Hundreds of volunteers all around the city spent their Saturday morning being sure they’re ready for something we all hope never happens – a disaster that takes out regular means of communications and forces Emergency Communication Hubs to set up and spring into action.
The scenario citywide was: Sixth day after a big earthquake. Three of West Seattle’s hubs were part of it. For the Sunrise Heights hub at EC Hughes Playground and the Junction hub behind Hope Lutheran Church, it was their first drill. We visited both. “If we can’t communicate, we can’t allocate,” observed Junction hub captain Delores Kannas. “Our big goal is to match resources with needs. … Different people will show up, and it will evolve.”
The mission of the hubs is to facilitate neighborhood resiliency, recognizing that after a massive disaster, official rescuers will be overwhelmed, and neighbors will have to figure out how to help each other, while also prioritizing any huge needs that might be able to draw outside help.
Besides tracking incoming requests, in ways as simple as notes on a fence, hub volunteers also communicate by radio, with each other and with city emergency officials, so volunteer amateur-radio operators are always a big part of drills.
An important part of your emergency preparedness is to know your nearest hub – here’s the updated map:
Click on the one that looks to be closest. You can also find the 13 hubs’ locations listed here (below that same map), on the West Seattle Be Prepared website, where you’ll find lots of other information to help you be ready, just in case.