovery process. HOPE Coalition America will be joining Red Cross and FEMA teams to facilitate the financial road to recovery for those affected.”
State officials estimate that insurance claims resulting from the tornado’s course, will likely top $1 billion. The category EF5 tornado touched down May 20, reaching speeds up to 210 miles per hour, killing at least 24 people and cutting a destructive path through five counties in the state’s heartland. President Obama declared it a major disaster and ordered federal aid to begin.
Working through a collaboration of banking services, insurance, and other financial-related and community service agencies, HCA will provide survivors with financial and economic guidance and assistance to rebuild their homes and financial futures.
Individuals can call the hotline at 888-388-HOPE (4673) to receive any of the following free services:
· Assistance completing applications for grants, loans, and FEMA benefits
· Recovery budget preparation and emergency credit management
· Assistance understanding and completing the insurance claim process
· Referrals to government and private agencies providing assistance
· Assistance obtaining copies of lost or destroyed documents
· Assistance modifying and restructuring credit and loan obligations
Formed in response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, HOPE Coalition America is a national partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, focusing on strategies for economic recovery before and after national disasters. Current supporters of HCA includes the American Red Cross, FEMA, JPMorgan Chase, the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, CoreLogic, UPS, Allstate, Ares, HSBC, Citi Foundation, Chubb Corporation, Experian, and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
HCA has assisted more than 300,000 individuals and families recover from disasters with financial services, since its creation in 2001. In addition, It has distributed over 500,000 copies of the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) and the Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide (PDPG), which provide step-by-step instructions for how to protect personal assets and financial information to reduce vulnerability after a disaster. These are available to download free on our website www.operationhope.org/emergency-kit.
About Operation HOPE
Since its inception in 1992, Operation HOPE, a global nonprofit focused on financial dignity, has empowered more than 2 million individuals and directed more than $1.5 billion in private capital to America's low-wealth communities. It has recruited a growing army of 20,000 HOPE Corps volunteers, and helped raise average credit scores for financial case management clients more than 120 points over an average 18-month period. It currently serves more than 300 U.S. cities, as well as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and most recently, the United Arab Emirates. Its effort to empower underserved communities is a “silver rights” mission to make free enterprise work for everyone.