Subject: Emergencies and Major Disaster Declarations Request
Telephone Operator: At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode until the comment portions of the call. If you’d like to provide a comment at that time, please press star then one on your touchtone phone. Today’s conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect. Now I’d like to turn the call over to your FEMA Region 9 tribal liaison, Tessa Badua-Larsen.
Tessa Badua-Larsen: Thank you, operator. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the region 9 consultation conference call. I want to thank you all for taking the time to call in today to share your input on the implementation of tribal declarations. The purpose of today’s call is to hear from you the tribal leaders, tribal emergency managers, disaster recovery subject matter experts, and other interested tribal members or partners, to capture your thoughts, comments, and concerns about FEMA’s implementation of tribal major disaster and emergency declarations. This is just the beginning of the consultation process. During the comment period running from - I mean, running through April 22nd, 2013, comments you provide today will be the foundation for the development of the pilot guidance which will be used to create the final regulations. I would like to introduce you to our facilitator, Randy Brawley, preparedness and analysis branch chief. Mr. Brawley, you may begin.
Randy Brawley: Thank you very much, Tessa. Quick housekeeping notes, we will not take a roll call today as the operator has captured a list of the participants on today’s call. As the operator mentioned, this call will be recorded, and as a recording of this meeting, it will be posted on www.fema.gov/tribal-consultation. FEMA is not soliciting or accepting consensus advice or recommendations on federal laws, regulations, or policies during this meeting.
Rather, the purpose of this meeting is to gather individual input from a diverse group of partners. Today you will hear from region 9 deputy and regional administrator, (Karen Arms), a long-time California resident. (Karen) is a career Emergency Manager with experience working with tribal governments at the local, state, and national levels. (Karen) has worked at Region 9 for 17 years, including three years as the acting Region 9 Interim FEMA Regional Administrator at various times throughout her career.
(Karen Arms) will be followed by subject matter experts on the Stafford Act, the declaration process, disaster assistance, individual assistance, public assistance, hazard mitigation assistance, and cost share criteria. After a brief description of each agenda topic, the operator will open the line to provide approximately ten minutes for you to provide comments. The operator will then close the line and we will move onto the next topic.
Given the number of participants on the line and the limited time we have for each topic, we ask you that you limit your comments to allow others the opportunity to provide their input. You may also provide your written comments through the following venues. You can provide them online at the federal register notice. You can go online on FEMA’s online collaboration site, “Idea Scale”.
You may also email FEMA at tribal consultation, one word, at FEMA.DHS.gov, and you may also send it to the postal mailing address. Tessa Badua-Larsen and Heather Duschell sent this information via both postal mail and email in the invitation letters. You can contact either of them for Web site addresses, email addresses, and/or postal addresses. Now we will hear from (Karen Arms), FEMA Region 9 Deputy Regional Administrator.
Karen Arms: Thanks very much, Randy. Good afternoon, everybody. On Tuesday, January 29th, 2013, President Obama signed the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013, which included a provision amending the Stafford Act to provide federally recognized Indian tribal governments the option to choose whether to make or request directly to the President for a federal emergency or major disaster declaration, or to seek assistance as they have done previously under a declaration for a state.
The enactment of this provision is a clear demonstration of the importance that tribal leadership and their governments are to our nation. It follows on the President’s commitments to Indian country, strengthens the government to government relationship between FEMA and federally recognized tribal governments, and it will enhance the way FEMA supports tribal communities during, before, and after disasters. We commend the efforts of all the tribal leadership, representatives, and their organizations who have made this change a reality.
The amendment reflects the FEMA administrator’s three core principles regarding tribal governments. The first of those principles are that federally recognized tribal governments are sovereign governments. The Stafford Act now clearly reflects federally recognized tribal governments’ status as a sovereign nation, giving them the same status as states when requesting federal disaster assistance. The second core principle is that FEMA has a government to government relationship with federally recognized tribal governments, and lastly that tribal governments self-determine the best way for them to address their disaster needs.
