Gov. Mike Dunleavy

Gov. Mike Dunleavy

Gov. Mike Dunleavy declared the winter storm that hit Southcentral and Interior Alaska a State Disaster January 3, an action that provides state assistance to communities including help from the Alaska National Guard.

Homeowners can also apply for special grants to help pay for repairs.

There were impacts from extreme cold weather, high winds, freezing rain, and heavy snowfall, the governor said in an announcemen.

“These conditions interrupted power and water distribution, damaged public buildings and homes, restricted travel, and required communities to establish shelter locations for displaced residents,” Dunleavy said in a statement.

The Jan. 3 declaration activates the state’s Individual Assistance program which is designed to help individuals and families with damages and or expenses related to the disaster, the governor said.

Residents in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Denali Borough, Fairbanks North Star Borough including Nenana, the Delta/Greely Regional Education Attendance Area, and the Copper River Regional Education Attendance Area, may be eligible for disaster recovery grants for damages to their primary residences that occurred during the storms.

People can register for the State Individual Assistance program on the State of Alaska’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management webpage at Ready.Alaska.Gov

Online Registratio began January 4 on the website, and will close on March 4.

“If you have any questions or issues applying online, please call 1-855-445-7131(Disaster Assistance Hotline),” the state Dept. of Military dnd Veterans Affairs (DMVA) said in statement

The State of Alaska IA program has three parts; Temporary Housing grants; Housing Assistance grants; Other Needs Assistance grants. Temporary Housing can provide funds to secure lodging while applicants pursue permanent housing solutions.

Financial assistance may be available for up to 18 months for owners and three months for renters, the DMVAS said.

Housing Assistance grants can provide funds for damages to primary residences not covered by insurance. The residence must be owner-occupied at the time of the event.

The IA program does not help with secondary homes, recreational properties or homes lived in fewer than six months a year. “Damages must be serious and negatively impact the essential living spaces in the home, and damages must be from the declared event,” the DMVA statement said.

Other assistance is available to provide funds for losses to essential personal property not covered by insurance such as clothing, appliances and furniture. Also, recovery costs such as clean up and some storage expenses.

Grants may also help with disaster-caused medical expenses not covered by insurance.

Based on damages and eligibility, the maximum amount an applicant can receive through Housing Assistance is $18,950, and separately, an additional $18,950 for other needs. The temporary housing allowance is calculated separately based on family size and local rates of stay.

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