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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 000-UJI7S-00; Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes
PW ID# 38 & 41; Evacuation and Sheltering Costs
March 29, 2010
Deputy State Coordinating Officer
State of Oklahoma
Department of Emergency Management
P.O. Box 53365
Oklahoma City, OK 73152-3365
Re: Second Appeal–Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes, FIPS 000-UJI7S-00, Evacuation and Sheltering Costs, FEMA-1718-DR-OK, Project Worksheets (PW) 38 and 41
Dear Ms. Shingledecker:
This letter is in response to your letter dated August 25, 2008, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) denial of $83,526 for sheltering Tribal members in hotels and motels and $7,552 for evacuation and transportation costs.
During the period of August 18 to September 12, 2007, there was extensive flooding in Blaine, Canadian and Kingfisher counties where members of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes reside. Members of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes do not reside on tribal-owned land. In response to flooding of and trees falling on Tribal members’ homes, the Applicant transported 120 families to hotels and motels where they stayed for one week. Additionally, a roof to a Tribal-owned nursing home collapsed due to heavy rainfall. This required evacuation of the facility and eliminated the building as a potential shelter. On May 10, 2007, FEMA prepared PW 38 for $7,552 for costs associated with emergency evacuation and transportation of Tribal members and patients from the nursing home. FEMA prepared PW 41 for hotel and motel costs in the amount of $83,526. Upon review, FEMA determined that the PWs were not eligible for funding.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal on February 28, 2008. The Regional Administrator denied the Applicant’s first appeal based on FEMA Disaster Assistance Policy DAP 9523.15, Eligible Costs Related to Evacuations and Sheltering. This policy recognizes two distinct types of sheltering: congregate and transitional. The policy cites the provision of hotels and motels to disaster survivors as an example of transitional sheltering. Paragraph VII D of the policy entitled, Transitional Sheltering states, “Transitional sheltering, if authorized, will be implemented and managed directly by FEMA, through a contract agent. FEMA will not reimburse state or local governments for providing transitional sheltering to displaced disaster victims.”
The State of Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) transmitted the second appeal on August 25, 2008. The Applicant asserts that its actions were justified due to the lack of available shelters and because its facilities that could have been used as shelters were damaged by the disaster. In addition, the Applicant claims that the Red Cross denied sheltering assistance to Tribal members. OEM further argues that the Applicant had no recourse but to provide sheltering at local hotels and motels. OEM also requests that FEMA prepare a PW for donated resources related to the evacuation of Tribal members.
Section 403 of the Stafford Act authorizes assistance for work and services to save lives and protect property including the provision of emergency evacuation and sheltering. Disaster Assistance Policy DAP 9523.15 applies to State and local governments that receive evacuees from disaster affected areas. In this case, the Tribal government evacuated its own members from their homes and a nursing home that were damaged or threatened by the disaster. Information in the file shows that there was confusion about whether Tribal members could stay at Red Cross shelters. In addition, the Applicant’s facilities that otherwise could have been used as a shelter were damaged. Based on these circumstances and a review of all information submitted with the appeal, the Applicant took prudent actions to protect the health and safety of its Tribal members.
The evacuation, transportation, and sheltering of Tribal members in hotels and motels are eligible emergency protective measures. Therefore, the evacuation costs of $7,552 are eligible. Information in the file shows that some Tribal members may have received Individual Assistance for the hotel and motel costs. FEMA will reduce the eligible costs for PW 41 by the amount of assistance tribal members received under the Individual Assistance Program.
With regard to OEM’s request for donated resources, the Applicant did not make this request in its appeal nor did it or OEM provide any supporting documentation for such a request. Therefore, there is no basis for FEMA to prepare a PW for donated resources. Therefore, this portion of the appeal is denied.
By copy of this letter, I request that the Regional Administrator take appropriate action to implement this decision. I approve the second appeal.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. My determination constitutes the final decision on this matter as set forth in 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
Elizabeth A. Zimmerman
Disaster Assistance Directorate
Cc: Tony Russell
FEMA Region VI