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Alaskan disaster events a frequent occurrence during 2022

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Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – During 2022, Alaska has declared 14 state hazards and 6 federal hazards.

Dating back to 1978, Alaska averages about four disasters per year. Homeland Security and Emergency Management departments are busy responding to disasters and managing disaster recovery programs.

Jeremy Zidek, spokesman for the State of Alaska for Homeland Security and Emergency Management, elaborated on the report.

“2022 has been very active. As far as disaster declarations go, the year started with an inland snow and ice storm, which then moved to Matsuya, creating strong winds and very cold temperatures. Alaska It affected the Southeast. And we really started the year with a lot of activity on the front lines of disaster declaration. And it really continued throughout the year. In a normal year, On average, about four disaster declarations have been issued… at the forefront of this year’s disasters.”

Alaska is one of the only states in the country with state public and personal assistance programs.

“People often think of things like housing assistance and food stamps when they hear public assistance. It is used to repair critical infrastructure, here in Alaska we have public assistance programs and individual assistance programs to help with post-disaster recovery. It’s one of the strongest programs in the nation as far as it goes. Our department not only works with FEMA to deliver programs when disaster strikes, but we also run our own state programs to help Alaskan communities We are entrusted with ensuring that we recover from disaster.”

FEMA, the Small Business Administration, and other federal agencies can initiate disaster recovery programs and provide disaster recovery funds to individuals and communities.

Zidek explained how the process works.

“Whenever there is a disaster declaration, the state utilizes the money allocated by Congress to fund its recovery process. FEMA provides public assistance in both individual assistance programs. The Small Business Administration can also provide disaster recovery loans to both individuals, families, and businesses. So working with FEMA means that the Small Business Administration can ensure that the program can be rolled out here in Alaska. We have a very different environment here. The main problem is implementing capacity programs in small communities with only 100 to 200 people in the community and continuing day-to-day operations can be a factor. So we really have to work and work with FEMA and other federal agencies so that we can roll out programs here and we also want to make sure the community recovers. I think there is no one-size-fits-all for these different types of communities, and when that happens and we get involved with the federal government, the states and FEMA will pay 75%, 25% of the cost. , enter into a contract under which the state will cover 25% of the costs.”

Six of the disasters also received federal disaster declarations.

  • December/January 2022 Internal storm declaration on January 3 (FEMA declaration on March 24)

  • Jan 2022 Mat-Su & Copper Valley Windstorm declared Jan 3 (FEMA declared Mar 24)

  • January 2022 Southeastern Storm Declaration January 11

  • February 2022 Tununak Washeteria Fire Declaration 17th February

  • February 2022 Hooper Bay Sewage Lagoon Obstruction Declared February 25

  • March 2022 Eagle River Avalanche Proclamation March 28

  • May 2022 Spring flood declared May 12, 2022 (December by FEMA on August 26)

  • February 2022 Collapse of Galena Fire Hall declared May 13

  • May 2022 Lowell Point Avalanche declared May 13 (FEMA declared June 26)

  • 2022 Summer Wildfires Declared June 10

  • 2022 Richardson Highway flood declared June 10

  • August 2022 Matu Su Flood Declaration 30 August 2022

  • June 2022 Skagway Landslide Declared September 12, 2022

  • September 2022 West Coast Storm Sept 17 (FEMA declared Sept 23)

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