Indian Country consists of over 560 tribes in the United States and many of these tribes encounter different natural disasters. Tribes in California may face wildfires or earthquakes but in any state, it is important that individuals and communities be prepared for different situations, similar to how you would prepare for different seasons. Much of this is already ingrained in American Indian culture, and so is understanding how to survive based on your surrounding environment.
Yet it is still important to remember that preparedness is everyone’s responsibility. In 2007, the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians were hit hard by Southern California firestorms, with flames burning 94% of the reservation. In situations like these, it is important to know how to handle and prepare for evacuation in order to keep yourself, your family and your tribal community safe.
Preparedness starts at home, but you can get more involved by volunteering in the tribal community, knowing the tribes’ procedures and response plans, and refreshing your skills during monthly trainings. Is Your Tribe Ready? Prepare for Emergencies in Tribal Nations.