Old Harbor Residents Discuss How to Prepare for Natural Disasters

Mitch Borden/KMXT

A meeting was recently held in Old Harbor to examine ways the community can prepare for natural disasters. Jim Cedeno is an emergency manager and hazard mitigation officer working in Old Harbor. He organized the meeting.

Cedeno’s designing a Hazard Mitigation Plan in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Old Harbor Tribal Council.

“I’m looking at the history and also at the same time trying to look at what our current threats here in the communities are. And then looking at what we, as a community can do together, and come up with a plan and something that’s reasonable that can be done.”

Over the last seven to eight months, Cedeno says he’s held about five meetings to gather information about past disasters. At the most recent one, he spoke with elders who witnessed the 1964 earthquake and tsunami. He says the plan will hopefully help Old Harbor deal with a wide range of catastrophes.

“My goal is to come up with a plan that can help our community look at what we can do to safeguard ourselves. Not just for the present but for future generations as well.”

Cedeno is hoping to have another meeting in October, so he can speak with fishermen who’ve been working over the summer. Cedeno says it’ll be another year before he completes his plan.

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