Navajo Nation, FEMA Partner on Disaster Recovery

March 9, 2005

The Navajo Nation, in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is reportedly working diligently to assist in the recovery of public facilities that sustained losses from the winter storms and flooding between Dec. 28 and Jan. 12. The disaster declaration was made by President Bush on Feb. 17.

Since early March, a liaison from FEMA has been working with the Navajo Nation’s Emergency Operations Coordinator to assess disaster recovery needs of the Nation, Arizona side. There is also a FEMA Task Force consisting of mitigation and environmental specialists, and two public assistance consultants working with the Navajo leaders to report on damages. The Task Force and FEMA tribal liaison are located in Window Rock to coordinate with the tribal leaders.

On Thursday, March 10 the FEMA Task Force will meet with senior tribal leadership to discuss eligibility, the public assistance (infrastructure) program process and how financial payments are made.

“FEMA will inspect affected facilities including dirt roads and gravel parking lots,” said Daryl Waite, FEMA public assistance officer for the disaster. “Any additional damages that may have been overlooked from the January storms should be reported to the FEMA Task Force.”

Tribal and FEMA officials are also concerned about damage from the storms that hit in February and are looking at ways to support recovery.

Beginning Tuesday, March 8, teams began assessing damage that was sustained during the most recent storms. These teams consist of representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), FEMA’s individual assistance program and FEMA’s public assistance (infrastructure) program. The results will be reported to the national FEMA office for recommendations.

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