The Nikiski Community Recreation Center as seen on Feb. 21, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

The Nikiski Community Recreation Center as seen on Feb. 21, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

FEMA comes to Nikiski to help with earthquake relief applications

FEMA aims to help those who might not have internet access as well as anyone who has hit a roadblock

Local representatives from FEMA have set up shop at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center to help residents register for disaster relief.

Many people across Alaska are still feeling the effects of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Southcentral Alaska on Nov. 30, 2018, so FEMA has sent a Disaster Survivor Assistance Team down to Nikiski for two weeks to guide people through applying for aid and filling out all the necessary forms.

Within a week of the initial quake more than 2,500 individual requests to FEMA had been submitted, but more Alaskans could still be in need of assistance, and some have chosen to delay registering for relief until after the spring thaw.

Howard Higgins with FEMA said that he and his team would be in Nikiski to answer any questions people might have about the application and registration processes. Higgins said that they can look up individual cases to let people know what their next step in the process is and to identify and correct any errors they may have made while filling out the forms themselves. Higgins can also assist in registering with Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, which he says is just as important as registering with FEMA for receiving aid.

While the application process can be done online by going to DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362, Higgins said that FEMA being on location in Nikiski helps those in rural areas who might not have internet access as well as anyone who has hit a roadblock while applying online or over the phone.

“We’re here to make the process as painless as possible so people can get the help they need,” said Higgins.

FEMA will be at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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