Murkowski voices concerns over FEMA underpayments for Alaska earthquake damage

FAIRBANKS, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski voiced concerns to the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator on earthquake recovery efforts.

In a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security hearing today (wed), Murkowski raised Alaska- specific issues with Acting FEMA Administrator, Peter Gaynor.

In light of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that occurred in Alaska on November 30, 2018, the senior senator highlighted real-life examples of difficulties that Alaskans are facing as they seek assistance from FEMA.

According to a statement released by Murkowski, she highlighted potential flaws within FEMA's 'Individual Assistance Program' process, and questioned Gaynor on how to ensure disaster victims can be confident in FEMA's disaster recovery efforts.

At the hearing Murkowski describes an individual whose estimated damage was near $83,000, but only received less than $5,000 from FEMA even after appeal.

“What they're saying is, 'look, I'm not asking for FEMA to pay for the cost of my home. We know that. We know that FEMA is not designed to make you whole.' And they're not seeking that. They're not asking for a Cadillac, here, but they're asking for the ability to be restored to safe and habitable condition," said Murkowski.

According to the Associated Press, the estimated damages of the November 30 Earthquake are near 76 million dollars.