Western Alaskans have an extra two weeks to apply for state and federal disaster assistance as recovery efforts from ex-Typhoon Merbok are still ongoing in various communities.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, announced last week that it is extending the application deadline for disaster assistance from Nov. 22 to Dec. 6.
Alaska’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management updated their website to reflect this new deadline. Previously on the State’s individual assistance page, the countdown timer was still showing that applications must be submitted within four days, but that has since been updated to reflect the December 6th deadline.
House District 39 Representative Neal Foster, who is currently in the midst of a tight election race for his seat, said his office was pushing for this deadline extension.
The State Emergency Operations Center has told him that people living outside of Western Alaska who own subsistence camps that were affected by the severe September storm will be able to apply for “other needs assistance program,” according to Foster.
For those who aren’t able to assess the damage to their camps and subsistence gear until next spring or summer, their disaster assistance will be considered by the State on a case by case basis.
This is the second time the federal disaster assistance deadline has been extended since a federal disaster was first declared on Sept. 23.
Image at top: Typhoon Merbok has relocated debris and people’s belongings across coastal land. Photo by Scotty Campbell, KNOM (2022).