COVID -19 and the Hubs
Whew! Hubs normally only activate when all normal communications are down after a disaster but the current national emergency has had us thinking 180° different. Standing up a local gathering place – while practicing social distancing – isn’t wise but how can we help?
On March 11, Hub Captains across Seattle held a virtual meeting to talk about our role. We came out prepared to utilize our preparedness / organizational skills to assist in the virtual environment.
Here’s what we have put our collective talents towards:
We contacted NextDoor to ask that they create a map so neighbors willing to help could identify themselves (similar to their trick-or-treating map). While we waited for their response, we stood up tools for neighborhood areas online where neighbors willing to help could register their offer (based on a model developed in West Seattle). This program was rolled out but was replaced several days later when Next Door introduced their “Help Map”. So that fixed the easy option but that only helps people who are signed up for Next Door. We started talking with Hub members to find out what their communities were doing at the hyper-local level.
We’ve been tracking several websites that help with the matching of offers of help to neighbors who need help. In particular, two sites have opened that are templated off a national model called Recovers.org. Recovers.org was developed for use after a major natural disaster, such as a hurricane or earthquake, but the tools are exactly the same as needed for the COVID response. To date, one site is open for West Seattle and a second one for the area around the Homer Harris Hub. Communities in South Park and Green Lake are doing this same work in different formats – and we’ll probably see more as the pandemic lingers on.
We met with the Mayor and Department Heads (virtually) to discuss community response. We’re pleased to report that several of our suggestions have been implemented. We continue to work with several City departments, in particular the Department of Neighborhoods, to get information out to our communities (several Hubs have very active Facebook pages) and to funnel issues back to City personnel to be addressed.
We join the weekly Friday Seattle City Community Briefing webinar where Department Heads brief the community on the work the city is doing for the response and covers the support available through the city.
All of this information is important but even more important is what everyone is doing to keep our community together in this unprecedented time. We encourage you to connect with your community in a useful way during this time. Whether you can make masks, go grocery shopping, do something creative for kids online, or cheer up a neighbor with a phone call. All of us have the ability to do something positive for others.
Community Based information sites
Updated as of April 5, 2020 (tell us if you know of any ones we missed!)
City of Seattle one-stop shopping for COVID-19 information (includes links to orgs like United Way under “I want to donate/volunteer”)
On-line sites offering help local assistance
COVID-19 Mutual Aid Network (Citywide) https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeWvT_GQbcTTM2O1VVGJ6wsQeYW27PO1RvhSKSj45QR4lvNQQ/viewform?fbclid=IwAR01UVt1OBkXLXGbliUJHlzl0ALI7kKj2CeYiMqeqIsxy6cAIoOmWcmgw8s
All In Seattle (citywide) https://allinseattle.org/
Greater Green Lake Help (Primarily Ravenna, Northgate, Mapleleaf, Green Lake, Phinney Ridge, Licton Springs, Greenwood & Roosevelt) http://www.gglhelp.com
Seattle University https://www.seattleu.edu/cce/supporting-our-neighbors-during-covid-19-/
Homer Harris Hub Helps (Central Area) https://homerharrishub.recovers.org/
South Park https://www.duwamishcleanup.org/covid19-resources
Victory Heights http://victoryheights.org/
West Seattle Supports https://westseattlecovid.recovers.org/
Hub and Community-powered Information Pages
Beacon Emergency Action Network (Facebook) https://www.facebook.com/groups/1252772754771091/
Shilshole Live Aboard (Facebook) http://www.shilsholecommunity.org/
South Seattle Emergency Preparedness (Facebook) https://www.facebook.com/groups/300892977134/
West Seattle Be Prepared (Facebook) https://www.facebook.com/groups/300892977134/?ref=bookmarks
West Seattle Be Prepared (Blog) https://westseattlebeprepared.wordpress.com/
Self Help Posters now available!
Self Help Posters were created by Hub volunteers to be used at the Hubs as a tool to help people immediately after a major disaster. In those first few days when information will be hard to get, these posters remind people of basic information so they can stay safe. There are 5 posters for the following topics: Communication, Food Safety, Water Safety, Hazards and Sanitation. Hopefully people can take this information back to their neighbors and share as well.
While the posters were designed for use after a disaster, we found that they are also a great teaching tool, to think about being prepared beforehand. Nothing like looking at how you’ll be bagging poo to motivate you to make sure there are garbage bags in your disaster kit! These posters also serve as a reminder that, if your home is safe, you’ll probably be basically be camping in your home if all the utilities are out. As we have been showing these posters around getting comments for the final version, we found a lot of interest from businesses and places of worship to have a set so they could use as a teaching tool as well. These posters are downloadable and please share with anyone you think would find them helpful!
