Here’s why the FEMA grant is so important to the Ottawa Indians of the Little River Band

MANISTEE COUNTY – Almost $ 300,000 in federal grants will help two tribes and seven counties in northern Michigan prepare for natural disasters.

Networks Northwest received pre-disaster mitigation grants totaling $ 296,937 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to a press release from Networks Northwest.

“The first prize is for the updated Tribal Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan for the Ottawa Grand Traverse Band and the Chippewa Indians, and for the updated plans for the Counties of Antrim, Benzie, from Kalkaska, from Leelanau, from Manistee, from Missaukee and from Wexford. release read. “The second prize is for the creation of a new plan for the Ottawa Indians of the Little River Band. During the project planning period (2021-2023), Networks Northwest’s community development team will work in partnership with each tribe and county to prepare one of nine tribal or multi-jurisdictional natural hazard mitigation plans.

Brandy Martin, incident commander for the Ottawa Little River Band Indian Tribal Emergency Response Team, said this grant is important because currently the tribe does not have its own plan. risk mitigation. According to Martin, the tribe adopted the Manistee County plan in 2007, but it expired in 2012 and they haven’t had one since.

She said that once the Tribe and Networks Northwest can have a plan filed with FEMA, they can specifically apply for funding for risk mitigation. She also said having a plan, which contains, for example, mentions of cultural sites, will allow them to apply for special funding for FEMA which is reserved for Native American tribes. Martin said that instead of having to compete with the county, they will only have to compete with other tribes in terms of funding risk mitigation for specific cultural sites.

“Risk mitigation planning reduces loss of life and property by minimizing the impact of natural disasters. The creation and updating of risk mitigation plans follows a defined process of identifying risks within the community, analyzing the risks posed by those risks, setting priorities to address them, and by choosing specific actions that will mitigate those risks, ”according to Networks Northwest. “Under the Disaster Mitigation Act (DMA), which amended the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1988, state and local governments are required to adopt a plan. State or Local Risk Mitigation (LHMP) approved by FEMA in order to qualify for federal risk mitigation project grants. Risk mitigation plans are valid for five years from the date FEMA approval. “

Networks Northwest said it began coordinating with the nine communities in July and will stop coordinating in December 2023 after final plans have been submitted to FEMA for approval and each local jurisdiction has had the opportunity. review and adopt the plan.

Feedback from residents and stakeholders will be gathered throughout the process.

“The public is encouraged to attend public engagement events which will be held to gather feedback and provide direction for the plan. Project events and updates for each plan will be posted periodically throughout the process on Networks Northwest’s website at, “the statement read.

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