PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The Navajo Nation in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is working diligently to assist in the recovery of public facilities that sustained losses from the winter storms and flooding between December 28 and January 12. The disaster declaration was made by President Bush on February 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.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and effectively manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.