Emergency Preparedness and Response for Native American Cultural Resources
In recent years, emergency preparedness has become an increasingly important focus for historic sites and cultural institutions alike. The number of information resources, planning tools, and model practices has been increasing. But some tribal cultural organizations and heritage caretakers still lack access to the resources and relationships that would help them become well prepared for any emergency.
Getting Ready in Indian Country is an invitation to consider emergency preparedness specifically for Native American interests. Developed with support from the National Park Service and the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance of the Department of the Interior, this new initiative is intended to advance emergency preparedness, stimulate discussion, and inspire new projects for the care and protection of tribal heritage.
It has three parts:
- A brief report offers a national overview of the issues and suggests ways to better protect tribal cultural heritage from disasters. The recommendations cover funding, capacity-building, outreach, research needs, and relationships with emergency management agencies.
- The online inventory of disaster resources for cultural heritage provides access to a wide variety of materials on the protection of cultural heritage, emergency management practice and policies, and tribal programs.
- Preparedness discussion questions for tribal archives, museums, libraries, and culture centers are designed to spark conversations on getting ready for emergencies. The six basic questions can be used at tribal gatherings, workshops, or staff meetings.
The primary audiences for Getting Ready in Indian Country are the Native Americans who are the stewards of their peoples’ heritage and the non-native cultural community, public safety officials, and agencies that provide services and funding for tribal projects.
Getting Ready in Indian Country is a project originally developed by Heritage Preservation, Inc., on behalf of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, with a grant from the National Park Service and with support and guidance from the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, U.S. Department of the Interior.
The 2010 report "Getting Ready in Indian Country" provided a national overview of many of the issues encountered by Native American cultural heritage institutions in the face of natural disasters and other emergencies.