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Federal and state disaster relief money is available for Western Alaska communities. Here's how to apply

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Will McCarthy
/
KYUK
Damage from the storm in Hooper Bay, where a home was ripped from its frame.

If you’ve been impacted by the storm that hit the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta last week, you may be eligible for disaster relief money.

Eligible individuals, homeowners, and business owners can receive aid. That’s after disaster declarations by both the state and the federal government. The aid can help pay for repairs, damages, and temporary housing.

If your home or property was damaged in the storm, the first thing to do is take pictures and make a list of damaged or lost items. Then, if you have insurance, file a claim. Neither FEMA or the state will pay damages covered by your insurance. After that, you can start applying for federal and state assistance. The two agencies are working together to get relief money out as fast as possible, so you can apply for both at the same time. Funding is available to both individuals and business owners. To complete your application, you’ll need to provide basic identity and financial information.

FEMA and state programs only provide enough money to make a home safe and livable. FEMA may also direct you to apply for low-interest disaster loans through the Small Business Administration for additional relief. These loans are available to people whose homes were impacted by a disaster, even if they do not own a business. For business owners, the loans can be used to repair physical damage to your business, or to help cover other economic losses caused by the storm. The key is to get into the system and fill out an application with the state and federal government as soon as possible.

To apply for state aid, call 844-445-7131 or visit ready.alaska.gov/IA.

To apply for federal aid, call 800-621-3362 or visit www.disasterassistance.gov. You can also download the FEMA mobile app.

Will McCarthy is a temporary news reporter at KYUK. Previously, he worked as a furniture mover, producer, and freelance journalist. Will's written for the New York Times, National Geographic, and Texas Monthly. He holds a master's degree in journalism from UC Berkeley.