Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Thu, Aug. 13

Navajo Emergency Operation Center conducts aerial assessments

<i>Courtesy photo</i><br>
Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. climbs back into a helicopter during an aerial assessment of the Fort Defiance Plateau on Sunday. Assessments were conducted throughout the Navajo Nation following last week's record snowstorms.

<i>Courtesy photo</i><br> Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. climbs back into a helicopter during an aerial assessment of the Fort Defiance Plateau on Sunday. Assessments were conducted throughout the Navajo Nation following last week's record snowstorms.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., and Emergency Operation Center Incident Commander Johnny Johnson made an aerial assessment of part of the Navajo Reservation affected by the recent winter storms. Clear skies allowed for the assessment over Crystal, Wheatfield, Black Mesa, Leupp and New Mexico communities on Sunday.

The Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Incident Command is calling for cooperation and coordination with counties and chapter governments to avoid duplication of efforts to assist high risk residents of the Navajo Nation. The priority is to have access to high risk individuals and to keep main roads clear.

The EOC is also concerned with school district activities that continue for the week during the inclement weather. Deep snow and muddy roads may hamper school bus operations.

This includes concern with getting students to the roads from areas that are snowed in.

Chapter governments are encouraged to continue assisting the communities using emergency funds. Regulations encumbering emergency funds were relaxed by tribal officials as the Incident Command System was activated on Jan. 21. Chapter and grazing officials are also expected to assist Community Health Representatives with assessments. Community members are encouraged to work with their respective chapter when requesting assistance. Chapter governments have been alerted to keep chapter houses open during the weather emergency.

Necessary travel to and from remote locations is advised for the early morning hours with return trips late in the evening when the ground freezes over. Travelers are advised not to travel alone, and to be sure and carry safety and survival equipment such as shovel, tire chains, extra winter clothing, winter shoes, blanket, flashlights with extra batteries, a battery operated radio, cell phones with power supply, extra cell phone, matches, and emergency phone numbers.

The Navajo Emergency Operation Center is open and in full operation. The phone number is (928) 871- 6883, 871-6918 and 871-7083.

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