PHOENIX -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has received requests for federal funding from six Arizona tribal governments to help their communities recover from damages caused by severe winter storms and flooding in January.
President Obama declared the disaster on March 18, making Gila River Indian Community, Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, San Carlos Apache Tribe, Tohono O’odham Nation and White Mountain Apache Tribe eligible for public assistance and emergency response, as well as for the repair and replacement of public facilities damaged in the January 18-22 storms. Tribal governments in Arizona, as Sovereign Nations, deal directly with FEMA to apply for federal funding.
“By assisting local, state and tribal governments and looking for ways to reduce future damages, state and federal disaster assistance has an impact on every individual in those communities,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Mark Neveau.
Under the March disaster declaration, public assistance (infrastructure) is also available to state, county and local governments for designated areas of impact within Apache, Coconino, Gila, Greenlee, La Paz, Mohave, Navajo and Yavapai counties. The Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM), which administers the public assistance program for the designated state areas, has completed briefings with local officials in seven counties and has briefings scheduled with the one remaining county to provide information on the assistance available and how to apply.
Federal and tribal teams have also inspected disaster-related damage and examined expenses identified by tribal leaders. Emergency managers from the tribal nations are preparing reports that outline the scope of repair work needed and the estimated restoration cost.
For federal public assistance for tribal nations, the FEMA cost share is 75 percent and the tribes pay the remaining 25 percent. FEMA will reimburse 75 percent of the cost for eligible applicants under the public assistance program for state, county and local governments. The remaining 25 percent is split between the state and local government.
These projects may include such things as debris removal, emergency services related to the severe storms and flooding, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities. The latter category includes eligible schools, libraries and other public buildings, and for the repair of roads, bridges, water control facilities, utilities and recreational facilities.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all counties and eligible tribes within the state.
“State and local governments work together to search out projects where hazard mitigation programs can be useful, cost effective, and have the greatest impact in reducing future damage,” said ADEM Director Lou Trammell.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.