Disaster Assistance information & Resources

DisasterAssistance.gov Tribal Informational Materials, May 2011

DisasterAssistance.gov Tribal PSA Scripts May 2011

photos of flooding at Crow Reservation Montana, May 2011 (courtesy of Billings Gazette)

additional Montana flooding photos May 2011 (courtesy of Billings Gazette)

 from Bill Wiley, National All-Hazards Emergency Mgr., US Dept of Interior:

In several incidents, assistance for Tribes has been delayed due to the Tribes’ not having expedited Tribal Emergency and/or Disaster Declarations.


I know of no down-side to the Tribes declaring their emergencies/disasters, by whatever criteria they chose to apply (although harmonizing with their State’s criteria would be best).


Expediting Tribal Declarations, and requests to the States and FEMA for assistance and PDDs, will go a long way to facilitate expeditious responses from the States and FEMA, and Presidential Disaster Declarations (PDDs). 


Don’t forget also, a direct request from a Tribe (with a copy of the Tribal Declaration) for a “Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) Disaster Declaration, can expedite such a declaration and provision of many types of USDA assistance[Human and Livestock commodities, etc.], even if a PDD is never signed under the Stafford Act.


It’s hard to remember all such paperwork in the middle of an emergency, so having Templates ready, and checklists of such needed actions, can be invaluable (e.g. Requests to other agencies, IHS, I-RECC, SAMHSA [for counseling services for tribal members and emergency workers], Non-Governmental Organizations [NGOs: Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Amateur Radio (Ham) Groups, etc.] and ‘Faith Based NGOs: Salvation Army, and local denominational church disaster relief organizations, etc.).


See Example of a Letter from a Tribe to the Corps requesting assistance (see below).


See EXAMPLE attachment of letter from a State to Corps requesting assistance for a Tribe.


 And last but not least…  Remember that there are Tribal Incident Management Assistance Teams (T-IMAT) available to come to a reservation and assist any Tribe nationwide in managing an incident.  Incidents that only have one Incident Management Team, staffed/trained ‘single deep’, with few ‘Alternates’ to their Command and General Staff positions, should consider bringing in Regional or National Tribal I-MAT teams to staff their Incident Command Posts (ICP) on rotating 12 hour ‘Operational Periods’, and/or every two weeks in long incidents, as is done in Wildland Fire incidents.   It has been shown that one team, working 12-18 hour days for more than two weeks, is neither effective, nor safe.   Using two teams, 12 hours each, if you need 24 hour operations, or at least bringing in a replacement team after two weeks, has been found most effective.  Bringing in one or more T-IMAT Overhead Team Members to ‘stand behind’ Tribal Incident Commanders and/or their Command and General Staff Chiefs, and advise/assist, is also productive for Incident Command Teams that have not had as much experience in incident management.  If a PDD or State Disaster Declaration has been signed, FEMA or your State may be able to pay for these services.  Contact your FEMA and/or State Tribal Liaison Officer for details.  For additional information regarding the provision of all or part of an ICS Overhead T-IMAT team, contact Terry Bohl, 775-284-3290, Nevada Indian Health Board, Emergency Management & H. S. Director, or Chuck Kmet, Tohono O’odam T-IMAT Team,(520) 383-8860, Cell-Contact: 520-419-7663.  




PS:  The attached are Flood Fight info documents that have been requested by several offices...



REMINDER:   Be sure you have someone experienced in keeping State and FEMA Cost Accounting Records assigned to your incidents so you can better assure and expedite cost recovery.

Recommendations for Tribal Emergency Management 4-11.doc

Request for Assistance - Example Crow Agency
Public Assistance Available

Flood Fight information
Emergency Sandbag Contacts
Flood Fighting Info -Sand Bag Ordering.doc
Flood_Fighting_How_To_Use_Sandbags - USACE-ARMY.PDF
Sandbag Dike Construction - MB-CA.PDF