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Governor Dunleavy, U.S. Representative Peltola, and FEMA Administrator Criswell Host Press Conference on Western Alaska Storm Response

Sep 23, 2022

Governor Mike Dunleavy was joined by U.S. Representative Mary Peltola and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell to discuss the federal and state response to the storm damage in western Alaska.

“Thank you to Administrator Criswell for flying to Alaska to see the impacts firsthand,” said Governor Dunleavy. “We’re counting on FEMA and our Alaska delegation, and we’re confident they will move quickly to aid in this massive recovery effort. Of course, thank you again to everyone who has stepped up to support the communities in great times of need.”

More than 150 service members from the Alaska National Guard, the Alaska Naval Militia and the Alaska State Defense Force deployed to Western Alaska. More than 20 of those service members are from communities across Western Alaska. The Alaska National Guard activated the day after the State Disaster Declaration. On September 21, they began mission planning and preparation for their deployment.

Service members have deployed with enough equipment and supplies to be self-sustaining and not burden the communities. Service members are spread out over 2400 miles and have already assisted eight communities. In addition, they have completed over 800 hours of work and removed 40,000 lbs of debris. Alaska Army National Guard helicopters have flown more than 3000 miles and logged more than 33 flight hours moving personnel and supplies across the affected region.

“Alaskans are resilient because they live with and regularly prepare for the most extreme weather in our country. However, that does not mean rural and tribal communities living here are immune to the severe impacts that increasingly dangerous storms can cause,” said FEMA Administrator Criswell, who will be touring the communities this weekend. “That’s why I am here in Alaska meeting with our partners and traveling to Nome to see firsthand the level of damage caused by the West Coast Storm and best determine how FEMA can continue to support the state-led recovery effort. With winter coming in a matter of weeks and bringing a new set of hazards with it, we have hard work ahead of us to protect and prepare communities for the freeze-up, especially those that were already vulnerable before the storm hit.”

Governor Dunleavy’s state declaration activates the state’s Individual Assistance (IA) program, designed to help individuals and families with damages and/or expenses related to the disaster event. Residents of the Northwest Arctic Borough, Bering Strait Regional Education Attendance Area (REAA), Lower Yukon REAA, Lower Kuskokwim REAA, and the Kashunamiut REAA are eligible to apply for State Individual Assistance.

Disaster survivors can register for the State Individual Assistance program by visiting the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management webpage beginning on September 26, 2022, at Ready.Alaska.Gov. Telephone registration opens September 28, 2022 at 1-855-445-7131.