The Stafford Act amendment now gives tribal governments the choice to request declarations on their own, but tribal governments are not required to make a request on their own. The tribe may continue to seek assistance through a state’s request if they choose. The legislation does not require tribal governments to change their relationship with states, but states cannot direct tribal governments to make a request on their own or require tribal governments to be included in the state’s request.
The tribe makes that determination. This is a substantial change to the Stafford Act; changing the Stafford Act to recognize tribal sovereignty is just the beginning. Through this consultation process we hope to hear from you, tribal leaders, tribal emergency managers, and disaster recovery subject matter experts, regarding the items FEMA should consider as we develop pilot guidance to implement tribal declarations.
We appreciate all of you participating on today’s call and informing the development of this pilot guidance. Remember, you may also provide your written comments at the federal register, at Idea Scale, and at the email inbox email@example.com. With that I’ll turn it back to Randy Brawley.
Randy Brawley: Thank you very much, (Karen). Our speakers today will describe specific aspects of the programs as applied to states and territories. We need your input to modify the requirements to fit tribal government needs. We will now hear a quick overview of the Stafford Act change from (JP Henderson), our Regional Counsel.
JP Henderson: Good afternoon. As our Deputy Regional Administrator mentioned, the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act included a provision amending the Stafford Act to provide federally recognized tribal governments the option to choose whether to make a request directly to the U.S. President for a federal emergency or major disaster declaration, or to seek assistance as they did previously under a declaration request by a state.
Specifically the amendment permits the chief executive of an affected tribal government to submit a request to the President for a declaration that a major disaster or emergency exists, consistent with the requirements listed in Stafford Act Section 401 for major disasters, and section 501 for emergencies. The amendment also allows tribal governments to be eligible to receive assistance through a state declaration, so long as the tribal government does not receive a separate declaration for the same incident.
Under this provision the President has the authority to waive or adjust the cost share only for the public assistance program. The amendment specifies that references to any combination of state and local in the Stafford Act should be read to also include tribal governments, and in instances of governor or state, should also be read to include chief executive or tribal government as appropriate. Finally, FEMA is required to “consider the unique conditions that affect the general welfare of tribal governments”, when implementing this new authority.
Randy Brawley: Thank you, (JP). We will now hear an overview of declarations tribes may request and assistance that may be made available. We will now hear from (Terry Zuiderhoek) about the declaration and disasters assistance process.
Terry Zuiderhoek: Thank you. The Stafford Act assistance is intended to supplement state, tribal, and local resources. The federal government will only provide supplemental disaster assistance under the Stafford Act when a state or tribe is overwhelmed and the response to the event is beyond the state or tribe’s capability to respond. Upon receiving a request for a declaration, FEMA assesses the impact of the event and makes a recommendation to the President. The President in his discretion may determine that the situation warrants supplemental assistance under the Stafford Act and make the declaration.
Tribal governments can request the following types of declaration: an emergency declaration - emergency declarations are to supplement state and local efforts to save and protect lives, property, public health and safety, or to avert or lessen the threat of a catastrophe. A major disaster declaration - a major disaster declaration may provide a wider range of federal assistance programs for individuals and public infrastructure, including funds for both emergency and permanent work required as a result of a natural catastrophe, or regardless of the cause, a fire, flood, or explosion.
The following requirements are - the following are requirements for the declaration request - the request must be submitted by the chief executive of the federally recognized tribal government. The request must be submitted within 30 days of the date of the incident. However, within that 30 day period, the chief executive may submit a written request for additional time. Such request must provide the regions - reasons for the delay.
The request is based on - or the basis of the request shall be a finding that the disaster is of such a magnitude and severity that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the tribe and that federal assistance is necessary. The request must also include confirmation that appropriate action under tribal government law has been taken, and the execution of the tribe’s emergency plan has been directed as applicable.
The request must also include an estimate of the amount and severity of the damages and losses, stating the impact of the disaster on the public and private sector. It must also have information describing the nature and amount of tribal government resources which have been or will be committed to alleviate the results of the disaster.
