• Vincent B. Davis, CEM®


    Emergency Management Consultant, Author

  • Hurricane Harvey Recovery

    What every homeowner needs to know.


    Preparing for Recovery

    Hurricane Harvey - The Coming Feeding Frenzy

    When Hurricane Harvey fizzles out, a second disaster just as devastating is poised to strike. This time it's not going to be high winds, rain, and flooding, but a human-caused disaster of potentially epic proportions. At this very moment, as hurricane Harvey is still wreaking havoc, swarms of opportunists are preparing to pounce on Houston and Southern Texas. Flood remediation companies are loading fans and dehumidifiers into tractor trailers, contractors are stocking up on plywood and roof tarps, public adjusters are hiring salesmen, debris clean-up crews and content cleaning companies are mobilizing, real estate investors are searching for bargain properties, and all of them are anxiously waiting for the first responders to leave and the skies to clear. These types of businesses make hundreds of millions of dollars from disasters each year and a hurricane of this size will be a financial feeding frenzy for years to come.


    So, what can emergency managers and recovery stakeholders do? First, they need to know that victimization of their residents is going to happen in masse if something isn't done quickly to educate individuals and families on the recovery process. Otherwise all the planning for community resiliency will fail and thousands of families will become homeless or have to move away and start over. Second, most disaster survivors are only a signature away from becoming victimized financially. They need to know that the compulsion to act quickly can be their biggest enemy. Survivors should be told not be hasty to sign contracts with anyone until they have a chance to get sound advice and thoroughly check into the company or service provider offering services.

    Residents Caught in the Crosshairs

    You Survived - Don't Become a Victim Now

    Residents who are desperate to have their homes restored will be easy targets of fraud, high pressure sales tactics, price gouging, misinformation, insurance claim denials, lowballing of claims, and a host of other problems if they aren't made aware of what's coming and how to navigate the days, weeks, and months ahead. Once the response phase is over and the waters recede, residents will be left to fend for themselves and most will be vulnerable, confused, and unprepared to handle the challenges they will be forced to face. Given the scope of the flood damage alone, most homeowners are likely to be uninsured, which means any costs to dry out or repair the damages will likely be an out-of-pocket expense. People with limited financial means or those who can't afford to pay for repairs, may have to do the repair work themselves. However, if the damages aren't repaired quickly and properly, mold contamination will set in, which will make countless homes contaminated and unlivable. If people can't afford to repair their homes, pay for their mortgage, and rent to live somewhere else while they try to rebuild, foreclose will be looming on the horizon. Mortgage companies are known to force people into foreclosure after disasters as what happened in Bastrop, Texas after the 2011 wildfires and in Moore, Oklahoma in 2013 after an EF-5 tornado struck. Click here to read the story: https://newrepublic.com/article/113496/moore-oklahoma-tornado-victims-strong-armed-mortgage-servicers


    Those who do have insurance may think they will be covered, but that isn't a guarantee either as some insurance companies will inevitably try to wiggle their way out of paying what is owed. After Hurricane Katrina and Sandy, some insurance companies got caught cheating their insureds by denying legitimate claims as reported on ABC's 20/20. Click here to view the video report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVtUBh8L9aU



    Hard Lessons Learned

    Past Disasters Should Help Texans Avoid The Pitfalls

    To this day there are scores of vacant lots and abandoned homes in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and many other areas that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina and Sandy. There are even vast numbers of vacant lots in Texas and California that haven't been rebuilt since wildfires and tornadoes struck as far back as 2003. What few people realize is that many of the homes that have been rebuilt are now occupied by new residents who bought these homes as a result of bank foreclosures, where the previous owners couldn't rebuild and had to start their lives over somewhere else.


    Will Houston and other cities in Southern Texas end up like New Orleans? If those affected aren't given the tools and knowledge they need to recover, then the answer is most likely yes. This is why I wrote The Red Guide to Recovery - Resource Handbook for Disaster Survivors, so people would be able to have the information they need to navigate the recovery process and avoid the many pitfalls that present themselves in post-disaster scenarios. If you would like more information on The Red Guide to Recovery or how we can provide quantities for your community, please reach out to us at info@TheRedGuideToRecovery.com.


    If you'd like to be better prepared for recovery, get your copy of

    The Red Guide to Recovery today at the link below.


