Fire disaster assistance deadline approaching

In this June 16, 2015 file photo a group of fishermen watch as a water bomber takes water from Skilak Lake to fight the Card Street wildfire on near Sterling, Alaska.

Those whose homes or property were affected by the Card Street fire still have time to apply for state aid.

When Gov. Bill Walker declared a state of emergency in response to the wildfire that consumed 11 peninsula structures in its wake, monetary and housing assistance became available for local Alaskans through the Individual Assistance Program. The last day to apply is Tuesday, Aug. 18. Even families who have not lost a primary home or vehicle are encouraged to apply, said Jeremy Zidek of the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

“…Whenever there’s a fire, sometimes people will have minor damage,” Zidek said. “(Sometimes) those damages are greater than people have anticipated.”

Zidek said even people with minor damages should apply before the deadline, because there is no way to fill out an application for aid after the deadline passes in the event that minor damage becomes something more.

“Once they have applied, we can amend their application if any new damages are discovered,” Zidek said.

Many people are not aware that their insurance deductible is an expense eligible for the Individual Aid program, Zidek said. Even if a person’s insurance agency comes in and pays for the damage caused by the fire, that person may still be eligible for some assistance through the program.

So far, only eight applications have been submitted from the area of the peninsula affected by the Card Street fire. Residents can apply for Individual Assistance online at ready.alaska.gov.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com

 

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