Preliminary estimates based on a joint FEMA-tribal preliminary damage assessment of the types and amount of supplementary federal disaster assistance needed under the Stafford Act, and a certification that the tribe will meet all applicable cost share requirements - if requesting the hazard mitigation grant program or public - or permanent work under the public assistance program, the tribe must have a FEMA approved or approvable mitigation plan within 30 days of the date of declaration.
The tribe must also comply with grant administrative requirements and must have a public assistance hazard mitigation grant program and/or other needs assistance administrative plan as applicable. More information on these requirements can be found at www.fema.gov/tribal-consultation. With that I’ll turn it back to (Randy)
Randy Brawley: Thank you very much, (Terry). Operator, we will now open it up for - to comments, first from tribal executives. Operator, may we have those instructions at this time?
Telephone Operator: If you would like to make a comment or provide input please press star then one on your touchtone phone. One moment please to allow them time to queue up. And again that is star one for any questions at this time.
Randy Brawley: (Randy Brawley), here. As we move forward, comments either today or written comments submitted later, I would like to encourage everybody to go online and review the federal register. It has several prompts that may provide some thought. For example, in the one section, current requirements and processes for the state declaration requests, there’s a prompt and you’ll see them in italics, and it says “FEMA is soliciting comments on whether there are circumstances that may prevent a chief executive of an Indian tribal government from complying with these current requirements and processes for declaration requests during the pilot program”. Again, these are just notes for food for thought for either current comments or questions today or any written ones.
Telephone Operator: And we have no...
Randy Brawley: And with that, we will now hear an overview of Individual Assistance criteria from (Steve Miller), Individual Assistance Branch Chief, then open it up for comments from tribal governments. Here is (Steve Miller).
Steve Miller: Thank you, (Randy). As (Randy) indicated, I will address Individual Assistance as made available by major disaster declarations. Individual Assistance: assistance to individuals and households. The individual assistance programs can provide disaster housing which provides grants for rental assistance and/or home repairs. This is 100% federally funded. Other needs assistance, which provides grants for replacement of personal property, transportation, medical, dental, and funeral expenses. The Stafford Act sets the cost share for other needs assistance cost at 75% federal and 25% non-federal. The Stafford Act does not give the President authority to waive the other needs assistance cost share. All other IA programs have no cost share. Currently when a major disaster request includes individual assistance, FEMA uses the following criteria to determine whether federal assistance is needed. These are the current procedures as developed for states. We need your input to modify the requirements to fit tribal government needs. First, concentration of damages - FEMA evaluates the concentration of damages to individuals. High concentrations of damages generally indicate a greater need for federal assistance than widespread and scattered damages throughout a state. Next, we consider trauma. FEMA considers the degree of trauma to the communities. Some of the conditions that might cause trauma are large numbers of injuries or deaths, large scale disruption of normal community functions and services, or emergency needs such as extended or widespread loss of power or water. We also consider special populations. FEMA considers whether special populations such as low income, the elderly, or the unemployed are affected, and whether they may have a greater need for assistance. We also consider voluntary agency assistance. FEMA considers the extent to which voluntary agencies and state or local programs meet the needs of the disaster survivors. And last, we consider insurance. FEMA considers the amount of insurance coverage because by law federal disaster assistance cannot duplicate insurance coverage. FEMA is soliciting comments on whether these individual assistance factors - concentration of damages, trauma, special populations, voluntary agency assistance, and insurance - are appropriate for FEMA to consider when evaluating a tribal government request for individual assistance. FEMA also welcomes comments on whether there are additional factors that may be appropriate for FEMA to consider when evaluating tribal government requests for individual assistance. Thank you. I will turn it back to Randy Brawley for comments.
Randy Brawley: Thank you, Steve. Operator, we will now open it up for comments first from tribal executives. And Operator, will you please read the instructions again?
Telephone Operator: Thank you. If you would like to make a comment or provide input, please press star then one on your touchtone phone. And one moment please to allow them to queue up.
Randy Brawley: Again as food for thought, Steve Miller brought up other needs assistance. Here’s yet another prompt that you’ll find in the federal register. FEMA is soliciting comments on whether there are circumstances that may prevent a chief executive of an Indian tribal government from selecting other needs assistance administrative option during the pilot program. In addition, FEMA welcomes comments on the ability of an Indian tribal government to administer other needs assistance on its own. Okay, then. We will now hear an overview of public assistance criteria from (Jim Kalikow), public assistance program specialist, then open it up for comments from tribal governments. Here is (Jim Kalikow).
