Mat-Su COAD activated immediately following the November 30 earthquake, even while Mat-Su residents were still feeling aftershocks. COAD members took on roles across the continuum of disaster recovery, including case management, volunteer coordination, fiscal agency and meeting unmet and long-term needs. Some of our member agencies, including the Red Cross of Alaska, Salvation Army Mat-Su Corps, United Way of Mat-Su and representatives from the Mat-Su Borough Emergency Services department worked tirelessly to provide adequate heating, food and clean water, and sanitation to families heavily affected by the earthquake.
Mat-Su COAD member United Way of Mat-Su was happy to assist residents of the Creekwood Park Apartments with sanitation when their complex’s water and plumbing became damaged. Port-A-Potties were delivered on-site to be used until repairs were complete. In addition, bottled water was delivered by the Red Cross. Other families in need of sanitation help received water test kits, water purification tablets, and other Port-A-Potties until such time as water was safe to drink or their plumbing could be replaced.
When Houston Middle School evacuated during the earthquake, students left the building without the contents of their lockers, including winter coats. With the generous help of local businesses like Sportsmans Warehouse, Wal-Mart, and local donors, we were able to purchase new winter coats for all students at Houston Middle.
By spring of 2020, Mat-Su COAD and partners had successfully assisted those affected by the earthquake in moving to stable living. Local agencies wishing to become involved in disaster preparedness and response are always welcome to join Mat-Su COAD.