Help and resources available after Alaska earthquake
Friday's massive earthquake was a reminder of how vigilant everyone needs to be.
Thankfully, students in the school districts of Anchorage, Mat-Su and Kenai are safe and state and city officials are saying there have been no fatalities connected to Friday's quake.
There are many resources available to Alaskans when it comes to earthquake preparedness and also reaction once it hits if you're affected. The Fairview Recreational Center at 1121 East 10th Street is open Saturday night for people who are looking for shelter.
From FEMA to the Department of Homeland Security to emotional support to help children through a turbulent time, here's a list of places to contact if you need help.
After the earthquake, a lot of Alaskans are shaken up and some are feeling anxious. Officials say its important at this stage to take care of your mental health.
"We are all shaken up after the aftershocks," Natasha Pineda, municipal director of Department of Health and Human Services, said. "It's normal to feel anxious, sad or angry. Remember whatever you are feeling right now is valid. If you're anxious that's valid. If you're feeling helpless, that's valid, too. All of us have different needs and different ways to cope with stress. Acknowledging those is a really important first step."
Tips to help deal with the anxiety include sticking to your normal routines, carrying out small tasks, taking slow measured breaths, taking your normal medication for those with pre-existing mental health issues, and seek social connections. The state help line (877-266-4357) is available if you need to talk to someone.
The Egan Center, Chugiak Senior, and the Girdwood fire station were all serving as emergency shelters on Friday. The American Legion Jack Henry Post 1 on Fireweed provided food to those in need that day.
The Egan Center worked with Red Cross to provide shelter and food service for those whose homes were not structurally safe, didn't have power or needed a place to warm up that night.
Egan Center general manager Greg Spears said the building was the perfect place to accommodate at least 100 people.
"AFD has come through and has inspected the building," he said. "We're fine here; this building is built like a tank."
The Egan Center and Chugiak Senior Center were both closed Saturday night.
Volunteers looking to help can call the American Red Cross at 907-646-5401.
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