    For information on how we can customize The Red Guide to Recovery for your community: http://www.theredguidetorecovery.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/TRG_CustomizationOptionsSheet-1-27-2015.pdf

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  • About Vince Davis

    I pursue passions not paychecks

    When Profession Meets Passion

    My Personal Journey As An Emergency Manager

    The photo above is of two little girls. They could be any girls, a teen and a toddler having a moment in the sunshine. But these two girls have a special meaning and purpose that is both personal and professional. A colleague of mine recently posted a message that I feel encompasses the meaning behind the photo, when he said; "There are three things you cannot recover in life: the word after it is said, the moment after it is missed, and the time after it is gone.


    The girls in the photo are Ella (the little one) and Taylor. They are two of my seven grandchildren, and like most proud grandparents they are each the light of my life. Seventeen years ago Taylor was born, the first child of my second youngest daughter Eraina. She was normal birth weight, full term, and seemingly healthy in every way. Sometime in the first 24 hours after her birth, we received news from doctors that Taylor was deaf. After many tests it was determined the cause of her deafness was neurological, not physical.


    During her first few months of life it quickly became apparent Taylor was also developmentally disabled. She was unable to crawl, flip herself over, or stand on her own power by her first birthday. At the time, I was just beginning a career transition after 28-years in telecommunications into emergency management. Sandwiched between a 23-year military career in the National Guard, I found myself at the crossroads of a mid-life re-invention, wondering what I would do next after having spent the bulk of my working life in an industry that was on the decline.


    Eventually, Taylor would rally physically, but a later diagnosis of Autism would further complicate her life, and that of my daughter Eraina, a single mom trying to finish her undergraduate studies. Taylor would also become a rallying point for our family, the center of our focus and concern with each triumph and every setback taking us on a roller coaster of emotions.


    My new emergency management career would bring me face-to-face with many disasters including hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Ivan, a devastating tornado in Utica Illinois, and other scenes of enormous loss and suffering. Little did I know at the time I had embarked on the journey that would become my passion.


    As I carved out a livelihood with stints at FEMA, the American Red Cross, and other companies and organizations, I’ve encountered many devoted practitioners. Some people chose this field because it offered adventure, others out of a sincere desire to help people, and still others who saw the opportunity to make a good living. For me, the purpose became increasingly clear……..Taylor.


    As Eraina and Taylor moved from the Midwest to New England, I continued my vocation, honing my skills, learning lessons, helping disaster survivors, and witnessing first-hand, the many challenges people face, especially those with access and functional needs.


    Three cities, eight years, two masters degrees, and a ton of challenges later, Taylor and mom came out on the other side. They now reside in Dallas, with a new husband and father, (who is also an emergency manager), a new baby (Brooklyn), and a powerful testimony that only those who have battled on the front lines with physical and cognitive challenges could have.


    There are times when each of us wonders why we do what we do for a living. Many people experience a deeper and sometimes nagging yearning to understand their real purpose for being on the planet.


    Those who know me best would probably say I'm a preparedness nut, that guy who can hold you a conversation for hours about why it is important to know and understand how to survive an emergency or disaster. That guy who spends his every waking hour talking, thinking and preaching preparedness to anyone who will listen. That guy who wrote a book (Lost and Turned Out) and started an organization with no money or plan, merely a passion for helping the underserved prepare for disasters.


    The truth is that somewhere between my work and my concern for Taylor Gabrielle Davis and people like her who struggle to cope, I found my purpose.....helping the underserved.


    Over the past 16 years I've been blessed to meet and collaborate with scores of caring, compassionate individuals. So when people ask me why I do what I do, it’s an easy answer. There are thousands of Taylors out there who have parents, grandparents, and others who love them dearly and want the best for them. More importantly I understand the devastation and heartache of disasters and the trauma they cause, having learned lessons from the front row seat which I’ve been so blessed to occupy as an emergency manager.


    Thank God for Taylor, because without her I may never have found my purpose; to help all people, especially children learn what they should do to help themselves in an emergency. To survive and gain the confidence that comes only from understanding, not fear children must be taught to live prepared. They are not born with this ability, but like Taylor, if given the right tools and teaching, they can learn and thrive.


    So if your profession hasn’t met your purpose, please meet Taylor and Ella and my other beautiful grandkids Charlyce, Raven, Shaun, Jonathan and (baby) Brooklyn. They are my purpose and my profession. What’s yours?

