Anchorage, AK -- Community Relations outreach specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are working with Kenai Peninsula communities in an effort to contact residents, business owners and renters who were affected by severe winter storms and flooding that occurred Oct. 23 through Nov. 12.
Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski expressed his commitment to the recovery activities underway in each affected community and surrounding areas. "We appreciate the efforts that FEMA Community Relations teams are providing individuals, business owners and renters with information about a variety of disaster assistance programs that are available to them," he said. "These include the housing assistance program that provides grants to help pay for temporary housing needs, minor home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses."
"We rely on our Community Relations staff, not only to get the word out to people affected by the disaster, but also to find out what problems are faced by communities and people in those communities," William Lokey, federal coordinating officer, said.
Team members began meeting today, Dec. 5, with representatives of community-based agencies, community leaders, and public officials to help Community Relations to identify needs, information that will be communicated to disaster response staff best able to respond to those needs.
"We're making every effort to inform disaster victims about benefits available to them through a disaster declaration," said Lois Bassett, Community Relations coordinator. "Special types of assistance may be needed. If you know a family member, friend or anyone else affected by this disaster, and you see us in your neighborhood, tell us about these people and how we can get in touch with them."
President Bush declared Wednesday (Dec. 4) the Kenai Peninsula Borough, Kodiak Island Borough, and the Chignik Bay area including Chignik Lake and Chignik Lagoon eligible for state and federal assistance for individuals.
Impacted Alaskans may apply for disaster assistance by calling FEMA's toll free registration number: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Speech- and hearing-impaired individuals may register by calling toll-free 1-800-525-0321. Registration may be made between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Alaska Standard Time), seven days a week.