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Monday, June 24, 2019
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Trump declares Alaska ‘major disaster,’ releasing more funds

PRESIDENT ACCEPTS ALASKA’S REQUEST 

Today, President Donald Trump approved Alaska’s request for a major disaster declaration.

He ordered federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by an earthquake on Nov. 30, 2018.

The president’s action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the Municipality of Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

“Almost one month ago, I asked the President to declare a federal disaster in the aftermath of the November 30th earthquake. Today, we’re pleased to announce that request was granted,” said Gov. Michael Dunleavy. “We are eternally thankful for President Trump and his entire team, including FEMA, for working quickly to evaluate our request and respond to our needs. The November 30th earthquake hit Alaska hard and recovery efforts and repairs will take time, but we are looking forward to working with our federal partners and doing what it takes to get Alaska back up and running.”

“We have successfully worked with FEMA in the past to help Alaskans recover from disasters. Alaska is not like other states and recovering from an earthquake is not like other disasters,” said Brig. Gen. Torrence Saxe, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs. “Our role is to ensure the recovery effort utilizes all funding streams, incorporates local, state, and non-government organizations, and responds to the needs of Alaskans.”

In addition to helping with home repairs, low-cost loans, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the disaster, federal funding also is available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the earthquake in the Municipality of Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures in all areas within the State.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State. After spring thaw, more damage may be ascertained as needing further federal funds for repairs.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated region can apply for assistance by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

As of Jan. 31, more than 13,000 people have registered for State of Alaska Individual Assistance. Each of these applicants will have to register for federal disaster recovery programs separately.

FEMA and DHS&EM will establish a Joint Field Office in southcentral Alaska to deliver the state and federal programs. Bryan Fisher, State Coordinating Officer, will work with FEMA staff to establish disaster recovery priorities. State staff will work side-by-side with FEMA staff to ensure that programs are utilized to their maximum efficiency.

FEMA’s Individual Assistance program authorizes up to $34,900 in grants to eligible individuals and homeowners affected by the earthquake.  The Public Assistance program will provide federal reimbursement for not-less-than 75% of the costs to repair and rebuild infrastructure damaged or destroyed by the quake.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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  • Hope the Individual Assistance program, which authorizes up to $34,900 in grants to eligible individuals and homeowners affected by the earthquake, is monitored for price gouging by contractors…