What Utah can expect from federal funding after a disaster like Ian

Oct 5, 2022, 7:00 AM
Utah disaster funding earthquake study...
FILE: Caution tape surrounds the VFW building on Magna’s Main Street on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, following a 5.7 magnitude earthquake that was centered near the city on March 18. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)
(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian are starting the process of rebuilding, and some are asking when federal monies will arrive.

These are the times, after disasters like hurricanes, when states and individuals look to the federal government for help. What does that process look like? KSL NewsRadio hosts Dave and Dujanovic spoke with Janna Wilkinson, Resilience Bureau Chief with the Utah Division of Emergency Management, to get an idea.


And for reference, Wilkinson used one of Utah’s most recent disasters, the 5.7 earthquake that hit near Magna on March 17, 2020.

“For public assistance, we’re going to have around $34 million that goes out,” Wilkinson said. “For individual assistance, the program that helps residents and homeowners, we had just under $1 million.” That $1 million was split between around 1,200 applicants.

Wilkinson said it’s hard to compare hurricanes and earthquakes, but the process of distributing federal help is similar. 

“With earthquake damage, you’re mostly looking at foundation issues,” she said. “Cracks in walls, doorways, foundations. With brick homes there were (damaged) chimneys.”

Another difference is finding the damage done by an earthquake.

“The damages tend to change as things settle over time,” she said. But for the most part, things Utahns needed to be addressed by the government included stability and foundation issues, collapsed chimneys, and porches that need to be stabilized.

Utah disaster funding from the feds = some, not all

“If I break down 12-hundred applicants and a million dollars,” said KSL NewsRadio host Debbie Dujanovic, “that’s an average of $833 per person. That just does not sound adequate enough to cover a tiny repair.”

Wilkinson agreed and offered this reminder.

“I think one thing that is a misconception, and I’m not justifying this, but it is difficult in government programs to be able to cover the cost of everything.”

She said that FEMA has limited money and strict parameters dictating what they provide.

“They usually provide funding to make things safe and sanitary.  To secure your home, to make sure you can get rental assistance.”

“If you had a chandelier that broke, you’re going to get funding to buy a basic light fixture,” Wilkinson said.

The message for those in an area prone to natural disasters? FEMA will do what they can to make you and your home safe. But it will take some time.

Related reading:




We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

Rep John Curtis promises to investigate stolen COVID relief money...
Mark Jones

Report: Rep. Curtis named one of most effective members of Congress

A new report out by the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University has Utah Rep. John Curtis listed as one of the most effective members of Congress.
4 days ago
Curt Gresseth

Mother tells of her escape from addiction and being homeless

A homeless mother describes her spiral into addiction and how she climbed out and is helping other homeless people today.
4 days ago
An unknown person has requested the Bible be pulled from school libraries in Davis County. Dave and...
Curt Gresseth

Should the Bible be banned from school libraries?

An unknown person has requested the Bible be pulled from school libraries in Davis County. Dave and Dujanovic with a school district spokesman and a state senator.
5 days ago
Zions Bank branch at 7015 South Highland Dr. Cottonwood Heights on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. Zions B...
Curt Gresseth

Are joint bank accounts good or bad for couples?

Are joint bank accounts good or bad for a marriage. Dave and Debbie share their experiences.
6 days ago
Former President Donald J. Trump watches the NCAA Wrestling Championships, Saturday, March 18, 2023...
Mark Jones

D2 gets to the bottom of the impending arrest of former President Trump

Dave and Dujanovic talk to a reporter from NewsNation about the looming arrest of former President Trump.
7 days ago
A man walks past piles of garbage in Paris, Monday, March 13, 2023. A contentious bill that would r...
Curt Gresseth

When is the right age to retire?

In France, the retirement age has increased from 62 to 64, and protesters are out in force. A financial planner joins the show to talk about Social Security’s future and the best age to retire.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...
BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.
Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a new winter activity? Try skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five common causes of Cervical Cancer – and what you can do to lower your risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get ready for fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 easy Christmas dinner ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
What Utah can expect from federal funding after a disaster like Ian