    (Left to Right) Raven, Shaun, Jonathan & Charlyce

    - My Beautiful Grandchildren

  • Skills

    Things I've picked up over the years

    Emergency Management

    Disaster planning, training & exercises, logistics, resource management, public-private partnerships

    Crisis Management

    Executive & senior leadership training, emergency operations, strategic planning

    Community Relations

    Volunteer management, employee preparedness, CERT instruction, community and faith-based workshops


    Public Information Officer, crisis media, press and public service announcements, internal communications, briefings, and situational awareness

    Business Continuity

    BIA preparation, gap analysis, risk assessment, planning, exercise design, program management, COOP site, devolution planning

    Program Management

    Manage existing or create new programs. Develop sustainable projects, metrics and process improvements

  • Experience Matters

    My 35-years experience in military, government, non-government, disaster relief, consulting, and corporate planning provides a breadth of expertise in all areas of crisis management and business continuity to help ensure your organization's resilience.

    Sony Interactive Entertainment

    San Diego, CA

    • Developed emergency preparedness plans and crisis management programs for company's North America corporate centers, offices, and satellite locations. 
    • Provided training and oversight of corporate volunteer teams, security staff, and Global Command Center personnel. 
    • Established public-private partnerships with public safety providers
    • Facilitated employee awareness events and programs.
    • Developed and managed emergency notification process.

    Walgreens Co.

    Deerfield, IL

    • Established and facilitated emergency preparedness and response programs. 
    • Managed and coordinated emergency response operations for company's 8,000 + stores, distribution centers and corporate offices nationwide during major disasters including Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy, G8 Summit, Moore Ok Tornado, and Boston Marathon bombing. 
    • Coordinated business continuity planning, BIA, and implementation for multiple business units.

    Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC)


    • Served as lead project manager for development and delivery of regional disaster plan for FEMA Regional Catastrophic Planning Team. 
    • Coordinated participation of 16 counties, City of Chicago, and state stakeholders for capabilities assessment and analysis of planning constructs.
    • Ensured planning construct compliance with Homeland Security National Incident Management directives.

    American Red Cross of Greater Chicago

    Chicago, IL

    • Managed regional chapter capacity building initiatives for shelter and mass care programs. 
    • Led 17-member advisory panel to develop research for Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) Go to 2040 Plan. 
    • Prepared and delivered Regional Preparedness Report outlining disaster planning issues and recommendations for programs, policy and improvements.
    • Served as primary liaison to Regional Catastrophic Planning Team.

    Save-A-Live Foundation

    Chicago, IL

    • Managed operations for national nonprofit providing CPR and first aid training for K-12 school children. 
    • Provided program oversight, instructor supervision and coordination with participating partners.
    • Assisted organization leadership with strategy, operational efficiencies and public relations. 

    Federal Emergency Management Agency

    Chicago, IL

    A founding member of the Department of Homeland Security

    • Managed and trained cadre of field community relations teams responding to 11 Presidential declared disasters. 
    • Provided oversight and coordination of agency programs for Office of The Regional Administrator. 
    • Served as lead community relations official for Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan. 
    • Led FEMA HQ task force coordination for training and deployment of Citizen Corps and federal agency volunteers during Gulf region hurricanes.
  • Testimonials

    What Vince's Peers Say

    Dr. Jacqueline McBride, CEM, CPM, CVA, CDRCC - National Harbor, MD

    President - International Network of Women In Emergency Management

    Vince is a highly motivated, caring, and action-oriented person; who will deliver excellence in any endeavor he embraces. His passion and documented works for the underserved disaster survivors is a testimony of his leadership.

    Also, Vince encourages, mentors, and provides opportunities for all staff, based on the content of their character and their expertise. As a leader, I would welcome the opportunity to serve under his leadership because he advocates a team spirit.

    To emergency management leaders, who embrace diversity, Vince would be a welcomed person to serve with, for, or in any homeland security and emergency management organization.

    Allison Youngblood - Chicago, IL

    Consultant Owner ASY Enterprises, LLC

    Vince was at the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago when we worked together to develop the Regional Emergency Preparedness Report to be included in the “Go to 2040 Plan” of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). Vince is extremely knowledgeable in the field of emergency management, tenacious at following up on details, and tactful in communicating with others. I would gladly work with Vince again.

    Sean M. Scott - San Diego, CA

    Author - The Red Guide To Disaster Recovery

    Vince is a visionary and thought leader in the world of emergency management, disaster preparedness, and resiliency strategies. Having been involved in both public and private sectors, Vince wrote the book on lessons learned and clearly understands what works and what doesn't. His passion for underserved communities is evident by his tireless contributions of his time, talents, and treasures he shares with those who can't fend for themselves and are most vulnerable to disasters.

