Inderscience Publishers

Emergency management structure for use in the Alaska Native elderly population

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Regardless of recent concerns and the horrific results of disasters on vulnerable populations in the USA, the use of standardised emergency command and control structures in Long-Term Care (LTC) settings has not become common. It is especially true in the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) population, a unique group in that tribes are sovereign nations within the USA or a 'nation within a nation'. This paper examines (1) the LTC issues in the AN population, (2) the need to address emergency preparedness and disaster management in the AN culture and (3) culturally specific characteristics that must be addressed to allow the preparation and protection of these elders. We must never forget the respect that should be shown to other cultures in preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies and disasters. There has been a great deal of work in other nations to consider how both modern cultures and indigenous peoples can benefit from each other in these respects. This paper reports work in an ongoing project that will ultimately identify specific interventions to be used in the AN population as we continue efforts to address the issues of vulnerable and underserved groups in our nation.

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