The preparedness volunteers who gathered at Ercolini Park to join in Saturday’s “Rattle in Seattle” drill (explained here) admit at least one person was a bit startled – walking by and overhearing radio transmissions, incoming and outbound, like this (listen closely – it’s only 10 seconds long):
That particular “catastrophic failure” was supposed to involve the 35th/Myrtle reservoir/water tower site. But that was just one of numerous hypothetical catastrophes reported in the drill, which took on an old-time disaster-movie feel after you’d been watching/listening long enough – gas-station fires, and more. Most important of all – each of these volunteers was tracking what was being reported in her/his neighborhood:
They are the “focals” – key contacts/organizers – for the Emergency Communication Hubs around West Seattle, mapped on the website we’ve told you about many times before, West Seattle Be Prepared. If a true disaster happens and takes out standard lines of communication, overwhelming city services (that line was heard at one point during the drill, “City services are maxed out”), volunteers will set up at the “hubs,” equipped with the radios they used during this drill, to join a communication network that not only will make sure authorities are aware of what’s happening, but also will communicate, neighborhood-to-neighborhood, what’s needed – so that other volunteers can be dispatched where they’re needed, whether their expertise is first aid, search-and-rescue, or something else.
The Communication Hubs are also where you will be able to go to find out what’s happening and to seek help – and that’s why it’s important to have them in all neighborhoods, so that you or someone representing your family/block/etc. wouldn’t have to go far, even if you had to walk or bike. But they only work through volunteer power – and there’s room for lots more help – start by joining the West Seattle Be Prepared Facebook group – if you’re not on FB, there’s contact info on the main WSBP website too.