Protecting Your Rights: Serving Sand Lake, Spenard, and Turnagain
December 11, 2018
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Since November 30, we’ve heard many stories about how members of the Anchorage and surrounding community fared during the recent earthquake, and we know many friends and neighbors may be in need of assistance. If you or someone you know suffered loss as a result of the earthquake and needs assistance, please let us know and we can try our best to help out.
Earthquake Relief Resources
State Individual Disaster Insurance
For those who are finding damage to their homes and property as we continue to pick up the pieces, you may be eligible for some financial relief. State Individual Disaster Assistance is available for individuals and families within the Municipality of Anchorage, Matanuska Susitna Borough, and Kenai Peninsula Borough with damaged homes, essential personal property, and transportation losses from the 2018 Cook Inlet Earthquake.
According to the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, in order to be eligible for assistance, verifiers must have access to the damaged property and/or photos, documentation, or other proof of damage. Their number is 1-855-445-7131 (8am - 8pm), and can also be accessed online at: ready.alaska.gov.
They recommended taking pictures of damage before cleaning up and keeping receipts from any costs incurred. The deadline to apply for assistance is January 29, 2019. You will receive an email confirmation when you have successfully submitted your application.
Applicants who need an interpreter may call a representative 1-855-445-7131. Applicants with hearing disabilities can call TTY 1-855-445-7131.
Alaska 2-1-1 has resumed normal business hours. The need is still great for many of our neighbors. Visit alaska211.org for resource information.
Inspecting Your Home
If you’re wondering about damage to your home, here are two stories to help you understand what to look for during a post-earthquake inspection:
Post-Earthquake Counseling Service
If you or someone you know is struggling to cope with the emotional impact of the earthquake, telephonic counseling is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through Aetna Resources for Living Employee Assistance Program: (833) 327-AETNA (833) 327-2386). This is available to any community member who has been affected by the earthquake, regardless of whether they are a current Aetna customer.
For more information on what to do after an earthquake, please contact the American Red Cross of Alaska at (907) 230-4472 or visit Ready.gov/earthquakes.
For more resources on how to cope with post-earthquake stress: http://dhss.alaska.gov/Pages/emergency_coping.aspx.
Post-Earthquake Donation Needs
Many organizations are in need of donations after Friday’s earthquake. Here’s a list of some organizations that could use your support: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2018/12/03/post-earthquake-donation-needs/.
Support Earthquake Recovery with Subway!
Subway of Alaska has joined United Way of Anchorage to raise funds for earthquake recovery. Starting Wednesday, December 12th, support earthquake recovery when visiting your local Subway restaurant in Anchorage, Girdwood, Eagle River, Palmer, or Wasilla.
Touring ASD Schools After the Nov. 30 Earthquake
Last Friday, one week after our large 7.0 southcentral earthquake, the Anchorage School District led a group of legislators and staff, assembly members, school board members, facility managers and maintenance staff on a tour through its earthquake control center and its three most damaged facilities. We saw that Eagle River Elementary sustained serious structural damage when the slab it sits on shifted. The building, which was built in the 1960’s, suffered serious damage to the gym and multi-purpose room. Before the facility can re-open, the structural beams of both areas must be braced and rebuilt. Classrooms in the building also sustained flooding from burst water pipes. The school will remain closed for the rest of the school year as contractors work to fix it. In the meantime, students will be divided and they will attend either Homestead Elementary or Birchwood ABC Elementary for the rest of the school year.
Gruening Middle School is the only other school in the district that will remain closed for the rest of the year. During the tour we saw the damage to the concrete facade of the building. Large sections of concrete fell away to expose structural beams. In one instance, there was a clear human-sized crack from the gym through to the main hallway. While engineers say that none of the damage is structural, the continued risk of falling concrete during subsequent aftershocks makes the school too much of a liability to open. The contractors will spend the rest of the year repairing the damaged facade. In the meantime, the 600 Gruening students will be moved to Chugiak High School for the rest of the year.
The last school on the tour was King Tech High School in Anchorage. The facility, which offers vocational training for high school students, had much less damage than either Eagle River Elementary or Gruening Middle School. Administrators expect the building will be reopened this Wednesday. Some ceiling and outdoor venting panels fell and an upstairs Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU) slab wall needs rebuilding. Fortunately, the building did not suffer structural damage.
The Anchorage School District released a color-coded list that shows the earthquake damage status of each of its schools and buildings. According to the list, green determines staff is ready to begin the process of ensuring the site is prepared to receive and educate students. Yellow means damage, repair, and cleaning are in process. Eagle River Elementary School & Gruening Middle School are currently on the list as red as the buildings are seriously damaged and unsafe to occupy.
I’ve been impressed that of the school district’s 92 facilities, all but two will be back up and running this week. It’s a testament to the building codes we have in place. During the tour, we saw hundreds of staff and contractors working relentlessly to clean up and get classrooms back into shape for returning students. At the ASD control center, staff worked tirelessly to coordinate the emergency response and the ensuing clean-up at each school.
Structural beams in the Eagle River Elementary multi-purpose room are supported by temporary braces as crews conduct safety inspections.
Non-structural cracks appeared at Gruening Middle School after the earthquake. The school remains closed until contractors can eliminate the risk of further falling concrete.
Contractors brace the ventilation system at King Tech High School as they repair the area.
Mark your calendar for these upcoming events:
The Alaska Zoo invites you to visit their lighted parade of animal-themed displays nightly, seven days a week from now until January 6th (closed Christmas Day).
Tickets may be purchased at admissions during open Zoo Lights hours for $7 each for annual members (ages 3 and up) or $9 each for non-members (ages 3 and up). Ages 2 and under are free.
For more information and to RSVP visit the Facebook event page.
Bring the whole family for this charming, annual community holiday event at the PAC!
*Special Offer: Visit Kaladi Brothers Downtown when you come to the PAC and mention TUBACHRISTMAS (between 10am-1pm) for a "buy-one-get-one" coffee drink or hot chocolate! (8oz or 12oz sizes only)
Want to play your Tuba?
Registration: 10:00 am, Lorene Harrison Lobby Ground Floor Lobby/Coat Check
Rehearsal: 11:00 am, Lorene Harrison Lobby Balcony Lobby
Cost: Participant registration fee is $10.00
Conductor: Neal Haglund
Coordinator: Codie Costello 907-263-2923, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When: Saturday, December, 15 from 12:00 – 1:00 PM
For more information and to RSVP visit the Facebook event page.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.