Pala to host So. Calif. tribal emergency management meeting; 20 tribes and multiple agencies to attend

Fallbrook Bonsall Village News 2.16.11

Issue 07, Volume 15.

PALA – With the recent damage from fires and floods and the continuing threat of disasters here in Southern California, the Pala Band of Mission Indians has helped organize an effort to ensure the region is prepared for future emergencies on tribal lands. The February 17 meeting will be jointly hosted by the Pala Tribe, BIA’s Southern California Agency and Palm Springs Agency.

Tribal liaisons with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) and counties along with representatives from 20 local tribes are expected to attend. Department of Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) staff from the local Agencies, Regional Office, and Washington, D.C. will also be there to listen and facilitate communication among participants.

"This is a unique opportunity to call attention to the distinct issues facing Indian Tribes here in Southern California," said Robert Smith, Chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians. "You never know when a disaster is going to strike, so preparation is crucial. I am glad these agencies at all levels of government recognize this and the Pala Tribe is proud to be Advertisement
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The purpose of the meeting is to bring tribes and emergency management partners together to discuss the current status, critical needs, and recommended future direction for all types of emergencies on Indian land in Southern California. The information gathered here will be used to assist in developing recommendations to the Federal Government to enhance preparedness, response, and recovery in Tribal communities.

"You can only gain so much understanding in an office on the other side of the country," said Laurence Broun, Director of the Office of Emergency Management at the U.S. Department of the Interior. "By coming to Southern California, we hope to gain a greater understanding of problems encountered by Tribes in emergency preparedness and response so that we can be supportive in addressing concerns. We are also focused on reviewing our own organization’s preparedness and response program within DOI to assure it is responsive and capable of meeting requirements which will occur during disasters and other emergency situations."

The meeting will be held on February 17 at the Pala Administration Building at 35008 Pala Temecula Road.

Pala Band of Mission Indians

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