Jim Kalikow: Good afternoon. The public assistance program provides assistance to state, tribal, and local governments and certain private non-profit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster damaged facilities. The Stafford Act sets the cost share for public assistance at not less than 75%. The Stafford Act also gives the President the authority to waive or adjust the cost share for public assistance. Currently when a major disaster request includes Public Assistance, FEMA uses the following criteria to make a recommendation to the President whether assistance is warranted. These are the current procedures as developed for states. We need your input to modify the requirements to fit tribal government needs. The first criteria that public assistance looks at is insurance coverage in-force. For state requests, FEMA considers the amount of insurance coverage that is in-force or should have been in-force as required by law and regulation at the time of the disaster. Another criteria is Hazard Mitigation. FEMA also considers the extent to which state and local government mitigation measures contributed to the reduction of disaster damages for the disaster under consideration. Another criteria is recent multiple disasters. FEMA evaluates the 12-month disaster history to better understand the overall impact on the state or locality. FEMA considers declarations under the Stafford Act as well as declarations made by the governor and the extent to which the state has spent its own funds on those disasters. In addition we look at programs of other federal assistance. FEMA also considers the programs of other federal agencies because at times their programs of assistance might be more appropriately met the needs created by the disasters. We also look at localized impacts. FEMA evaluates the impact of the disaster at the county and local government level, as well as the impact on Native American or Alaskan Native tribal government levels. This is because at times there are extraordinary concentrations of damages that might warrant federal assistance, even if the statewide per capita is not met. This is particularly true in situations where critical facilities are involved, or where localized per capita impacts might be extremely high. We also look at the estimated cost of the assistance. Many of you may know this as the public assistance per capita indicator and the $1 million minimum.
FEMA evaluates the estimated cost of public assistance against the statewide population. This provides a sense of proportional impact on the population of the state. For events occurring in fiscal year 2013, we use a figure of $1.37 per capita as an indicator that the disaster is of such size that might warrant federal assistance. This number is adjusted annually based on the consumer price index.
In addition, FEMA has also established a minimum of $1 million in public assistance estimated damages per disaster, based on the belief that we can reasonably expect even the least populated states to cover this level of public assistance damage. We would like to hear from you whether these factors, localized impacts, insurance coverage in-force, hazard mitigation, recent multiple disasters, programs of other federal assistance, and the estimated cost of assistance, are appropriate for the evaluation of tribal government requests for Public Assistance.
We would like to hear your thoughts on whether tribal government requests should be evaluated based on a damage per capita. We would also like to hear your thoughts on whether a tribal government should be expected to cover a level of damage, and whether there should be a similar minimum damage threshold for tribal governments as that applied to state requests for Public Assistance. FEMA also welcomes comments on whether there are additional factors that may be appropriate for FEMA to consider when evaluating the level of impact and tribal governments’ capability to respond and to recover from the event for Public Assistance. I will now take comments and turn it over to you, Randy.
Randy Brawley: Thank you very much, (Jim). Operator, we will now open it up to comments, first from tribal executives. Operator, may we please have those instructions again.
Telephone Operator: Thank you. If you would like to make a comment or provide input please press star then one on your touchtone phone. One moment please to allow them to queue up.
Randy Brawley: And for those out there on the call, on previous calls we’ve had a number of individuals indicate that the, you know, $1.37 per capita may not be appropriate or even the $1 million set amount may not be appropriate. As you think about responding today or in future written comments and questions, we would very much love to hear your thoughts about what an appropriate figure might be.
Telephone Operator: And we do have a comment or input from Anthony Manuel with the Tohono O’odham Nation.
Sandra Sonosa: Hi, my name is actually (Sandra Sonosa). I’m sitting here with Anthony. Thank you for the opportunity to comment. I did have a couple questions on the previous topics. I don’t know if it’s appropriate or if you’d like me just to address the topic that you’re on.
