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Governor Dunleavy Welcomes Presidential Disaster Declaration

Jan 31, 2019

January 31, 2019 (Juneau, Alaska) – Alaska Governor Michael J. Dunleavy today welcomed the decision by President Donald J. Trump to approve Alaska’s request for federal disaster assistance following the November 30, 2018 Cook Inlet Earthquake.

“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 Governor 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.”

Today’s federal disaster declaration announcement activates Federal Individual and Public Assistance disaster recovery programs in the Municipality of Anchorage, Mat-Su Borough, and Kenai Peninsula Borough. The President’s actions will make federal funding available to affected individuals in the Municipality of Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and the Kenai Peninsula Borough, which can include home repairs, low-cost loans, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the disaster.”

“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.”

On Nov. 30, the State of Alaska’s disaster recovery programs were activated. The State of Alaska is one of the few states in the nation with a state Individual Assistance program. State Individual Assistance programs will continue to operate.

“We encourage those with damages from the earthquake to apply for all state and federal assistance available. The process is long and can require documentation. Please be patient as the process to provide aid to those in need can take time,” said Mike Sutton, Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

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.