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DHSS: Nov. 30 Southcentral Alaska Earthquake Resources

  • Individuals and families within the Municipality of Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Borough or the Kenai Peninsula with damaged homes, essential personal property or transportation losses from the 2018 Cook Inlet Earthquake can apply for State Individual Disaster Assistance. The deadline to apply has been extended from Jan. 29, 2019 to Feb. 29, 2019. ​For more information, call the hotline, 1-855-445-7131, or visit ready.alaska.gov.
  • To request an earthquake damage inspection of your home within the Municipality of Anchorage, visit muni.org.
  • For questions about drinking water, septic systems, food safety or other environmental public health issues related to the earthquake, visit the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Earthquake: Public Health and the Environment webpage. 

Emergencies can be stressful and it’s normal to be feeling anxious, sad or angry. Here are helpful resources if anyone you know is still experiencing difficulties, or for your reference in case of future emergencies:

  • Alaska Careline is there to help if you  or your loved ones are having difficulty coping after this earthquake. For Alaska’s statewide 24/7 free and confidential crisis line, call 1-877- 266-4357 (HELP), or text for help at 839863. Visit www.CarelineAlaska.com.
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides immediate 24/7, 365-days-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions in disasters. Call 1-800-985-5990 toll free or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Aetna Behavioral Health is offering FREE Resources for Living telephone support to those affected by the earthquake. Individuals can contact Aetna EAP at 833-327-AETNA (1-833-327-2386) for telephonic consultation to help cope with the emotional impact of this event. This is available to anyone affected by the earthquake, regardless of whether they are an Aetna customer.
  • If you need support or referrals to services in your area please call 2-1-1.
  • State Employees who need counseling support can call theEmployee Assistance program 1-877-234-5151., TTY/TDD: 1-800-999-3004, En Espanol: 888-732-9020
  • The Mat-Su area has a regional 24-7 crisis line, 907-376-2411.

Coping Tips During Emergencies and Natural Disasters
After a natural disaster like the big earthquake that hit Southcentral Alaska on Nov. 30, it’s normal to feel anxious, sad, or angry. It’s important to recognize those feelings in yourself or others and know they are valid. Acknowledging our feelings, helping loved ones and neighbors and connecting with others can help us get back on track. 
Here are some basic tips to help you and your loved ones cope in the aftermath of the earthquake and the repeated aftershocks, many of which were greater than 4.0 in magnitude. Special thanks to the Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services for their help compiling this information. Here are some helpful tips as we recover together from this earthquake event:

  • During a disaster, make sure you take care of yourself and others. Don’t forget to eat regular meals if you can and drink water to stay hydrated.
  • As much as possible, stick to your normal routines (including mealtimes, bedtimes). If you have children, they will feel more safe and secure with structure and routine.
  • Carry out small, practical tasks and count each success.
  • Take deep breaths if you feel the need to calm down. Take a slow, measured inhale through your nose. Hold your breath and count to three before exhaling through pursed lips.
  • Seek social connections and support. Share your experience and feelings.

How adults, caregivers and teachers can help children:

  • Talk to children and teenagers about their feelings and how they are affected.
  • Use simple honest answers.
  • Be prepared to discuss the same details many times.
  • Let children know that adults also don't always understand why things happen.
  • Do your best to be supportive, loving and predictable.
  • Encourage them to engage in physical play and exercise.

Here are some helpful resources for helping children:

How we can help our neighbors during a natural disaster:

  • Check on your neighbors following a disaster. If you and your family are healthy and well, lend a helping hand to your neighbors and friends by helping with cleanup, cooking for them if their electricity is out, coordinating errands.
  • Talk to your neighbors and see if anyone needs a backup generator. Provide one if you have one, or help find one if you can.
  • Now is a good time to plan ahead. Review your family’s emergency plans, including where to gather and how to communicate in an emergency. Work on developing and upgrading your emergency kit if you need to. Here are some helpful resources on earthquake preparedness and recovery:
  • Ready.gov: Earthquakes
  • FEMA: Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness
  • FEMA: Earthquake Home Hazard Hunt
  • FEMA: Recovering from the Storm Within

Special considerations for individuals with disabilities and elderly:

  • Call 9-1-1 during a life-threatening emergency.
  • Adult Protective Services through DHSS Senior Disabilities Services helps to prevent or stop harm from occurring to vulnerable adults. Call 1-800-478-9996 to make a report of abuse, neglect, abandonment and more.

For more information:

Additional Resources: 
FEMA Earthquakes 
Ready.gov: Department of Homeland Security: Earthquake Preparedness Before, During and After an Earthquake 
American Red Cross Tsunami Preparedness 
American Red Cross Earthquake Safety