In the emergency management world, accurate, timely information is vital. Having that information results in better prepared communities and survivors who can recover more quickly when disaster strikes. That’s why FEMA’s Tribal Affairs team created a new, quickly accessible information resource to provide tribal emergency managers with important information about FEMA’s disaster assistance programs: a pocket guide for FEMA and Tribal Nations.
Embracing and considering the unique needs of all stakeholders is one of FEMA’s top priorities. This approach has improved the way we engage with our partners across the emergency management team and how we’re working to ensure that as a nation we’re becoming better prepared. Tribes are vital members of this team. They have unique needs to consider when developing and implementing policies that affect their tribal communities.
We created the pocket guide to make it easier for tribes to find out how they can work with FEMA. That could mean learning about federal grant programs, understanding how tribes could access disaster assistance after a Presidential disaster declaration or getting details on upcoming training opportunities. Despite its physical size, the pocket guide provides a great overview of the broad scope of emergency management and how tribes can tap into the available resources.
The pocket guide, by definition, is designed to be portable so that tribal emergency managers at all levels can keep a copy in their work bag, car or office. We’ve already seen the portability come in handy last week at the National Congress of American Indians Annual Conference. Several tribal leaders took a handful of guides to share with others in their community. Granted, distributing as many pocket guides as possible is great, but that’s not our final goal.
Ultimately, we want the pocket guide to help inform and continue the growth of FEMA’s partnerships with tribes. Partnerships are the fabric of successful emergency management and tribes are an integral part of the emergency management team. So if you are wondering how your tribe could work with FEMA or you are curious about emergency management, browse through the guide and reach out to us. We’d love to help you start the conversation.