With Tuesday’s federal disaster declaration for areas affected by last month’s flood, the State of Alaska has effectively decided to close the disaster assistance centers that had been set up this week in Galena and in Circle.
The DACs had been established to help people apply in-person for state individual assistance. But, anytime a disaster is declared federally, state funding is nullified.
As State of Alaska Public Information Officer Jeremy Zidek explains, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has its own protocol for applying for assistance.
“The state sets up disaster assistance centers. FEMA sets up disaster recovery centers. The function is pretty much the same. With federal assistance there is a separate application that will need to take place and instead of making people fill out two applications, it was decided we would only have one application process. Residents will still have to apply for that FEMA individual assistance,” Zidek said.
FEMA is expected to set up their centers in flood-affected communities in the coming weeks. A household that meets the qualifications for federal individual assistance may receive up to $31,900.