    Vince is one of those rare people you meet in life that have a God given anointing and message that impacts everyone around them.

  • Projects

    These are just a few of our current projects

    The Native Family Disaster Preparedness Handbook

    Click image to order now or link to the Handbook page below

    The handbook was created as a collaboration between Preparedness Matters and the National Tribal Emergency Management Council. It contains culturally relevant information to prepare Tribal families and communities for disasters and emergencies. It provides information about risks, the Tribal disaster system, why native families should prepare, a family plan template, emergency communication resources, recovery information, and hazard-specific quick reference tips for what to do before, during, and after an incident. The 66-page full color handbook is available with special pricing for bulk purchases for tribes, stakeholders, and sponsors. Learn more about how to obtain the handbook at http://www.thenativefamilydisasterhandbook.com


    PrepBiz - Using Technology To "Change The Game" in Children's Emergency Preparedness

    In statistics collected by The Entertainment Software Association for the year 2013, a reported 58% of Americans play video games and the average American household now owns at least one dedicated game console, PC or smartphone. Despite the trends, educational gaming lags behind, especially in the area of teaching children about disasters and emergencies. A revolutionary new trauma informed option, PrepBiz, is being developed by New Orleans based trauma expert and entrepreneur Kenneth Bibbins.


    Using game-based technology, PrepBiz teaches children appropriate responses to disasters and emergencies. We make it fun, non-violent, and challenging, so kids are less vulnerable when faced with real-life traumatic events. For more information visit the PrepBiz website at http://www.prepworld.org or call Kenneth Bibbins at 504-405-1580.

    Senior P.R.E.P Emergency Preparedness

    Preparing Resilient Emergency Partners

    We're teaming with Veteran's groups to provide emergency training and Veteran led preparedness teams for senior citizen's. The program will provide on site training workshops in underserved neighborhoods to show seniors how to shelter-in-place, and what to do in an emergency.


    A pilot program is being planned for late summer 2017 in Chicago.

    Our goal is to develop a cadre of trained Veterans to promote, facilitate and lead preparedness in public and private senior citizen communities.

    The Black Preparedness Project

    Why Black Families Need to Prepare

    The attitude toward preparedness among America’s black population remains nonchalant despite frequent disaster occurrences and rising death tolls that disproportionately affect their communities.


    According to several studies only 24% of African-American families say they are prepared for an emergency

    This despite the fact that:

    • 1, 836 people died in Hurricane Katrina, and more than 100,000 were displaced. 97% of the fatalities were African-Americans
    • 102,000 people were exposed to toxic water in Flint, Michigan, including over 9,000 children under age 6
    • Thousands of New York area residents were stranded in high-rise buildings for more than a week without food, running water, and electricity after Hurricane Sandy
    • Nine black church members were slain in an act of domestic terrorism in Charleston, SC

    Every day, black communities are most vulnerable to floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, mudslides, terror attacks and random violence. Preparedness Matters is working with several national organizations to "change the game" in emergency preparedness for African-American communities.

  • Featured Partners

    Our expert partners bring value to every client and community

    Click Here To Order The Hopper Series Today!

    Featured Partner

    Kenneth R. Bibbins - Author, Children's Trauma Expert

    On July 25, 2017 PrepBiz LLC, announced the release of Hopper’s Hurricane Adventure, the first in a series of unique children’s books aimed at preparing youth ages 5-9 for natural and human-caused disasters.


    The Adventures of Hopper series books were designed to familiarize children with disaster risks, help vulnerable youth to better cope and make informed decisions during real-life situations.


    Author Kenneth Bibbins, a clinical physiologist and entrepreneur, is CEO of PrepWorld, LLC, an educational technology company. He led the housing repatriation efforts providing services for thousands of New Orleans residents returning after Hurricane Katrina.


    Born and raised in New Orleans, Bibbins experienced first-hand, the trauma of children in disasters. As a child, he lived through the devastation of hurricanes Camille and Betsy.


    While overseeing the recovery efforts of displaced adults and children post hurricane Katrina Bibbins worked with key stakeholders and educators in assisting citizens who wanted to return to New Orleans post hurricane as the city worked toward rebuilding he saw first-hand how children struggled to make sense of what happened as they worked toward acclimating to the new --"new!"


    Disasters are calamitous, traumatic and customarily outside the scope of normal human experiences and likely to involve psychological and physical injury. Children are uniquely affected by disasters because they are afflicted not only by the trauma of the event but also by their parents fears and distress.


    Visit http://www.prepbiz.us for more information.

