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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Community health representative: The first tribally contracted program, since 1968 - American indian paraprofessional healthcare providers

CHR - Emergency Preparedness


Emergency Preparedness

Environmental disasters, accidents and emergencies occur everyday; it is extremely important to be prepared for these events in case they ever occur within your community. Emergency preparedness would mean being prepared for all types of emergencies, proper emergency preparedness can save lives and limit further disaster. CHRs should urge their community to have a have an emergency kit with them when they travel, plans and knowledge of the resources available for individuals, families and the whole community. CHRs can develop a class that will teach people how to prepare an emergency plan and kit, and coordinate for an instructor to teach classes on CPR and first aid.

Training Should Include

  • Developing a plan for the types of emergencies that occur in your community.
  • Telling the clients that they should secure their safety first and then work to help others.
  • Developing a family plan with a responsibility delegated to each family member and alternate plans in case not all are there. (emphasizing that elderly, disabled and younger children will need help to escape.)
  • Discussing house evacuation and who will need help and a meeting place to determine that everyone is accounted for.
  • Determining multiple safe routes out of the home.
  • Planning meeting point and an alternate meeting point in the event that the first is not possible.
  • Learning the sounds of alarms, such as: fire, burglar and sirens.
  • Learning the local emergency, poison control, medical help, and a contact person telephone numbers, and posting them as well as creating a copy to be kept with the family.
  • Learning how to communicate the location and directions of the emergency and the type of situation.
  • Teaching how to use a fire extinguisher with the ABC method.
  • Learning how to turn off the gas, water and electricity in the home and determining when it is safe and necessary to do so.
  • Practicing the plan once a month and at schools and other public facilities.
  • Learning how to develop an emergency kit.

In emergency situations the first responders are the people who are at the site of the emergency. It is their job to make sure help is called, if there are many people tell a specific individual to call for help. Establish your own safety first and then assess others in need. Check to see if everyone is accounted for and safe. When everyone is safe determine what you can do to limit or stop the emergency. If it is safe, collect necessities and valuables.

The community members need to have a list of the available resources and know where there is shelter and relief organizations, and a list of things they will need in an emergency situation.

Download the Supply Kit Check-Off List [word 58k]

Supply Kit Check-Off List

Items Notes - Where
Blanket, Bedding, Sleeping Bag  
Buckets for water and waste  
Candles, long-burning  
Can opener  
Clothing and shoes  
Duct tape  
Extra keys  
Fire extinguisher  
First aid kit  
Flashlight with batteries  
Food, non-refrigerated (3 days)  
Fuel for heating and cooking  
Garbage bags  
Lamps, oil or battery  
Matches (waterproofed)  
Money, cash, credit cards  
Pet Necessities and Vaccination  
Personal Items (glasses)  
Plastic sheeting  
Pots and pans  
Radio, AM/FM with batteries  
Soap, hand and laundry  
Stove for cooking or heating  
Toiletries (feminine supplies, etc)  
Toilet, portable  
Towels, paper and cloth  
Utensils for cooking (Spatula, spoon, knife, fork)  
Utensils for eating (Plates, cups, flatware)  
Water in containers  
Water purification tablets  
Comfort Items (stuffed animal/picture)  
Important documents stored in fire/water proof container  
Contact Information of family  


It is a good idea to carry some of these items in the vehicle in case they are needed. The supply kit may additionally include tire repair kit and pump, flares, spark plugs, shovel and tools.

The past terrorist attacks like the recent September 11th tragedy has raised concern over possible terrorist attacks which could include major events like the past and biological terrorism. Biological warfare is a situation we need to be prepared for, there needs to be a plan developed to address how to prevent spreading of the disease to healthy individuals and how to help people who are infected and limit those who are from coming into the community and putting others at risk. Advocate for the teaching the administration of immunizations and procedures for local healthcare facilities and learn what they are doing to deal with this issue.

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