Randy Brawley: Absolutely. Feel free to comment on any topic. We’re a little ahead of time.
Sandra Sonosa: Okay. The initial section 3 in the circular, current records requirement process for state declaration requests, you mention in there regards to a pilot program to be established, and I had a question on has that plan been established and how the pilot will roll out.
Randy Brawley: Okay, that’s a good question. This period - this solicitation period, consultation period we have right now is being used to inform that pilot program. We’re going to take these inputs and FEMA will develop a pilot program on how we will handle Stafford Act events in the future. We will try that out for any number of years as it matures and progresses until the final results and policies are established.
Sandra Sonosa: Is there an anticipated timeframe on when that will commence?
Randy Brawley: Nominally they were thinking that the pilot program should roll out in three to five months.
Sandra Sonosa: Okay.
JP Henderson: And just to add to that - this is (JP Henderson), the Regional Counsel - you know, for the pilot program as Randy stated, you know, we’re soliciting the comments now to inform that pilot program, and then that will be followed by a full rule making to change the regulations in Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations. That will come after the pilot program, and during that process, FEMA will publish a proposed rule that will be informed by the pilot program at which point they will engage in consultation again. Tribes will have an opportunity to comment on those regulations, and then a final rule will be promulgated. But that process is several years down the road. So this current consultation we’re working on is to provide, or get comments for the current pilot program we’re developing.
Sandra Sonosa: And then to tag along to that, the mechanism of communication for the roll-out to the tribes, or the request for comment, is that coming at the national level through the tribal liaison officers, or is that coming at the regional level? What - where can we anticipate that forum of communication to take place?
Randy Brawley: Are you asking about when we’ll be putting out the pilot guidance, or are you talking about how to submit the comments for the guidance?
Sandra Sonosa: No, the submission requirements are clear.
Randy Brawley: Okay.
Sandra Sonosa: The question I had...
Randy Brawley: Yes, you know, once the agency develops the pilot guidance program, we’ll have a full roll-out from you know, the national headquarters office. You know, we’ll pass that down to the regional office and we’ll be making sure that all the tribes are made well-informed of the pilot program, what the rules are going to be and when it will take effect once we receive that from our headquarters office.
Sandra Sonosa: Sorry to hog up the time, but the other question I had was in the same section. The statement in there that says the requirements of the governor to submit requests through the appropriate FEMA regional administrator is the thought process that that’ll be the same path for elected officials within the tribes, to go through the region for the declaration, or is it being considered that they have the opportunity to go directly to the President?
Randy Brawley: Well, that’s the internal FEMA process that we use for all declarations, so that would likely remain the same. You know, everyone submits the declaration requests to the President through FEMA, specifically through their regional administrators, so that FEMA can make a recommendation to the President about whether or not to declare the declaration. And that’s kind of what this whole process that we’re soliciting now is for, is you know, informing how FEMA will make those recommendations. Ultimately the decision on whether or not to declare is entirely within the President’s discretion.
Sandra Sonosa: Thank you.
Randy Brawley: Excellent, thank you very much for the questions and the discussion. We will now here an overview of Hazard Mitigation Assistance from (Sally Jankowski), Director Mitigation Division, then open it up for comments from tribal governments. Here is (Sally Jankowski).
Sally Jankowski: Thank you, Randy, and good afternoon, everyone. I’m here to speak about Hazard Mitigation Assistance, specifically mitigation assistance that’s available after a disaster through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The hazard mitigation grant program is assistance to state, tribal, and local governments, and certain private non-profit organizations for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risks to life and property from natural hazards. The Stafford Act allows the President to contribute up to 75% of the cost of hazard mitigation. The total mitigation funding for a disaster is based on a percentage up to 15% of the total obligation that is direct federal assistance for the disaster. I would like to reemphasize a briefing point that was spoken to a little earlier in our presentation, and that point is that if requesting the hazard mitigation grant program or permanent work under the public assistance program, the tribe must have a FEMA-approved or approvable mitigation plan within 30 days of the date of declaration.
