Posted: February 13th, 2012 19:29am
The Tribal Emergency Response Team (TERT) plans, implements, coordinates and directs Rancheria wide emergency services programs including policy and procedure development, resource management, operational readiness, response, rescue and evacuation plans and capabilities that conform to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliance. The TERT coordinates preparation of a variety of contingency plans, in response to identification of hazards, including transportation accidents hazardous materials related incidents, tsunamis, earthquakes and other emergency, civil defense, communications, emergency response and directed hazard mitigation.
The TERT continues to meet monthly to help establish plans and procedures to handle emergency situations on the Rancheria. This includes communication, transportation, securing emergency supplies, and various trainings for both Team members and Tribal Members along with members of the local community. The TERT helped develop an Emergency Operations Plan for the Rancheria and completed it in early 2009, bringing the Tribe into compliance with FEMA/NIMS requirements. Recent events include and Adult CPR, First Aid, Infant CPR, Child CPR and Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) certification classes in partnership with the Red Cross. TERT Members along with other employees also receive a yearly course to become Hazardous Materials First Responder Certified. Employee trainings are done yearly on the proper use of Fire Extinguishers. Local Tsunami Planning and Awareness Trainings have been brought to the Howonquet Hall Community Center for TERT Members, employees, Tribal Members and public invited to attend.
To ensure communication during a disaster, emergency radios were installed in several tribal vehicles and handhelds are available for use. An emergency frequency has been established solely for the Tribe from the Federal Communications Commission for their use. Through the TERT Committee, along with funding from the Tribal Council, AED units were purchased and are being installed at various locations in tribal facilities. Emergency Procedures are presently being developed to install in each tribally owned facility. An Incident Management Team has been created to handle declared emergencies and responsibilities assigned to various Tribal Council, Tribal Administrator, Fiscal employees and TERT Members. Through the TERT a Tsunami Siren has been installed at the
Howonquet Hall Community Center which is connected directed to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) providing warning of impending Tsunami and are tested monthly. An additional siren is being planned to be installed at the end of Mouth of Smith River Road to insure coverage of the Rancheria. Tsunami Evacuation signage was procured and installed within the tsunami zone on the Rancheria.
The TERT works in partnership with other Tribes and their emergency response personnel through the North Coast Tribal Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) which will combine the strength of the Northern California Tribes to have a strong voice with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and with securing monies provided to the State of California that should go to Tribes. TERT Staff attend Federal, State, County and local meetings regarding emergency management and develop professional relationships with various entities and agencies.