Courage to Prepare: AMERIND Offers Tips in Honor of National Preparedness Month

Published September 4, 2017

SANTA ANA PUEBLO – AMERIND, the only 100% tribally-owned and operated insurance provider committed to Indian Country, is offering tips on how to keep your family and community safe.

Just like the infamous mascot Smokey Bear said in the 1947 ad campaign, “Remember… Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires,” only YOU can inspire preparedness and spearhead emergency response plans. The responsibility falls to each of us to protect Tribal lands, homes, families and citizens.

In honor of National Preparedness Month (September) and our commitment to protecting Indian Country, AMERIND Risk urges every family and individual to create emergency communication, shelter and evacuation plans. “Sometimes, it can feel easier to turn a blind eye to the possibility of a natural disaster devastating our lands, our communities and our homes. It takes courage to prepare for the worst. It is our responsibility as protectors of Indian Country to defend Native lives and homes,” states Derek Valdo, CEO AMERIND Risk.

Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.

This month is a good time to revisit your family’s home safety and evacuation plans in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. Being prepared can help keep everyone in your family safer.

AMERIND offers the below tips in honor of National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security:

  • Make a family emergency communication plan and include pets. Identify an out of town emergency contact to coordinate information with family/friends.
  • Check on neighbors.
  • Keep an emergency kit wherever you spend time: home, car, work, etc.
  • Download the FEMA App ( and set up local alerts.
  • Listen to local officials by radio, TV, or social media and take action.
  • Practice your preparedness plans with a drill or exercise.
  • Take a first aid class so you can help until first responders arrive.

It’s also helpful to take actionable steps by following FEMA’s 2017 weekly themes:

  • Week 1, September 1-9: Make a Plan for Yourself, Family and Friends
  • Week 2, September 10-16: Plan to Help Your Neighbor and Community
  • Week 3, September 17-23: Practice and Build Out Your Plans
  • Week 4, September 24-30: Get Involved! Be a Part of Something Larger

For more in-depth weekly guides for National Preparedness Month, visit:

Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!

Fire Prevention Week is observed October 8-14. In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of your community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.

That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is so important. It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan.

Below, AMERIND and the National Fire Protection Agency offer some tips to keep your family, home and belongings safe:

  • Draw a map of your home(PDF) with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

AMERIND Risk educates Indian Country about preparedness and fire prevention to protect our most valuable assets—you, our Tribal citizens, and our Tribal homes.

AMERIND Risk’s Native American Homeowners and Renters (NAHR) insurance coverage is designed to offer flexible and affordable coverage for the unique needs of Tribal homeowners and tenants. We even tailor insurance plans to Native American homeowners’ and renters’ financial needs through payment plans as well as coverage needs by allowing you to pick your coverage amounts.

What to Pack in Your Emergency Kit

Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept in your home.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Waterone gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Learn more about protecting Tribal homes, the heart of Indian County, and other pertinent information to protect Tribal property and workforce at the 2017 AMERIND Risk Institute, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 10-11, 2017.

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