Deadly Nepal quake brings preparedness reminder, two weeks before already-scheduled Emergency Communications Hubs drill

The magnitude-7.8 earthquake in Nepal is now reported to have killed almost 2,000 people. And a difficult, dangerous time is ahead for the survivors who now must figure out how to get through its aftermath and aftershocks. So tonight, a reminder about local preparedness:

You need to know where your nearest Emergency Communication Hub is – and that map will help. West Seattle volunteers have led the way in organizing hubs around the peninsula. The hubs are places you can go in the aftermath of a disaster that shuts down usual communications, places to find information and help, as explained on this page of westseattlebeprepared.org – and on a citywide level, they’re explained in this video:

The video mentions the drills that hub volunteers stage every so often to make sure plans and procedures will be fresh if and when disaster strikes. Just so happens that the next drill is two weeks from today, Saturday, May 9th – an evening drill this time, 5-10 pm around the city. The drill scenario will be “a major earthquake followed by aftershocks and worsening weather conditions. The exercise will test operations, procedures and equipment, offer opportunities to learn and to get to know fellow volunteers.” West Seattle Be Prepared‘s Cindi Barker shares this flyer showing that two WS hubs are participating, Ercolini and Hiawatha, and explaining how you can help, even if you haven’t been involved with a hub before:

Hub volunteers and radio operators with the Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service will be among those participating.

In the meantime, here’s one more *very important* thing you can do even if you are not involved with a hub: A new website has launched in an attempt to get various community safety and preparedness-related groups communicating and coordinating – Hubs plus SNAP, CERT, and Block Watch groups. If you’re involved with any of the above, go to seattleemergencyhubs.org, find the Emergency NeighborLink Map on the home page, and get signed up so your group will show up.

P.S. If you haven’t even taken the basic preparedness steps – emergency food/water supplies – don’t feel overwhelmed. The Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP) website has some advice – see this page.

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