Skokomish Nation Preps for Disaster

June 15, 2005

Officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will formally recognize the Skokomish Nation’s Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan on Wednesday, June 22, at 6 p.m. at the Skokomish Tribal Center (80 North Tribal Center Road, Skokomish Nation, Washington).

According to Department of Homeland Security FEMA Regional Director John Pennington, such plans are required for all state governments, and while optional for tribal governments, guarantee those governments maximum flexibility in applying for disaster assistance.

“Under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA2K) all state governments are required to have approved pre-disaster mitigation plans in order to qualify for Stafford Act assistance during Presidentially-declared disasters,” said Pennington. “By developing their own state-level pre-disaster mitigation plan, the Skokomish Nation preserves their right to apply for direct FEMA aid, or to work through Washington State for disaster assistance and mitigation funding.” “Direct federal assistance” can include Public Assistance (damage to public infrastructure), Individual Assistance (damage to privately-owned, primary residences), and Hazard Mitigation funds to reduce the likelihood or impact of future disasters.

Skokomish Tribal Chairman Gordon James agreed, adding, “This Multi-Hazards Mitigation Plan supports our commitment to creating a hazard-resistant home for our people and others who have chosen to live within our homelands,” said James. “It was a lot of work – identifying over thirteen potential natural hazards and terrorist threats and developing a blue-print to protect residents and their property, protect tribal property, and assist our neighboring communities in time of need.”

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