It feels like the whole world is turned upside down. We have never experienced anything like this in our lifetimes.

Broadway dark. Universities are sending home their students. Travel ban affecting 26 countries. (Some of our Iditarod mushers cannot travel home after the race.) Quarantines. Life is unsettled.

Rasmuson Foundation is learning, watching and preparing. We have implemented our own initial internal safety measures and are preparing Plans B and C and D on how we will respond to the potential effects on Alaska’s people. If schools close for a prolonged period, who will take care of the children? If people cannot go to work at their job site, how will they pay their bills? If nonprofits have to shutter their child care centers and theaters, and cancel or postpone their fundraising activities, what will happen to their clients and employees?

We also are watching the stock market’s miserable slide for the past month and determining how we will respond, testing different scenarios. Our spending is directly related to the size of our assets, so prolonged down markets have a substantial impact on our programs, operations and grantmaking. The 40% drop in oil prices in less than a month could impact the already weak Alaska economy by another billion dollars in lost revenue. Early cruise ship sailings to Alaska have been canceled, which will impact jobs in many Alaska communities.

We promise to keep in touch as we work our way through this unprecedented situation.


Some resources for you:


Anchorage Daily News list of closures:

New York Times live blog

State of Alaska, first case announced