WASHINGTON -- After historic snowstorms and flooding in local Navajo communities that occurred in February, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), along with U.S. Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján, and U.S. Representatives Deb Haaland and Xochitl Torres-Small, lauded the decision to grant the request for a Major Disaster Declaration for the Navajo Nation.
This declaration will trigger the release of federal funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designed to help weather-affected communities mitigate disaster recovery assistance.
On May 1, the New Mexico delegation sent a letter to the Administration requesting that prompt action be taken on Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez’ request for the declaration.
“The recent, historic snowstorms and flooding left many in the Navajo Nation with a lack of access to food, water, heating, and medical treatment,”said the delegation. “In times of need, our Native communities deserve federal attention and protection of critical resources that ensure the continuation of their way of life. We’re pleased our call for federal assistance was promptly answered to help the Navajo Nation recover and rebuild.”
Read the full letter HERE.
Affected Navajo Communities will now have access to FEMA Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation programs. The Public Assistance program helps with emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. The Hazard Mitigation program aids with actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards.
More information on how tribal governments can apply for FEMA assistance is available HERE.