FEMA welcomes your comments on whether 30 days is an appropriate amount of time for tribal governments to submit an approved or approvable tribal mitigation plan during the pilot program. FEMA also welcomes comments on whether there are circumstances that may prevent tribal governments from submitting a mitigation plan or a request for an extension within this time. With that, I will return it back to Randy Brawley for comments.
Randy Brawley: Thank you very much, (Sally). Operator, we will now open it up for comments, first from tribal executives. May we have those instructions again, please?
Telephone Operator: If you would like to make a comment or provide input please press star then one on your touchtone phone. One moment please to allow them time to queue up. And we do have some input from (Maurina Berry), Washoe tribe of Nevada and California.
Marie Barry: Actually it’s Marie Barry. Thank you for the opportunity to comment. On the Hazard Mitigation timeline, we’ve actually had our Hazard Mitigation Plan in place since 2006, and updated since then. I remember that at that time there was a push to tribal nations to have a hazard mitigation plan approved by FEMA prior to obtaining any direct funding under the Stafford Act during the declaration. I think it would - 30 days realistically if a tribe didn’t have a plan in place would be probably very hard to put in place, but I understand having you know, a timeline associated with that, and that there is an opportunity to get another 30 day extension.
Sally Jankowski: Marie, this is (Sally Jankowski), and thank you very much for that comment, and while you have said that your tribe does have an approved mitigation plan, the Washoe tribe of Nevada and California, the comment you make on behalf of others is one that we have heard from those who have gone through the process of preparing a plan, and the reason for our briefings and particularly to cite comments that we want to receive on whether or not this is realistic for a tribe to be able to put together a mitigation plan, if that planning process has not been started previously. So thank you for flagging that from your experience, and we appreciate your comment.
Randy Brawley: Now that we have heard some background on FEMA’s declaration process - oh, stand by. It looks like we may have a question.
Telephone Operator: We do, from David Hunkup with the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony.
David Hunkup: Hello, good afternoon. My name’s David Hunkup. I’m the emergency manager for Reno-Sparks Indian Colony. Reno-Sparks Indian Colony has an approved plan. It’s a regional plan with our local county here that our tribe and another tribe here in Washoe County got approved a couple years ago, and we have an annex in the Washoe County’s plan. It’s a tribal annex. It was approved by FEMA. We do have the letter of approval from FEMA, so I guess my question is kind of, I guess when we approve or when we submitted a declaration, emergency declaration from our tribal chairman, if we choose to go that route directly through FEMA through our chief executive which would be the tribal chairman or go through the state, it would still be a - there’s no differences that - with that, on that plan? I mean, it would still be - everything’s okay? I mean, I don’t see any difference, I guess.
Sally Jankowski: Thank you for that comment on the eligibility requirements for permanent work Public Assistance as well as Hazard Mitigation Grant Program prior to a disaster declaration. You are right. You have a plan. It is - it has been approved. I think it’s valid through the end of - almost the end of calendar year 2015, so if you have the plan in place and it’s approved, that should satisfy the requirements for eligibility for assistance. I’ll also see if there’s any comment from our colleagues in the recovery division as the declaration process was outlined previously, but if you have your plan, it is valid.
David Hunkup: Sounds great, and we do have an approved emergency operation plan that was approved in 2011 by our tribal council, and we do have a process for emergency declaration through our tribal chairman for an approved declaration, you know, for an emergency.
Randy Brawley: Thank you.
(Sally Jankowski): That’s wonderful. You sound well-prepared. Thank you.
Telephone Operator: And as a reminder, please press star one on your touchtone phone to make a comment or provide input.
Randy Brawley: Okay, again, we’ve heard some background on FEMA’s declaration process, disaster assistance, and the changes to the Stafford Act. We will now hear about the cost share criteria from (Terry Zuiderhoek), Director Recovery Division, and then open it up to comment from tribal governments. Here is (Terry Zuiderhoek).