Seattle’s Fault Field Exercise Update
Reports from the 14 hubs who were active in the June 1 “Seattle’s Fault” earthquake Field Exercise are that it went really well, with good participation and new lessons learned. We are in the process of creating our After Action Reports from the 14 hubs who participated and collecting pictures. Meanwhile, you can view this news report on the Exercise, from KING 5 News!
Here is the link to the interactive map of participating hubs
Save the date – 2019 City wide Hub Field Exercise – Saturday, June 1, 9:00 to noon
Time to take a break for the big Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake; let’s have a Seattle Fault earthquake instead!
Each year, we get out in the field and set up hubs across the city as practice locations. Our volunteers get experience out in the real weather and work hands on to perform the functions of a hub. If you would like to train to help your community respond in the event of a major disaster, this is the exercise for you. We want to practice our on-the-job training of volunteers during the exercise, so this is the event for you!
We are also putting out the call for “community actors” – anyone who can stop by for an hour or so to read short message scripts which put the hub to work. Drop in anytime, we’ll need actors to appear during the entire 3 hours.
The list of Hubs who will be participating in the 2019 field exercise will be finalized in early May, so please check back to see which hub is closest to you that you can help at.
If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
2018 Year in Review
The Seattle Emergency Communications Hubs had a very successful year; lots of outreach, a very instructive field exercise, several new hubs and we made some great partnership connections. Here are the highlights and a link to the full report
Hub Leadership Retreat held where goals for partnerships and outreach priorities set for 2018 – 2020. This working plan helps us focus on key partnerships to advance preparedness and discussion about community resilience.
Hub in A Box, 2018 Cycle – 15 boxes awarded as a result of a second round of funding from Seattle City Council, CM Lorena Gonzalez sponsored the $21,600 allocation.
Partnered with the Seattle Department of Health and Human Services to develop and print a 5 Poster set “Self Help after a Disaster” to be posted at hubs for post disaster tips, in beta test 2018 -19. We plan to make our final test drive at the June 1 drill.
Lake City Hub received a $5,000 Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund Grant to develop “Lake City Stops the Bleed”, to teach Stop the Bleed and Surviving an Active Shooter. By year end, 9 Stop the Bleed classes have been offered in Lake City and other neighborhoods.
As announced last spring, 13 hubs were awarded Hub in A Box grants and many of those were brand new hubs and who have now been added to our map. This brings the total of hubs in Seattle to 151.
New networked hubs in 2018 – Spring Street P-Patch, Hillman City P-Patch, Rainier Vista West, St John United Lutheran Church (Phinney), Magnuson Park, Windermere North Sand Point, Ballard P-Patch, Braeburn Condominiums, Haller Lake Community Club, Peace Lutheran Church (Gatewood), Volunteer Park Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Collectively, our network of hub captains and volunteers:
- Held 13 local training and skill building events
- Gave 10 presentations, including one to FEMA Region X
- Hosted 21outreach tables
- Worked on strengthening preparedness with partners:
- Planning for joint outreach with Community Low Power FM radio stations
- Working with AIA and SEAW to understand WASafe Building Inspectors Program (and sat in for part of ATC20 training)
- Consultation with MBA grad students UW Foster School of Business for a Capstone Project on community power needs after a disaster
- Discussion with Scott Zafram, FEMA Region X on lessons from Puerto Rico that the Hubs should know about
- SHAG housing emergency preparedness planning discussion, for multiple facilities
- Discussion with Ballard and West Seattle Food Banks for continuity of operations planning.
Hub-In-A-Box Grants Awarded!
Congratulations to the 15 groups who were awarded funds to establish a hub location in their neighborhoods. These funds were secured by the Seattle City Council, and are managed through the Department of Neighborhoods with assistance from the Office of Emergency Management and Parks and Recreation Department. The hubs are in the process of receiving their boxes and equipment, so if one of these is in your area, watch for announcements about future training and connecting activities. As each completes their set up, they will also be added to our interactive NeighborLink Map, so you can also reach out to them as well.
