Agencies to open disaster aid centers

Posted: Friday, November 22, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Residents of the Slana and Tetlin areas with questions about recovering from the Nov. 3 earthquake will have a chance to receive one-on-one assistance starting Saturday.

The Alaska Division of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be operating disaster recovery centers in both communities from Saturday through Wednesday.

Representatives of state, federal, and volunteer agencies will be available, including loan officers from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Disaster programs available include FEMA's Individual and Households program, disaster unemployment assistance, SBA low-interest disaster loans, and other aid programs. FEMA can provide money for temporary housing and grants for serious needs and necessary expenses.

Plans are in progress for centers in Mentasta Lake and Northway, the agencies say.

Help to local governments has also been expanded to assist the communities in rebuilding and repairs. All areas in Alaska are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

Individuals can also apply for programs over the phone. Residents and business owners in the region affected can apply for help through FEMA's toll-free registration number, (800) 621-FEMA, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Alaska time seven days a week. Those with a speech impediment or hearing impairment can call the TTY number at (800) 462-7585.

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