    Click Here To Order The Red Guide Today!

    Featured Partner

    Sean M. Scott - Author, Restoration Expert

    • Thirty-seven years in the Restoration & Recovery Industry
    • Author - The Red Guide To Disaster Recovery
    • CEO - Heritage Publishing & Communications
    • Former President - Champion Construction & Consulting
    • Co-Author The Native Family Disaster Preparedness Guide
    • Speaker, Lecturer, Recovery Expert

    The Red Guide To Disaster Recovery-Resource Handbook for Disaster Survivors is a roadmap for how people can avoid being victimized by the many unforeseen challenges and pitfalls that present themselves in the aftermath of disasters. The book is a must have for any homeowner, and is applicable to both major disasters and routine emergency situations.


    Written by recovery expert Sean Scott, who has worked for nearly four decades in the home restoration industry, you'll learn life saving and money saving tips that will help you become a survivor rather than a victim. Visit www.theredguidetorecovery.com for more information.

  • Faith Community Programs

    Resources for the Faith Community

    Faith Partner Workshops

    Free One Day Seminars

    • Demystifying the Disaster Process - What Every Faith Leader Needs to Know
    • Role of the Faith - Disaster Relief or Preparedness Partner?
    • Emergency Shelters - Do's and Don'ts
    • Managing Disaster Relief Donations - Are You Helping?
    • Active Shooter & Church Security
    • Terrorism Preparedness - Why Faith Centers Must Be Ready

    eFaith Place of Worship Program

    Preparing Your Worship Community

    • Your Business Continuity Plan

    • Spiritual Preparedness Guide for Christian Pastors

    • Three Steps To Ready Faith Partner: 

      • Prepare Facility & Staff

      • Prepare Members

      • Prepare Community

    After The Disaster

    Preparing for Recovery

    • Insurance - Are You Covered?

    • Risk Management

    • Contractor Scams

    • Understanding FEMA Reimbursement

    How To Help The Helpless - Setting Up a Disaster Ministry

    Underserved Survival

    • Elderly

    • Children

    • Disabled

    • Without Transportation

    • Below Poverty

    • Homebound

    • Technology Challenged

  • Buy Books

    Check out our latest publications.

  • The Blog

    Thoughts, musings, and ruminations.

  • Media

    The word around town


    LinkedIn is a great place to stay on top of the latest emergency management news. This is why we have selected 3 emergency management experts that you should start following today. If you know other people who deserve to be mentioned, feel free to share their names in the comment section! Posted July 16, 2017 on LinkedIn.

    Timothy Riecker, the Preparedness Jedi

    Tim has over twenty years of public safety and emergency management experience with local and state governments. He is now a partner and principal consultant with Emergency Preparedness Solutions. We highly recommend that you take a look at its blog ''Exploring Emergency Management & Homeland Security'', I'm sure you'll find several articles that will interest you.

    Jan Glarum, Private Consultant and Author

    Jan has over 40 years of experience in the fields of EMS, Fire, Law Enforcement, Hospital, Public Health, and Emergency Management, including response to federally declared disasters. As you can see, he has a LOT of experience in public safety. He recently launched a blog called ''A Better Emergency'' where you will find book reviews and articles on emergency management. As he says on his blog, he hopes ''to encourage conversation, stimulate the imagination, and engage the best minds in how to do emergencies better''. Very interesting...

    Vince Davis, Emergency Management Consultant, Author, Entrepreneur

    Vince is the owner of Preparedness Matters Disaster Consulting. He has an extensive experience in emergency management planning, training, crisis management, community relations, program management and development. Read his last article ''Defeating The Clown - How Do You Tackle Community Resilience?'', you'll want to read the others!


    Native Community Disaster Preparedness Leaps Forward with Publication of New Resilience Handbook Posted on  by Lifetime Chicago

    As in any community, a solid network of partnerships is needed to address the specific needs of its community members. Native American and Alaska Native populations span the nation, but face similar preparedness challenges. To address resilience gaps, a public-private sector collaborative approach was used to create a tool as a foundational document for community outreach by tribal stakeholders, as well as tribal emergency managers and others to train new staff.


    There are 567 federally recognized tribes, living on more than 300 reservations, representing 22% of the 6.6 million Native American and Alaska Native population. Many tribal families live in remote rural communities, where 68% of homes on tribal lands still lack access to broadband internet service, as of January 2016. This rate is lower than that of some developing countries. In contrast, more than half of African-Americans and Hispanics and about three-fourths of Caucasians have high-speed access at home in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. A 2012 report from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Office of Native Affairs and Policy noted, “Reservations of many Tribal Nations are located in rural areas with challenging terrain.” The FCC cited the badlands of the northern plains states and the mountainous forests of the Pacific Northwest as particularly challenging situations.

