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

Oct 5, 2022, 7:00 AM

FILE: Caution tape surrounds the VFW building on Magna’s Main Street on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, ...

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.

Dave & Dujanovic

Michael Bacon and Kevin Bacon (Bacon Brothers Band) during rehearsals for Mother Nature Netwok's Wh...

Curt Gresseth

After 40 years, Payson High bringing home Bacon

Kevin Bacon returns Saturday to Payson High School for the 40th anniversary of the movie Footloose.

3 days ago

Students participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new West Lake Jr. High building in 2022...

Kyle Remund

West Lake Jr. High rebuilds after 2020 earthquake

After being severely damaged in 2020, West Lake Jr. High is being rebuilt with earthquake safety in mind. KSL's Dave and Dujanovic interviewed Ben Horsley of Granite School District about how the new building is being brought up to seismic code and how the district is preparing for future emergencies.

3 days ago

FILE: Caution tape surrounds the VFW building on Magna’s Main Street on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, ...

Curt Gresseth

How an earthquake impacts homes and buildings 

A structural engineer discusses how an earthquake rattles homes and buildings.

4 days ago

buildings are destroyed following an earthquake...

Curt Gresseth

Great Utah Shakeout: How to make your home earthquake-safe

An adviser discusses how to make your home safe for the Great Utah Shakeout.

6 days ago

An old, white house sits in front of a blue sky....

Tammy Kikuchi

Instances of squatting in Utah are rare, but they happen

While Utahns have many legal protections to fight against squatters, it can still happen. Here's what to do, if it does.

6 days ago

bald eagle...

Curt Gresseth

Who shot, killed bald eagle near Cedar City? $10,000 reward available

A $10,000 reward is available for information leading to the conviction of the perpetrator who shot and killed a protected bald eagle near Cedar City.

10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

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