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RICHMOND– The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) partnered Tuesday to discuss with the seven federally recognized Virginia tribal nation governments emergency preparedness and response capabilities. The 2019 Tribal Summit equipped representatives from the Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Monacan, Nansemond, Rappahannock, Upper Mattaponi and Pamunkey tribes with resources regarding emergency planning support, hazard mitigation, sheltering and mass care planning, disaster response and recovery in coordination with state and local governments, and guidance on applying for federal grants before and after a disaster.

“Seven Virginia tribes have been granted federal recognition, six of them with the passage of federal legislation that went into effect Jan. 29, 2018,” said Jeff Stern, VDEM’s State Coordinator of Emergency Management. “Our goal in hosting this summit was to provide insight, training and resources to the tribes, and to build the important relationships that are needed to prepare all Virginians for emergencies.”

Tribal leaders learned about available programs and funding that can help directly impact the safety and security of their citizens just in time for the peak of hurricane season. The available flooding mitigation, flood insurance, public and individual assistance programs made available through FEMA and administered by VDEM provide significant tools for tribal preparedness, response and recovery efforts.

“It was great to see the engagement of the federally recognized tribes within our regional area of operations come together to train and collaborate,” said MaryAnn Tierney, Regional Administrator, FEMA Region III. “This is an essential partnership to ensure that we prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters working together for the betterment of individuals and communities.”

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