Articles

American Indian Nation Plans for a Pandemic

U.S. Indian Health Service urges creating emergency preparedness plans.

by / April 22, 2009

The Oneida Indian Nation, and other health professionals around the United States, are ramping up preparedness efforts in case of a pandemic, such as the bird flu, which infected hundreds in Hong Kong in 1997.

A team from the Center for Domestic Preparedness, located in Anniston, Ala., delivered a three-day pandemic awareness course to the Oneida Indian Nation on nation lands in central New York in March. The Oneida Indian Nation is currently establishing several emergency response protocols in writing and the Pandemic Influenza Planning and Preparedness (PIPP) course promoted pandemic awareness and also provided insight for responses to other emergencies.

"We have a small police force and in the event of a pandemic or emergency we will assume other response roles as well," said Capt. Joseph Smith of the Oneida Indian Nation Police Department through a press release. "We're an integral part of the planning process and knowing our role in an emergency, pandemic or not, is important."

The United States Indian Health Service has recommended that all tribal sectors create their own emergency preparedness plans based on the impact of weather and other emergencies that have recently affected their respective regions. Visit the Center for Domestic Preparedness for more information on the training opportunities or call 866/213-9553.