Oklahomans who have lost homes from the wind-whipped wildfires that spread across the state Thursday now have the overwhelming task of finding someplace to live and working through insurance claims in the lengthy, starting-over process.
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland has declared a state of emergency, which will allow insurance companies to respond more quickly in accessing damages and paying claims. Gov. Brad Henry has declared a state of emergency for 31 counties hit by wildfires and severe weather, which allows state agencies to make emergency purchases to help speed resources to local jurisdictions. It also is the first step toward possibly seeking federal assistance. But homeowners will also have to deal with a number of financial issues and personal concerns, and the Oklahoma Insurance Department and the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants say they are here to help.