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President Obama signs the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013

On January 29, President Obama signed the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013. A clear demonstration of the importance that Tribal Leadership and their governments are to our nation.

The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 amended the Stafford Act to allow federally recognized tribal governments the option to make a request directly to the President for a Federal emergency or disaster declarationor to seek assistance, as they do presently, under a declaration for a State.   This amendment allows FEMA to “meet the responsibilities that arise from the unique legal relationship between the Federal Government and Indian and Native Alaskan tribal governments” as directed by the President.

Fully implementing this historic provision will require consultation with Tribes and other stakeholders, particularly as FEMA develops the administrative and programmatic requirements and procedures necessary to execute the law.  Moving forward FEMA has published on the Federal Register Notice a request for comment for Tribes and Indian tribal governments, the organizations that represent them and all of our stakeholders regarding the disaster declarations process.

Link to the document: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr219/text

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