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FEMA extends disaster assistance deadline

Christopher E. Zimmer

The deadline to apply for federal and state disaster assistance from the spring flooding in parts of Alaska has been extended.

According to a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) press release, residents affected by the ice jam and snowmelt flooding that occurred between May 12 and June 3, 2023 now have until Dec. 22, 2023 to apply for FEMA Individual Assistance.

The request came from the state, and was recently approved by FEMA. The previous deadline was Oct 23. The deadline extension applies to survivors living in the Copper River, Kuspuk, Lower Kuskokwim, Lower Yukon, and Yukon Flats Regional Educational Attendance Areas.

The state has also reopened its own Individual Assistance Program, which will allow those with damage from 2023 spring floods who have not previously registered an opportunity to seek state assistance. Applying with FEMA will be required for any future state Individual Assistance payments. State and federal programs can not duplicate benefits. But specific damages, such as subsistence camps, are eligible under the state program.

Even if you have already registered for the State of Alaska's disaster assistance program, you are encouraged to also register with FEMA to determine if you may be eligible to receive additional funds through FEMA.

The deadline to apply for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans has also been extended. Businesses, homeowners, renters, and private nonprofit organizations referred by FEMA now have until Dec. 22 to apply with SBA.

To date, FEMA has received 498 total registrations and approved almost $2.5 million in assistance for the spring ice jam and snowmelt flooding.

FEMA and SBA disaster assistance staff have visited numerous communities in the impacted areas. If you are unable to meet with FEMA staff visiting your community, you can still apply for FEMA assistance by calling 1-866-342-1699. This hotline has staff trained to answer Alaska-specific questions. You can also apply on or by using the FEMA mobile app. For questions about SBA loans, call 1-800-659-2955 or email

If you require a reasonable accommodation, such as language translation or interpretation, mobility assistance, or sign language interpretation, call or text 907-727-6221 or email You can also notify staff in the field.

Francisco Martínezcuello was the KYUK News Reporting Fellow from November 2022 through January 2024. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Journalism. He is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.