Country Journal Interview: Jeremy Zidek, of Alaska Homeland Security, Discusses Flood

The Journal Interview  Alaska Division of Homeland Security Representative Jeremy Zidek Summarizes The Type Of Assistance Available After Fl...

The Journal Interview 

Alaska Division of Homeland Security Representative Jeremy Zidek Summarizes The Type Of Assistance Available After Flooding & Who Will Be Able To Apply 


The Journal asked Jeremy Zidek of the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to explain what they've been able to do so far to help people affected by the Moose Creek 2024 Flood. Here's a summary of his comments referencing Homeland Security: 

Google Map view of Moose Creek, showing several stream beds, including the one emptying onto the Glenn Highway. 

Question: Moose Creek has never been a problem, but local people now believe it has found a new, possibly permanent and recurring course — right into the western end of Glennallen.

 

Answer: I attended the community meeting a few weeks ago to talk about DHS&EM disaster recovery programs. At that meeting the community was very vocal about the Moose Creek problems and I understand the community has a concern with the culverts that allow Moose Creek to pass under the highway...

 

...Alaska is somewhat unique in that we have unincorporated areas. Our state, and federal disaster recovery programs allow critical organizations and certain non-profits to apply for disaster recovery funds. Certain non-profit utilities, tribes, school districts and other organizations that provide essential services may be eligible for our disaster recovery grants. We had staff in Glennallen in May to help the eligible organizations apply for and understand our Public Assistance Disaster Recovery program. We continue to communicate with them and help the each organization access our grant programs.  

 



Question: There is the issue of damage to buildings...


Answer: ...public buildings are eligible for the State of Alaska Public Assistance Disaster Recovery Program. I have provided a link to our recovery section so you can take a look at what our programs are designed to do. https://ready.alaska.gov/Recovery

 

For private homes that are people's primary residence the State’s Individual Assistance (IA) program is available. Here is a link to our flood recovery pagehttps://ready.alaska.gov/flood. You will find several IA documents on this page, including a fact sheet that describes the what is eligible under the IA program.

 


Question: ...it does seem that there are fears that the few local businesses in the flood area that have been damaged will not have recourse from the state.

 

Answer: Unfortunately, the state does not have a program that helps a for-profit business recover from a disaster. There may be non-disaster related programs that help businesses but we do not administer those programs. Insurance is often the best way for businesses to protect themselves from disaster related impacts.

 


Question: Will they possibly have some kind of federal recourse? Is FEMA in any way able to assist them? 

 

Answer: We are planning, with FEMA, a joint state/FEMA Preliminary Damage Assessment. When complete we will use the data to request a federal disaster declaration. The state will likely request federal Public Assistance as the requirement is somewhat low. Population is one factor that is used to in the public assistance determination and Alaska low population works in our favor. At this time,  it is unlikely that we will reach the threshold to request federal Individual Assistance, but if we are close the state will request and advocate for this additional assistance.

 

In addition, the Small Business Administration may activate their Disaster Recovery Loan program that would be available to private individuals and businesses. This assistance is a low-interest loan that must be repaid. 

 

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NOTE: The Copper River Country Journal has asked DOT for comment on the culverts, and any plans for alleviating the problem of any future flooding at Moose Creek. DOT has not yet responded. 

 


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