Over Thanksgiving weekend, Oklahoma experienced several small earthquakes and aftershocks. While Oklahoma is no stranger to earthquakes, the seismic events caused major damage in some cities not fortified against such events. Governor Mary Fallin has submitted a formal request to FEMA asking for assistance. Governor Fallin is looking to have the federal agency declare the seismic events in the state an official disaster. If FEMA does declare a disaster, Oklahoma will gain access to federal funds to aid in recovery.
According to state officials, more than 200 homes and other properties have been damaged in the quakes. Insurers have yet to submit official estimates regarding the extent of the damage. Earlier this month, a 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled the state, ruining a highway and leveling a tower at the St. Gregory University in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
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If FEMA steps in to declare a disaster, homeowners and business owners affected by the quakes will become eligible for low-interest loans from the federal government. These loans will aid in recovery and will help alleviate some of the financial pressures placed on those without earthquake insurance. Oklahoman insurers are taking this opportunity to promote the variety of earthquake insurance policies available to homeowners. Given the extent of the damage, such insurance protection is becoming more and more valuable to consumers that have little to no experience with such disasters.