241363 Resource allocation and technical support for emergency preparedness in Native American tribes

Monday, October 31, 2011

Jesse C. Bliss, MPH , School of Public Health, Office of Public Health Practice, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Manjit Singh Randhawa, MD , School of Public Health, Office of Public Health Practice, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Rachel Long, MPH , School of Public Health, Office of Public Health Practice, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Atif Adam, MPH , School of Public Health, Loma Linda Univeristy, Loma Linda, CA
Friedrich Dengel, MPH , Centre for Health Stewardship, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Walleska I. Bliss, MPH, MSW(c) , School of Public Health, Center for Public Health Preparedness, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Semran Kaur Mann, MPH, CHES , School of Public Health, Office of Public Health Practice, Loma Linda Univeristy, Loma Linda, CA
Objectives: The purpose of this study is to assess the level of emergency preparedness among Native American tribes, identifying achievements and gaps concerning access to funding and resources. Background: Few Native American tribes access the emergency preparedness funds available under the Homeland Security Act of 2002. This has a significant impact on the ability of the tribes to protect their communities' health in the time of a disaster. Methods: The survey, developed in collaboration with the Native American Environmental Protection Coalition (NAEPC), was offered to the 102 federally recognized tribes of California listed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) from October to December 2010. Results: Forty percent of the California tribes were represented in the survey. An alarming 91% indicated that they were less than adequately prepared to respond to an emergency and 41% currently do not have any emergency preparedness funds. Most emergency preparedness resources are available only through non-tribal sources. While only 9% of the tribes represented have partnerships with local colleges and universities, more than 80% are interested in developing such relationships for the purposes of training and grant writing. Conclusion: This groundbreaking study provides one of the first systematic assessments of the vulnerability of Native American communities to disasters. The analysis identified several key recommendations to increase emergency preparedness: the formation of grant writing teams, increased awareness of free training courses, formation of tribal coalitions and mutual aid agreements with local communities, and partnerships with academic institutions and emergency management agencies.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Among federally recognized Native American tribes of California: 1. Determine current levels of emergency preparedness 2. Evaluate the funding mechanisms for emergency preparedness, including the rates of compliance to federal/state funding regulations 3. Analyze emergency preparedness resources availability 4. Describe plans for future preparedness efforts

Keywords: Native Americans, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present this research because I oversaw the development and implementation of the project. I am the Tribal Liaison and a Program Manager for the Office of Public Health Practice at Loma Linda University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.