ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Although the August 10th registration deadline for individuals in the Alaska Gateway Regional Educational Attendance Area (REAA), Yukon Flats REAA, Yukon-Koyukuk REAA, Lower Yukon REAA, Kuspuk REAA, and Yupiit REAA has passed, federal and state governments continue funding programs that help residents recover from the spring 2009 flooding and ice jams.
Nearly $6.9 million has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Businesses Administration (SBA) to assist in the recovery efforts.
Currently, 764 Alaska homeowners and renters have applied for disaster-related individual assistance. Funds awarded to date total $6,872,717 which includes:
- $2,674,904 in Housing Assistance to cover temporary rentals, home repairs and replacement;
- $3,068,012 in Other Needs Assistance (ONA) to cover essential personal property losses, subsistence items, medical, transportation or serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance; and
- $1,129,800 in Small Business Administration loans to pay for the repair or replacement of homes, businesses, or personal property not fully covered by insurance or other compensation.
The State of Alaska's Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management contributes 25 percent of the cost of Other Needs Assistance, to supplement FEMA's 75 percent. "FEMA approved 389 residents for Housing Assistance; 439 were approved for Other Needs Assistance. This Other Needs Assistance is particularly important in this disaster recovery," remarked State Coordinating Officer Dave Andrews. "It helps cover items unique to the needs of rural Alaska residents, such as fish wheels or four-wheelers."
The FEMA office in Eagle closed September 15 and the Tanana office will close shortly. Disaster recovery management continues to operate from the FEMA/State Joint Field Office in Anchorage.
"This disaster recovery has been an intense, collaborative effort between FEMA, state, tribal and volunteer organizations," said Federal Coordinating Officer Doug Mayne. "Everyone understood the goal of providing safe functional housing before the winter cold sets in, and worked hard toward accomplishing that goal."
"With the help of our volunteer partners, we've rebuilt 13 homes in Eagle and repaired 8; and repaired 21 homes in Tanana and 10 in Stevens Village. We're rebuilding one in Akiak; that work is progressing well. And even though Housing Assistance is nearly complete, it's important for people to realize that recovery work continues. Our specialists will support individual disaster survivors, even as we accelerate our Public Assistance program to repair or replace disaster-damaged public buildings and infrastructure."
FEMA and state officials remind all Alaska residents in the federally declared REAAs that FEMA's toll-free Helpline telephone number at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 800-462-7585 operates seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Alaska time. Residents can call to update personal information like changes of address or phone number; to notify FEMA about insurance settlements; or to ask questions about the status of an application.
The SBA continues to offer Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to business owners in the federally declared REAAs in Alaska. These are working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster.
These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period. The law limits EIDL(s) to $2,0...