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FEMA Money for S. Utah, May Be Diverted to Hurricane Victims

FEMA Money for S. Utah, May Be Diverted to Hurricane Victims



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Richard Piatt ReportingThe humbling pictures of hurricane victims and damage remind Utahns how vulnerable we all are to the unexpected. Richard Piatt has this update on recent, expensive disasters in this state.

Earlier this year floods devastated Utah, causing millions of dollars of damage. According to FEMA officials, Utah is now facing competition for Federal relief money because of hurricane Katrina.

Carlos Mitchell, FEMA: "There's 2.5 billion dollars in the disaster relief fund right now. A lot of that money is going to Louisiana and Mississippi."

The need for the money in those states is obvious, putting more than two thirds of the FEMA money Utah is expecting on hold. Divvying up limited resources in a disaster is a challenge, both physically and politically.

Of 12-hundred people surveyed nationwide by Survey USA, half say the Government isn't doing enough to help Katrina victims. Many blame local officials too. The poll shows 61 percent believe local officials are unprepared to deal with the challenge that's before them now. 55 percent say that response is about what you might expect in a disaster.

As an elected leader, pictures of the disaster make Governor Huntsman think about things like earthquakes.

Governor Huntsman: "I don't wake up in the morning without looking in the mirror and saying, 'what would you do if you were similarly situated?'"

Utah Government is working to be prepared, retrofitting the Capitol for earthquakes. But there's only so much that can be done at once. If an earthquake hit, the results would be devastating.

The bottom line is to be prepared when you can, for what you can, for the unthinkable

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