The state is extending by 30 days the deadline for Alaskans to apply for earthquake recovery funds.
Thousands have already asked for help offsetting the cost of the Nov. 30 magnitude 7.0 quake that damaged roads and schools and left some people unable to return to structurally compromised homes. More than 1,200 damaged properties in Anchorage still needed public inspections as of earlier this month.
As of Friday, nearly 11,500 people -- most in Anchorage, followed by Mat-Su and to “a lesser degree” the Kenai Peninsula -- had applied to the state individual assistance program for quake relief, said state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management spokesman Jeremy Zidek. The program will pay up to $17,400 to people with damage to homes, personal property or transportation, or if they had medical or dental needs linked to the quake.
The state has also provided shelter for more than 250 people through a separate “mass care” program, Zidek said. Just over 200 people who qualify are moving to temporary housing -- up to 18 months for homeowners or three months for renters. The state estimates it will cost around $300,000 to provide shelter.
The extension by Gov. Mike Dunleavy was announced Monday. People can apply until Feb. 28 by going to Ready.Alaska.Gov or calling 1-855-445-7131.
“We have been receiving a steady number of applications in the last two weeks,” Zidek said. “We want to make sure that everyone that does need an opportunity to apply gets that opportunity.”
The state is encouraging anyone with "critical needs” damage to apply, especially since some damage may not become totally clear until the ground thaws and snow melts, he said. That can mean anything from unlivable homes and damaged drinking water wells to the loss of every plate in the house.
Applicants will be asked to provide a description of damages, photographs or videos; ownership documents for transportation and real property; and insurance information, officials say.
The governor on Jan. 3 also requested federal aid for quake recovery. The process, which could take months to fulfill, could make available additional repair funds. If approved, that process involves a separate application process.