FEMA Signs Disaster Agreement With Upper Sioux Community

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Release date: 
August 11, 2010
Release Number: 
1900-009

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- On August 5, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Upper Sioux Community, Minnesota signed the first tribal agreement in a six-state region, including Minnesota, which allows a federally recognized tribe to be considered a Grantee for federal disaster assistance. FEMA officials signed the formal agreement with the tribal Board of Trustees, located in Yellow Medicine County, clearing the way for nation-to-nation federal disaster assistance in incidents that are beyond the capabilities of the tribe.
 
The agreement, signed by FEMA Region V Regional Administrator Andrew Velasquez III and Upper Sioux Community Chairman Kevin Jensvold, completed the legal requirements that will allow federal aid to be made available to the Upper Sioux Community for damages incurred as a result of severe storms and flooding this past spring. President Obama issued a disaster declaration for the state of Minnesota on April 19.
 
“If we build a trusting relationship this time when the need is not so great, or if there comes a time when the need is great and we ask for help, the relationship will be there,” said Jensvold. The tribe, which has approximately 500 members, celebrated its new agreement with FEMA during a traditional Dakota ceremony marked with pride and appreciation.
 
“This first of its kind agreement in Region V represents our sincere interest in working with our tribal neighbors and to make disaster assistance available to those who need it,” said Regional Administrator Velasquez, who oversees FEMA programs in the states of Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin. “We are pleased to partner with the Upper Sioux Community, Minnesota.”
 
FEMA worked with the Upper Sioux Community to update their all-hazards mitigation plan. The plan is designed to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from the effects of natural hazards. It also makes the Upper Sioux Community eligible to apply for hazard mitigation grants.
 
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.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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