CAFSP Receives Homeland Security Grant for "Response to an Expanded All-Hazards Threat in Rural Communities, Tribal Nations and Territories" Project
The Center for Agriculture and Food Security and Preparedness (CAFSP), University of Tennessee has received funding from the Department of Homeland Security for a project titled Response to an Expanded All-Hazards Threat in Rural Communities, Tribal Nations and Territories. The proposed national training program will provide rural communities, Tribal nations and territories with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to effectively detect, respond to, manage and mitigate threats that include disease outbreaks and the occurrence of environmental health threats. The course series will be developed with a whole community approach, focusing on the unique challenges that rural, Tribal and territorial jurisdictions face in effectively planning, preparing and responding to an expanded view of all-hazards threats. In many rural communities, there is a lack of sufficient infrastructure to provide the complex and potentially long-term response actions that will be required when facing disease outbreaks, environmental health threats and the more “traditional” all-hazards threats of natural and man-made disasters. This is even more pronounced for many Tribal and territorial jurisdictions.
With the awarded funding, CAFSP will complete the preliminary stages of the proposed project and will use two focus groups to identify the unique needs and key issues faced by non-urban jurisdictions in developing a whole community approach to all-hazards emergency plans. Members of the 1st focus group will include representatives from the target audience representing rural geographical regions. Because of possible differences associated with developing training that is relevant for Tribal nations, CAFSP will hold a 2nd focus group specifically for Tribal nation representatives. Often times in the past, training and programs were created without input and a clear understanding of cultural differences that exist within the Native American Culture. Further, the culture within each tribe can be vastly different from one another. Training without this consideration may meet with little or no success. CAFSP will take a different approach by offering training that integrates cultural sensitivities and addresses differences that exist between Tribes. Topics and issues identified by both focus groups will be incorporated into the final needs analysis and draft course outlines for the course series that will be submitted to DHS for its review and approval.