Crosscut: Tribes in Washington prepare for a tsunami disaster

"By all accounts, the Makah tribe at least is well-primed for disaster.

On paper, the tribe’s plans are like any other emergency management department — mapping out escape routes, designating incident command posts and stockpiling supplies for the days they would expect to be without help.

Tucked into the farthest reaches of Washington state's northwestern-most tip, where there was no state highway access until the 1950s, Neah Bay is isolated. A two-lane, winding road prone to mudslides has cut off access in the past.

“At least initially, we can’t rely on the feds or the state to take care of us,” said Andrew Winck, the tribe’s emergency management coordinator. But no one seems to worry about that.

“The Makah people have been here for thousands of years because they were able to take care of themselves,” Winck said. “We work to be self-reliant.”"

Get the Story:
Bracing for tsunamis: It's in tribal DNA (Crosscut 10/28)

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