Terry Zuiderhoek: Thank you. As previously discussed, most types of disasters provided under the Stafford Act have non-federal cost share requirements. The Stafford Act sets the cost share for the other needs assistance under the Individual Assistance program at 75% federal, and 25% non-federal. The Stafford Act sets the cost share for Public Assistance at not less than 75%. The Stafford Act allows the President to contribute up to 75% of the cost for Hazard Mitigation grant programs. The President may only adjust the non-federal cost share for public assistance. The discretion to adjust or waive the non-federal cost share rests solely with the U.S. President. FEMA regulations outline the criteria FEMA uses to recommend to the President whether an adjustment to the federal cost share is warranted. Currently FEMA will recommend to the President adjust - will recommend the President adjust the cost share from 75% to not more than 90% when federal obligations under the Stafford Act meet or exceed $133 per capita of the state population. This number is adjusted annually for inflation. In making this recommendation, FEMA may also consider the impact of major disaster declarations in the state during the previous 12 month period. FEMA is soliciting comments on whether the per capita threshold used for the states would be appropriate for evaluating whether to recommend a cost share for tribal declarations. FEMA also welcomes comments on what other factors may be appropriate for FEMA to consider when evaluating potential cost share adjustments for tribal declarations. Back to you, Randy.
Randy Brawley: Thank you very much, (Terry). Operator, we will now open it up for comments, first from tribal executives, and Operator, may we have those instructions again, please?
Telephone Operator: If you would like to make a comment or provide input, please press star then one on your touchtone phone. One moment please to allow them to queue up.
Randy Brawley: All right. Now that we have heard some background on FEMA’s individual assistance, public assistance, cost share, and the change to the Stafford Act, we will now move - excuse me, we’ll move to part of the agenda where we want to hear from you in an open forum. This is where we ask tribal presidents, governors, chiefs, chairs, or other executive members to hear their voices, input, and concern. Operator, we’ll now open it up for comments, first from some tribal executives. Will you please read the instructions one last time?
Telephone Operator: Thank you, sir. If you would like to make a comment or provide input, please press star then one on your touchtone phone. And we’ll pause for a few moments to give everyone a chance to signal. And again, that is star one for any comments or input.
Randy Brawley: And throughout the call we’ve emphasized that in the queues we were going to prioritize tribal executives, but anyone on the call is free to make any comments or questions they may have.
Telephone Operator: And again, that is star one to signal in. And we will take a comment or input from Arlan Melendez, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony.
Arlan Melendez: Yes, good afternoon. I just want to thank you for setting up this call. It was very informational to myself, and I know Mr. Hunkup who represents Reno-Sparks Indian Colony has already spoken, and he’s heading up our emergency management for our tribe here, but I just wanted to just commend you for giving us the opportunity to listen and provide some input, so thank you very much.
Randy Brawley: You’re welcome, and I’d like to thank everybody for calling in and joining today.
Woman: Do we have any more?
Randy Brawley: Okay, again, thank you, and thanks - thank you to everybody for calling in today and providing comments. I would like to conclude this FEMA tribal consultation engagement conference call and turn it over to our Deputy Regional Administrator, (Karen Arms), for final remarks. Here is (Karen Arms).
Karen Arms: Thank you, Randy. The transcript of this call will be posted on www.fema.gov/tribal-consultation in the next few days. The consultation site also will include important background information on disaster declarations and disaster assistance, so I would encourage you to look at that site. Again, I want to thank you for your time today. We look forward to advancing FEMA’s relationship with tribal leaders, emergency managers, and disaster recovery subject matter experts. With that, I’ll turn it over to our tribal liaison, Tessa.
Tessa Badua-Larsen: Thank you, (Karen). Again the deadline to provide your input on the implementation of tribal declarations is April 22nd, 2013. You may submit your written comments through the following venues. Online venues are the federal register notice, through FEMA’s online collaboration site, and an email box, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another venue is through the postal mailing by sending it through U.S. Post Office at Regulatory Affairs Division, Office of Chief Council, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Room 835, 500 C Street SW, Washington, D.C., 20472-3100. If you need additional information, please give myself a call at 510-627-7185, or Heather Duschell at 510-627-7052. Again, thank you for participating today. Back to you, Operator.
Telephone Operator: This does conclude today’s conference call. Thank you for your participation. You may disconnect your lines at this time.