Cheryl Matthew

Resources For First Nations Emergency Planning

With the recent COVID-19 crisis it has made it ever more important to come up with community plans to deal with emergencies including natural disasters such as fire, flood, earthquakes and also emergency health planning for virus and disease.

Indigenous government have tools available to assist with this work, within this post are links to download planning tools, if you find that you need assistance with any of this work in your community please let me know by sending your info on the contact page.

Here are some links with community planning tools from the Province of BC to assist any communities that need to update theirs or come up with community response for emergencies.

Emergency Management Planning Toolkit for Local Authorities and First Nations

Click here to download the planning toolkit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/local-emergency-programs/local-emergency-planning

Government of Canada Information:

The Emergency Management Planning Guide – How to Develop a Strategic Emergency Management Plan (SEMP) (ISC, 2020)

The Emergency Management Planning Guide provides step-by-step instructions of the planning process across the four pillars of Emergency Management Planning. It is the key tool designed to help federal institutions meet their responsibilities with respect to the management of emergencies.

International information on global response to disaster management as Canada has adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 outlines seven clear targets and four priorities for action to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risks: (i) Understanding disaster risk; (ii) Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk; (iii) Investing in disaster reduction for resilience and; (iv) Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

It aims to achieve the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries over the next 15 years.

The Framework was adopted at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, on March 18, 2015.

Click link here for more information: https://www.undrr.org

Tips for Working with Indigenous Groups During COVID-19

1. Call the local band office first before meeting as some First Nations are closing communities to visitors.

2. Try to reschedule face-to-face meetings to Zoom, Skype or conference call and remember many First Nations don’t have high speed internet and limited cellular phone service so be flexible.

3. If you must meet in person limit the number of people travelling and ask if the community needs anything that you could bring, especially if they are remote or rural.

4. Consider sending care packages to rural and remote First Nation communities with food staples, medicine, vitamins or other needed supplies for Elder’s and families in need.

5. If you work with Indigenous communities, and are partners call your contacts there and see if there is anything you can do, anything that is needed or how you can help, don’t wait for them to ask for help, most are proud Nations and will not ask.

6. Remember some rural and remote communities it is expensive to get fresh foods and vegetables, and for shipping so there may be food shortages already.

7. Many First Nations already live in poverty, have health issues, so could be hit twice as hard by COVID-19.