Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. When disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. A highway spill of hazardous material could mean instant evacuation. A winter rainstorm could confine your family at home. A flood, earthquake, or any other disaster will likely cut off essential services for days. After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it may take days. Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes. One way to prepare is by assembling an Emergency Kit. Once disaster hits, you will not have time to shop or search for supplies. However, if you have gathered supplies in advance, your family can endure an evacuation or home confinement. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least three days.

Disaster Preparedness

Flu & Sickness

How do I catch the flu? Flu viruses are spread through human contact, just like the cold virus. It is also spread through the air by coughing or sneezing. Therefore it may be easier to catch than a cold. There are several actions to take that reassure you, and everyone else, is healthy this flu season:

Morongo Emergency Management Department FM Radio Station 89.1

What is the tribe doing? The tribe has taken proactive measures to prevent the spread of flu viruses. In protecting children, the education and transportation departments, have initiated increased cleaning and sanitizing programs that include education on proper hand washing and the importance of covering coughs. All other departments have increased access to hand sanitizers, and the facilities maintenance department has increased sanitization efforts in common areas. Infromation Links:

Riverside County Public Health Department
Federal Government Flu Website

What can I do to stay healthy?

  • Get your flu shot
  • Wash your hands often
  • Use hand sanitizers
  • Maintain distance of 3′ (feet) between people during gatherings
  • Use tissues and dispose of them
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue
  • Stay home when sick

When should I seek health care?
There are general recommendations to follow when considering seeking health care:

  • High fever lasting three days
  • A severe headache, especially associated with neck stiffness
  • Wheezing, or difficulty breathing
  • Sinus or ear pain
  • Painful swelling in the neck
  • Symptoms or fatigue that does not improve after seven days
Emergency Kit

Preparing Your Kit – Store your Emergency Kit in one location that is easily accessible in case evacuation is required. Store items in a large container such as a plastic tub with a lid, a suitcase, a duffel bag, or footlocker. Keep only essential supplies in the kit. Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles instead of containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more. Store one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparation/sanitation). Keep at least a three-day supply of water for each person in your household. 

Food – Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and use little or no water. Include a selection of the following foods in your Emergency Kit. Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits & vegetables Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water). 

Staples – sugar, salt, pepper High energy foods – peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix Vitamins Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons on special diets 

Comfort/stress foods – cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags 

First Aid Kit – Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit should include: Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes 2 & 4 inch sterile gauze pads (4-6) Hypoallergenic adhesive tape Triangular bandages 2 & 3 inch sterile roller bandages Scissors Tweezers Needle Moistened towelettes Antiseptic Thermometer Tongue blades Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant Assorted sizes of safety pins Cleansing agent/soap Latex gloves (2 pair) Sunscreen Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever Anti-diarrhea medication Antacid Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center) Laxative Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center). 

Tools and Supplies – Mess kits or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils Emergency preparedness manual Battery operated radio and extra batteries Flashlight and extra batteries Cash or Traveler’s Checks, change Non-electric can opener, utility knife Fire extinguisher: Small canister, ABC type Tube tent Pliers Tape Compass Matches in a waterproof container Aluminum foil Plastic storage containers Signal flare Paper, pencil Needles, thread Medicine dropper Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water Whistle Plastic sheeting Map of the area (for locating shelters). 

Sanitation – Toilet paper, towelettes Soap, liquid detergent Feminine products Personal hygiene products Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation use) Plastic bucket with tight lid Disinfectant/Household chlorine bleach. 

Clothing and Bedding – Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear Sturdy shoes or work boots Rain Gear Blankets or sleeping bags Pillows Hats, gloves and sunglasses Thermal underwear Special Items For Baby Formula Diapers Bottles Powdered milk Medications For Adults Heart and High blood pressure medication Insulin Prescription drugs Denture needs Contact lenses and supplies Extra eye glasses Entertainment Games and books. 

Important Documents – Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container. Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds Passports, social security cards, immunization records Bank account numbers and companies, Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates). 

Suggestions and Reminders – Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the Emergency Kit in the trunk of your car. Keep items in airtight plastic bags and in convenient moveable containers. Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh. Rotate your stored food every six months. Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc. Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications. 

Family Plan

Disasters seem to occur when we least expect them or when it is not convenient. Family emergency planning can be the key to keeping your family safe and together during an emergency. That’s why it’s important to talk to your family and prepare them for various emergencies. A Family Disaster Plan should be posted on the refrigerator, by the phone, or in some other conspicuous place. All family members should be familiar with it and should be prepared to take appropriate actions if they are at home alone when the disaster occurs. Be prepared to care for yourself and your family for at least 72 hours. Tribal resources can become very limited in extreme circumstances. Steps to developing a family disaster plan:

