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Emergency Preparedness Essentials
 

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Indian Country

There is no replacement for preparation when it comes to surviving and recovering from a disaster or emergency. There are several local and federal resources set up specifically to help Native Americans prepare for and recover from disasters. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Ageny, workds with tribal leaders and officieals to help Native American communities prepare for and recover from natural and man-made disasters.

Things To Consider

Native American Indians are just as susceptible as any other Americans to disasters and emergencys. In fact, as the large majority of American Indians live on tribal lands located far away from urban centers they are more susceptible in a few ways. American Indians, as individuals and communities, should consider the following as they make their readiness plans.
  • Communications: It's important to have a minimum of one wired land-line phone to ensure communication, as cellular phones and cordless phones may not work during some disasters.
  • Transportation: As many tribal lands and reservations are isolated or not easily accesible to public transporation it's important to make plans for secure transporation should a disaster strike.
  • Emergency Shelters and Food Sites: Make sure to check with trible leaders and/or emergency planners for your community in order to identify where emergency shelter and food supply is located as these sites my not be close by.
  • Elders: Make special emergency plans for the elderly. These individuals are likely to have several special needs during an emergency including medications, medical supplies, etc. If there are individuals in your tribe who rely on medical equipment make sure that alternative forms of backup power are available (i.e. generator) during an emergency.
  • Livestock: You should even make an emergency plan for your livestock. If a disaster is severe you may find the need to transport your livestock to a safer location.
Each tribal government should develop its own plan for emergencies or disasters. Ask your elected tribal leaders about the plan for your community. Additional sources for information include tribal law enforcement, tribal fire departments, emergency response services, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service clinics and hospitals.
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