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Chickasaw Nation Engages in Emergency Planning

By Kyler Edsitty

 

Ada, OK, February 29, 2024—In a proactive move to enhance preparedness and coordination during crises, the staff of KCNP radio and local first responders participated in intensive Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) training hosted by Native Public Media (NPM) in Ada, Oklahoma. This comprehensive training cultivated strategies to bolster communication channels and fortify response capabilities in the wake of natural and human-made disasters.

 

Nestled in southern Oklahoma's heart, KCNP radio operates under the looming shadow of annual weather concerns ranging from snowstorms to tornadoes. Undeterred, the station has remained resolute in its commitment to readiness for any eventuality. Notably, KCNP has showcased its adaptability during previous challenges. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, KCNP swiftly implemented safety protocols to continuously disseminate crucial news and life-saving information to the Chickasaw Nation.

 

Reflecting on the significance of the training, Chickasaw's director of broadcast productions, Brian Brashier, remarked, "It has been proven that failing to plan is planning to fail. This emergency operations planning will help prevent us from failing before, during, and after an emergency."

 

Crafted by NPM, the EOP training guides radio stations through formulating a robust emergency response plan leveraging the standards set forth by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Recognizing the pivotal role tribal broadcasters play within their communities, NPM underscores the imperative of stations remaining operational during area-wide emergencies. The training also emphasizes post-disaster recovery efforts, underscoring the necessity of swiftly restoring normal business operations, particularly in instances where impact to staff members may be present.

 

The training session convened diverse stakeholders, including representatives from KCNP Radio, Emergency Management agencies, and local law enforcement. The participants established EOP committees to conduct comprehensive audits of their stations' emergency response capabilities and assessed potential threats and risks to operational continuity.

 

"During the session's closure, the participants expressed newfound confidence in their capacity to navigate emergency scenarios effectively to safeguard the welfare of their personnel. Moreover, they underscored the adaptability of the training model, affirming its applicability across diverse business sectors and organizations," states NPM Training Instructor Kyler Edsitty.

 

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