FEMA Hazard Mitigation Planning
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA works in a Regional office framework with each state’s program administered by one of the regional offices. Counties work with their state. Tribes have historically been administered through the State’s Homeland Security office before going to the FEMA Regional Office.
Tribes witnessed a change in 2012 as a bill was passed in Congress, and signed by President Obama, to allow tribes to work directly with FEMA’s regional offices. This arrangement includes the ability of a Tribal Chairman to formally declare a disaster from a hazard event, without going through the state’s Governor’s office first. In terms of tribal sovereignty, this represents a significant improvement in tribal-federal relations. It does not mean the tribes will work with FEMA and other federal agencies in isolation from the counties or states, but it does mean that tribes are no longer considered to be “equivalent jurisdictions” with counties.
Hazard Mitigation Planning
Kamiak Environmental has prepared several Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plans with Counties, and Tribal Hazard Mitigation Plans with Tribes. Each plan was completed on time, and with approval of the state, and FEMA, the adoption of the County Commissioners and Mayors of incorporated cities, or by the Tribal Council as applicable.
The plans we prepare become detailed documents of resources at risk, vectors of risk, and probability of loss. We document information about past hazards and potentials for future hazards with cost exposure and potential loss of life documented. More important, we create potential mitigation measures within four categories of projects to reduce the chances of loss of life or damage to property.
At the conclusion of the project we implement with the jurisdiction, we provide GIS data, maps, tabular data, and the word processing documents used in the execution of the planning process. These documents are often viewed as important collections of information about the Tribe or County and held for long periods after the plan’s implementation has started.