Do you know where your nearest Emergency Communication Hub is? If you don’t, finding it on the map and memorizing it is the single most important takeaway from that story. Two of the hubs – volunteer-staffed rendezvous points that would be set up in case of catastrophe – are “activated” right now as part of a citywide drill, explained in the announcement:
The drill simulates conditions the day after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake along the Seattle Fault has caused extensive infrastructure damage. The damage from such a quake would likely include a failure of grid power and cellular service, making communications and emergency services a challenge. Because the Hubs are key gathering points for neighborhoods, communications between the Hubs, (Auxiliary Communication Service), and the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) are critical. Much of the exercise will involve moving simulated messages around the city using field- deployed, off-grid communications.
The two hubs participating in the drill, which continues until noon, include Hiawatha and Morgan Junction Park. We stopped at the latter:
Though to the unknowing passerby it might have looked like a lot of standing/sitting around, everyone has a role, and periodic drills like this are vital to keep plans and skills top-of-mind.
Again, these preparations – and what would happen if disaster struck – are all-volunteer efforts. It’s been stressed time and time again that the “officials” will be overwhelmed so especially in the early aftermath, you have to be ready to help yourself, your family, your neighbors. And if you are interested in setting up a hub – here’s how.