Blue Lake Rancheria is a 2017 recipient of the John D. Solomon Outstanding FEMA ICP Whole Community Preparedness Award.

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Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe (BLR) of California with a population of 203 people, is located near several geographically high-risk areas, including the Mad River—a natural and historical flood plain—and Matthew’s Dam. Additionally, BLR resides near a number of geological fault lines, putting it in danger for possibly damaging earthquakes. The community is also a gathering spot for more than 2,000 people from neighboring Humbolt and Del Norte Counties when disasters strike those areas. Due to these factors, BLR has become proactive in confronting its emergency preparedness challenges. It worked to transform the Blue Lake Casino and Event Center into an official public shelter with help from the American Red Cross. Also, BLR installed backup “green” power should the regular power grid get cut off. Additionally, BLR used a grant from the Department of Homeland Security to plan and develop a Resilience Training Center, which offers pre-disaster training and exercises, distributes 72-hour disaster supply backpacks to residents, and, in 2017, held a preparedness fair for the general public. BLR has designed a plan that can be replicated anywhere and has already assisted other tribes and agencies with their emergency preparedness needs.