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Frequently Asked Questions for Yukon River Flood Survivors

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Q:  What kinds of assistance are available?

A:  Disaster assistance may include awards to help pay for:

  • Rental assistance
  • Uninsured and underinsured emergency home repairs
  • Personal property losses
  • Medical, dental and funeral expenses
  • Other serious disaster-related expenses
  • Assistance may also be available for the shipment of repair materials to eligible survivors.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations. SBA serves as the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
  • Completing and returning the SBA disaster loan application is an essential step in the recovery process. By not completing and returning the paperwork, you could miss out on FEMA assistance that may be available to you. You need to return your SBA disaster loan application by Aug. 26, 2013.

Q:  Am I eligible for disaster assistance if I already have insurance?

A:  You should apply for assistance even if you have insurance because you may find that you are underinsured or have unmet needs after you’ve received your insurance settlement. If you have not already contacted your insurance agent to file a claim, please do this as soon as possible.

Insurance is your main source for money to start recovering after a disaster, but there are many expenses that insurance does not cover and disaster assistance programs may be able to help. If you do not file a claim with your insurance company, it may affect your eligibility for assistance.

SBA disaster loan funds can be used to make up a shortfall between your insurance payout and your actual cost, including your deductible.

Q:  How do I know if I am eligible for these types of assistance?

A:  If you have not already, you must first register with FEMA by calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA) or TTY 800-462-7585. Anyone who uses 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 800-621-3362.

Assistance is available for eligible survivors in the Alaska Gateway, Lower Yukon, Yukon Flats and Yukon-Koyukuk Regional Educational Attendance Areas (REAAs). Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Requirement generally includes verification of occupancy and ownership at the time of the flood. Must be your primary residence.

Q:  What kind of home repair and shipping assistance is available?

A:  Assistance for repair materials may be available for eligible disaster assistance applicants whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the spring floods. However, eligibility is determined on a household-by-household basis.

If you have a FEMA verified real property loss (FVL) of less than $17,000, you may be eligible for the following:

  • Financial assistance to purchase material to repair your damaged home.
  • Financial assistance to reimburse the cost of shipping repair materials.
  • Financial assistance for materials and direct assistance for shipping (Galena, Eagle and Circle only).

If you have a FEMA verified real property loss (FVL) of $17,000 or more, you may be eligible for the following:

  • Financial assistance to purchase material to repair your damaged home.
  • Direct assistance for the purchase and/or shipping of repair materials. FEMA purchases the necessary repair materials and ships them on your behalf. Repairs are completed by yourself or volunteers.
  • Financial assistance to reimburse the cost of shipping repair materials.
  • Direct assistance with repairs if assistance is not available through SBA or other voluntary agencies.

Q: I have already received financial assistance for repair. Can I still be reimbursed for the cost of shipping repair materials?

A: Possibly, you cannot be considered for financial assistance for the reimbursement of shipping costs for repair materials if:

  • You are receiving direct assistance from FEMA to purchase repair materials, pay for shipping costs or make the repairs on your home.
  • You have funds remaining from the IHP maximum limit of $31,900.
  • You have not spent your repair funds appropriately.
  • Your funds were sufficient to cover the additional shipping costs; and,
  • You cannot provide verifiable receipts for the shipping costs related to repair materials only.

Q:  Am I eligible for rental assistance?

A:  Rental assistance is available to affected renters and homeowners. All eligible renters are being provided with rental assistance. Owners may be eligible to receive rental assistance only if FEMA did not provide direct assistance through the purchase of repair materials, shipping costs or contract labor.

Q:  I registered with FEMA and I am ineligible for disaster assistance. What do I do now?

A:  Carefully read the letter you received from FEMA – it may only be asking that you provide additional information about your situation. If this is the case, include as much documentation as possible to support your losses and document their value. If you have been turned down or received less than the amount of assistance needed to meet your immediate needs, you have the right to appeal the decision.

If you were referred to SBA, be sure to complete and return your disaster loan application. If you do not qualify for an SBA disaster loan, you may be referred back to FEMA for award consideration.

You should contact your caseworker if you have any questions about the appeal process, or you can call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (FEMA) or TTT 800-462-7585.

Q:  I have received disaster assistance from numerous resources, but still need additional help. How do I connect with individual volunteers or volunteer organizations nearby?

A:  The Yukon AmeriCorps Response team is currently on the ground in Galena to assist residents in removing debris from their property and helping to prepare homes for the repair process. Survivors in need of specific resources or services can visit the Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) located in the Aviation School Hangar at the Galena Interior Learning Academy to request help. The center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Agencies, groups and individuals interested in volunteering can also register in person at the VRC, by phone at 907-444-9519 or by email at

Q:  If I have unmet needs, how do I request donated materials?

A:  Disaster assistance applicants with any unmet needs should notify their caseworker. Referrals are then sent to the long term recovery committees—made up of voluntary organizations and other agencies—who may be able to meet your needs through donations and other sources.

Donations are currently being solicited to assist in satisfying unmet needs.

For more information about volunteering or donating, visit or call the 2013 Alaska Spring Flood Donations hotline at 855-374-4790.

A Galena resident stands at the bottom of the steps to his flood-damaged home.
Galena, Alaska, July 1, 2013 -- Andrew Henning's home was damaged from the Spring 2013 Floods. Photo by Ed Edahl/FEMA
Last Updated: 
08/15/2013 - 15:18