By Adam Geisler, National Tribal Government Liaison, First Responder Network Authority
For the past year, the National Tribal Emergency Management Council (NTEMC)(link is external) has served as a critical lifeline to tribal nations battling the coronavirus. Responsible for leading the logistics and distribution of supplies for tribal nations in 35 states, NTEMC and sister non-profit Farmer Frog have delivered 38.5 million pounds of food and $7 million worth of personal protective equipment to tribes across the country.
This nationwide effort has been a massive undertaking for the non-profit, which traditionally helps tribes build sustainable emergency management programs. NTEMC established an incident command center in partnership with Farmer Frog to help manage operations. Tucked just north of Seattle in Woodinville, Washington, the center is situated in a remote area. While the location was considered ideal for serving the tribes, it was problematic in terms of communications.