Navajo Nation finalizes disaster declaration agreement with FEMA

navajo nation
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and FEMA Region 9 Administrator Robert J. Fenton sign the FEMA-Tribe Agreement at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz. on June 10, 2019. [Photo courtesy Navajo Nation]

WINDOW ROCK – This week, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Federal Emergency Management Agency Region Administrator Robert Fenton, signed a FEMA-Tribe Agreement in Window Rock on Monday, between the Navajo Nation and
FEMA as part of the Nation’s effort to secure the reimbursement of emergency
funds expended in the month of February due to severe snowstorms that impacted many Navajo communities.

On May 21, President Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer were informed by FEMA that President Donald J. Trump granted the Major Disaster Declaration for the Navajo Nation, which requires the signing of the agreement that includes various provisions to guide the reimbursement process in accordance with the
Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

“Vice President Lizer and I are very thankful to all of the Navajo Nation Department of Emergency Management, divisions and programs, chapters, Council members, our congressional delegation, volunteers, and many others who were proactive and worked together to collect and document the funds and resources that were used during the emergency. As you know, we devoted many of our resources to helping the elderly people in remote areas – much of which was conducted by the Nation’s Community Health Representatives under the Division of Social Work,” stated President Nez.


On Feb. 19, President Nez signed an emergency declaration for the Navajo Nation based on forecasted storms that eventually brought significant snowfall to many Navajo communities.

Throughout the emergency response efforts, President Nez and Vice President Lizer held numerous meetings and used Public Service Announcements, social media, and other resources to continuously remind chapters, divisions, and others to document all expenses.

On March 5, Vice President Lizer personally delivered a letter to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence stating, “We respectfully ask for support from the Trump-Pence Administration to assist the Navajo Nation to secure reimbursements for financial resources used during this period. To that end, the Trump-Pence Administration is kindly asked to concur with the Navajo Nation’s declaration of emergency to facilitate the reimbursement process.”

“This was truly a collaborative effort and it’s due to the proactive approach that was taken to declare an emergency, to keep the public and employees informed, and to constantly tell our staff to account for all expenses incurred during the emergency period,” Vice President Lizer said.

President Nez also requested that the Navajo Nation Council allocate funds for an existing budget line item for disaster relief under the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety during the upcoming fiscal year 2020 budget session.


  1. Keep a Eagle on that money and ck all and every reimbursment
    I thought the story was they couldnt get stuff done because of the snow Now the story is they did get it done and want extra money back because they fixed what was needed. !!
    Maybe they can use some of that money to Stop the Drugs from coming on the Res instead of bringing more drugs on to the res.
    Also its the younger ones that suppose to take care of elderly
    Wonder if you go out there how many cords of wood will be stacked up for these elderly next yr when the snow comes
    Wonder if any roads by next yr snow falls if they are fixed ?
    And the buses have snow chains at ready ??
    Yea whos gonna ck,, next big snow fall if all is better, Wonder if the poor elderly know this money is for Them ? How much will trickle down to them ?
    Wonder if the Tribal leaders will Really be prepared for next big snow season. Ha not
    So will we see gravel being put down on the roads now ? Buses being fixed now
    No more hand outs.. till we know every single child and elderly are ok this winter

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