CHEROKEE, N.C. – Financial assistance under the first presidential disaster declaration issued to a tribal nation has topped $2.4 million, FEMA officials say. FEMA is funding repair and recovery projects for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians following severe weather that caused flooding and landslides in January. “This is the first time the federal government has worked one-on-one in partnership with a tribal government following a disaster,” said Michael Bolch, the FEMA official in charge of federal operations in the recovery. “It is a truly historic operation.”
Updates and Articles, Blogs, and News Releases
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, FEMA and several other State, Tribal and Federal agencies are working together to recover from flooding that struck Tribal lands in mid-January.Federal disaster aid to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is supplementing their recovery efforts. The request directly from a Tribe to FEMA for a disaster declaration was a first, as was the resulting declaration directly to a Tribe; Congress made this possible with a January 2013 change to the Stafford Act.
On March 14th, FEMA Region IV staff offered a briefing, Emergency Response Contracting Opportunities, to mostly Tribal vendors. With follow-up training on March 15th, attendees received valuable knowledge on the process of obtaining Federal contracts in support of federal disaster declarations.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and FEMA recently made history. On March 7th, FEMA’s Regional Administrator and the Tribe’s Principal Chief signed a FEMA-Tribal agreement marking the first ever presidential disaster declaration for a Tribal government.The tribe became the first to make a request following severe weather in mid-January that caused flooding across tribal lands. President Obama issued the declaration March 1st.
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s major disaster declaration issued for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.Assistance for Tribal Governments Can Include as Required:
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that federal disaster aid has been made available for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and ordered federal aid to supplement the Tribe’s efforts in the area affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of January 14-17, 2013.