      Statistically Challenging Circumstances

    Because the vast majority of disaster preparedness material resides on the internet, this information is nearly impossible to obtain for many Indian Country families. For those born on reservations, the economic outlook can be especially challenging because Native American households earn only a little more than half as much as the average American ($37,227 compared to $53,657 for the nation as a whole). Approximately 28.3% of Native American and Alaska Natives are living below poverty and, without basic preparedness plans, these families are even more vulnerable to injuries and fatalities in a disaster. With the growing number of floods, wildfires, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural catastrophes, and the ever-present threats from man-made contamination of tribal lands, family preparedness has become an even greater challenge for survival in Native communities.

    To further exacerbate the preparedness dilemma, most tribal nations are in remote, rural communities with few response resources readily available. This increases the chances for delayed response in a major event, leaving families to care for themselves for extended periods without assistance. As many Native communities struggle to maintain a meager existence, the resilience gap continues to widen.

      Tribal Handbook – Closing the Resilience Gap

    To address the Native resilience gap, Preparedness Matters, a disaster preparedness consulting group specializing in underserved community preparedness, collaborated with key stakeholders in the tribal emergency management community and Native communications experts to develop a strategy and discuss ways to reach tribal families who have limited electronic media access. The challenge was not just to develop a tool, but to make it comprehensive and accessible to a wide audience of stakeholders. Working with Native Public Media, the nonprofit organization that coordinates training and support for the 59 radio and TV stations broadcasting in Indian Country, and the National Tribal Emergency Management Council (NTEMC), which represents 277 tribal emergency management groups in the Pacific Northwest, Preparedness Matters launched a project to develop the “Native Family Disaster Preparedness Handbook.”

    The publication was designed to consolidate the vast amount of preparedness information into a single resource guide that would be easy to digest, culturally relevant, and affordable for tribal residents. Additional collaborators with expertise in mitigation, disaster trauma, and tribal recovery were included to provide subject-matter expertise. The group set forth several goals for the design of the Handbook. The main objectives were to “demystify” the tribal disaster process by explaining the sometimes-complex procedures and nuances of tribal recovery, and to provide simple steps families could take to protect children, homes, livestock, and pets. The added challenge was how to get the Handbook to communities where daily survival is their main priority, and preparing for disasters poses a difficult task few are likely to undertake without help. To accomplish distribution of the handbook, the team developed an outreach strategy to reach key stakeholders in all sectors of the Native community, as well as non-Native partners and supporters.

    Sorting through a massive amount of disaster preparedness data presented its own challenges for the handbook project team. Initially, a book outline was created to keep the team on track, with a course of action that adhered to “less is more” when developing the chapter information. Throughout the process the team had to stay focused on the main goal, which was to keep the information culturally relevant, while providing a flexible tool that could be updated and customized by the user. To accomplish this, the spiral bound booklet has a convenient rear pocket that can be used to add information, and a tear-out family plan template to make it easy to copy or secure personal family plan data.

    Developing a Culture of Preparedness

    Major concerns for Indian Country families in disaster include the reunification of families, and the safety of displaced children. The Tribal Handbook team identified 17 categories of functional needs in Indian Country, and ways tribal stakeholders can address them, including but not limited to:

    • No 911 services
    • Limited or no internet access
    • No street addresses
    • No paved roads
    • Limited or no telephone access or service

    Because of these vulnerabilities, active participation in preparedness activities must become a way of life for Native communities, not an afterthought. This means creating a culture of empowerment and awareness, essential to bring about meaningful behavior and attitude changes, especially among those in greatest peril. Preparing to protect or minimize damage to vital agricultural resources is equally important to the economic recovery of post-disaster tribal communities. The loss of livelihood from damaged crops, wildlife, fishing, mineral mining, livestock, and other resources can have lasting effects on any community, especially one as dependent on these sources of income to support its people.

    In addition, protection of a Tribe’s sacred sites cannot be ignored, but rather must be integrated into all phases of the emergency planning process. If a disaster destroys a sacred site such as a burial ground or historical site, the impact on the Tribe can be devastating physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Spiritual connection to the land is a hallowed tradition – where Native ancestors lived and are buried, where the future generations will grow and prosper in the rich heritage and history of Native culture.


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