  • Designate out-of-area contacts. Designate three people that should be far enough away that it is unlikely he or she would be affected by the same emergency. It is recommended that at least one be an out of state contact. Family members should call this person to report their location if they cannot reach each other. Provide your contact person with important names and numbers, prior to an incident, so they can assist in keeping others posted on your situation.
  • Designate a location to meet in case it is impossible to return home or if you have to evacuate. Choose three – one near your home, one outside your immediate neighborhood, and one farther away. Make sure your family knows the address and phone number of both locations. Create an Emergency Supply Kit and a Go Bag. Make sure that all members of your household know where these supplies are. Keep a flashlight and a pair of shoes by each bed. Determine the best escape routes from your home. Identify at least two separate escape routes and practice using them. Train all family members on when and how to call 911. Familiarize yourself with emergency plans at places that are a part of your everyday life, such as school, work, church, daycare, etc. Know their capabilities and what they expect of you during an emergency. Ensure that they have current contact information for you.
  • Make sure your home is as safe and secure as possible. While making your plan, consider the special needs of children, elders, persons with disabilities, non-English speakers, and pets in your household. Authorize a neighbor or relative to pick-up and care for children in your absence. Arrange for a neighbor or friend to check on elderly or disabled family members in your absence. Identify a method for evacuating disabled family members. Create communications card for each member of your household to keep with them at all times. Make copies of all important documents and keep them off-site in a secure location. Documents to include: passports, birth certificates, social security cards, wills, deeds, driver’s licenses, financial documents, insurance information, and current prescriptions. Catalog and photograph valuables. Keep these with your second set
Go Bag

What You May Need

If you need to leave from your home, it will be important that you are ready to go as quickly as possible. Having a “Go Bag” in an accessible place ensures that you and your family are prepared for whatever situation arises. Storing a Go Bag in your car will ensure that you have some essential supplies any time that you are in your car. Emergencies may not always occur when you are at your home. Having critical supplies with you can ease your response in an emergency or can even save a life.

Go Bag Guidelines:

  • Each member of your household should have his or her own Go Bag.
  • Go Bags should be easy to carry and sturdy such as a backpack or duffle bag.
  • Go Bags should be stored in an easily accessible location. Ideally, you should keep a Go Bag at your home, in your car, and at work.
  • Go Bags should be prepared for any time of year.
  • Go Bags should be updated every six months.

Go Bag List: Bottled water, Flashlight, Battery-operated AM/FM Radio, Extra batteries (check the necessary types), Pocketknife, Whistle, Backup prescription medications, Small first aid kit, Extra house and car keys, A blanket, Raingear, A hat, Comfortable, sturdy shoes, Warm clothes, Extra pair of glasses and/or hearing aids, Toilet paper, Plastic garbage bags, Soap, Toothbrush and toothpaste, Feminine hygiene products, A copy of your communications plan card, A regional map, Special needs items for members of your family, especially children, seniors or people with disabilities, and pets. Paper, pens, and tape – in case you need to leave a message somewhere, Dust mask, Spare Cell Phone, Battery, Cash – preferably in small denominations, Coins for pay phones, Copies of important documents in a waterproof container (i.e. IDs, insurance information, proof of address, passports, etc.), A recent family photo for identification purposes – make sure everyone’s face (even the pets) can be seen clearly.

Emergency Radio Capabilities

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians Emergency Operation Center has many ways to communicate in the event of a disaster or emergency. As communications are often overloaded and fail during a disaster, intercommunications and redundancy are necessary.

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians has licensed several business-band frequencies and has an analog radio repeater that will be used as our EOC network to communicate in a disaster. This system undergoes monthly tests on the first Thursday of each month throughout the year. The Public Works department also has a separate analog radio repeater system and channel that they use for day-to-day operations, and in the event of an emergency or disaster, they can tune to the EOC Net channel.

Our Public Safety Officers have a digital repeater radio system that allows for secure communications for day-to-day operations and ability to utilize the analog EOC network as well, ensuring inter-communications.

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians has an agreement with a vendor, Mobile Relay, a radio communications company that can transmit radio communications across many of the most populated areas of the state of California. This system can transmit radio communications well off the reservation. As a result, our transportation and school utilize this system to communicate their day-to-day operations and allows them to communicate with each other when they leave the reservation for student pick up/drop-off’s in the neighboring cities of Banning & Beaumont, out of town field trips, and many other locations throughout Southern California.

Further enablement of communications in a disaster, Morongo’s Disaster Preparedness Department also utilizes this system through Mobile Relay with the twelve other tribes located in Riverside County. This system undergoes monthly tests on the second Wednesday of the month with a communications request of check-ins from each tribe. Such testing enables Morongo to communicate as far away as the city of Indio, to parts of San Bernardino County, and shortly, to the mountain areas of Anza. If the Mobile Relay system was to go down. The Morongo Band of Mission Indians worked with the San Gorgonio Pass Amateur Radio Club (SPARC), to test its amateur radio communications between the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The tests reassured the success of a backup emergency communications system between the tribes if they needed each other’s assistance during a major emergency or disaster as cell phone services can become useless even during minor incidents. As such, alternative communications become a necessity, and amateur radios are often the only means of communicating during these incidents. Each of the four Southern California Tribes that participate in the radio communication testing, face significant threats that they are continuously preparing for, however; amateur radio operations require licensing and equipment operation knowledge that is not always available on reservations.

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians also has communications within the operational area (County) via the Riverside County disaster net radio system. This system undergoes monthly tests on the second Wednesday of each month throughout the year. Also, Morongo can monitor and transmit, if necessary, to Police and Fire operations, inner-operational frequencies/channels, as well as many amateur radio frequencies on several bands, and also FRS/GMRS, and CB bands used by the public.

In addition to the amateur radio effort, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians utilizes its own Reservation Disaster Radio station, which is an implementation of A low-power radio broadcast station (89.1 FM), to transmit to its residence important Emergency/Disaster information. The station can be heard reservation wide when it is turned on, and worldwide when it is attached to Morongo’s web page (WWW.Morongo.org) on the internet. Morongo also uses its Cable TV system, which has an access channel that can be used to broadcast important Emergency/Disaster information.