- Ballard P-Patch (Ballard)
- Braeburn Condos (Capitol Hill)
- Daejeon Park Emergency Hub Committee (Central District)
- Haller Lake Community Club (Haller Lake)
- Hillman City P-Patch (Hillman City)
- Magnuson Park Emergency Community Hub (Northeast Seattle)
- MIQA Be Prepared (Magnolia)
- Peace Lutheran Church (West Seattle)
- Pigeon Point Emergency Communications Hub (Pigeon Point)
- Rainier Vista Neighbors Prepared (Rainier Vista)
- Seniors V Team Foundation (International District)
- SNAP Garfield North (Central District)
- John United Lutheran Church Hub (Phinney Ridge)
- Volunteer Park Seventh-Day Adventist Church (Capitol Hill)
- Windermere North Sand Point HUB (Northeast Seattle)
No Power, No Bars Field Exercise –
photo album to tell the story
Our 2018 spring field exercise became the setting for the scenario we all dread, a disaster happening on a cold and rainy day. But that was a good thing, we tested how our field set up did against the elements. We also discovered that huddling under tents improves communications, helps with self-heating and makes us wish we had more sidewalls. In all, it was a very successful drill; our communications with the city ACS team worked very well, they showed us the future of radio communications using digital devices. We had several new hubs out for their first drill and are documenting lessons learned from them and other hubs to share for improvement. We didn’t have as much community participation in the form of citizen actors or pass by traffic, but that might have been expected due to the weather. Here is a link to our photo album of participating hubs and ACS personnel. Enjoy and we’ll publish our After Action Review when everything is compiled.
2018 Hub Field Exercise Coming Up!
Hub-In-A-Box Grants Now Available
Thanks to the support of Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez and with the assistance of the Department of Neighborhoods, Parks and Office of Emergency Management, the 2018 Hub-in-A-Box Grant program is now open.
This program is offering up to $21,600 in funding to support Community Emergency Hubs throughout the city. This is enough to provide 14 groups with up to $1,500 to create their own Hub-in-a-Box.
A Hub-in-a-Box contains the essential materials and supplies your community would need in case of a disaster where help from the City or others is delayed or disrupted. They must be contained within a durable and secured storage box that is in a publicly accessible location.
What is a Community Emergency Hub?
- Hubs serve as a central gathering place among neighbors in homes, apartments, condominiums, P-Patches, parks, or other community gathering spots, after a disaster to help each other.
- They are organized and managed by local neighbors and serve to connect and help people when City and other resources are overwhelmed.
- Hubs are a way to collect, coordinate and provide information on local situations, needs, and resources.
- Emergency hubs also are a great way to encourage emergency preparedness in your neighborhood, or to connect with others and receive training on emergency preparedness.
If you are interested in applying for a Hub-in-a-Box for your community, please complete the 2018 Hub in a Box Application, along with the Material Request Application.
Check out our tip sheet for information that can help guide new community hubs through the process of purchasing and installing a Hub-in-a-Box.
Completed applications must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. PST on Friday, April 13th, 2018. Applications can be submitted via email or in person to the address below. Please note, applications cannot be mailed in to the Office of Emergency Management or the Department of Neighborhoods.
Please drop off applications in person to Tim Wolfe, Community Investments Division Director, at:
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods 600 4th Ave, Floor 4 Seattle, WA 98104
Or submit via email to: DON_Grants@seattle.gov
2018 begins with training and new activities
It was nice to have a holiday break to wind up 2017 and now we begin our planning for an active 2018. Already there are events planned for February (see our calendar) and our full city drill date has been set for Saturday, April 28. Please see our latest newsletter for all the details. We also include our 2017 summary report of activities as part of the newsletter, and we hope you can join us for more of the same in 2018.
Our Fall 2017 Newsletter is out
Please click here to read our highlights for the fall, reflections on recent disasters and learn more about how you can train and get better prepared to help yourself, your family and your neighbors in a disaster.
Hubs win honorable mention
The Hub in a Box program was awarded a national Honorable Mention from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the category of Technology Innovation. Funded by the Seattle City Council at our request, the Hub in a Box program provides a small amount of money to directly purchase basic equipment that a hub uses to help a neighborhood level response after a disaster. This will allow neighbors to help neighbors while the city is coordinating the larger, city wide response. We were awarded $18,000 in 2016 and were able to provide equipment for 11 hub locations throughout the city, with an emphasis in neighborhoods that typically don’t have the money to front costs, as is typically done with the city’s existing Neighborhood Matching Fund program.
Hub and ACS drill – July 29, 2017 – Cascadia Rising II – Hubs and Spokes
Several hundred volunteers and neighbors joined together to practice in our last drill. It was a wonderful turn out and great practice session for the hubs. The 11 hubs who participated this year ranged from well-seasoned locations to several practicing for the first time. We had several specific objectives to work on this year, ranging from improving the flow of information through the hubs, testing our new Universal Graphics Communications Card and informational signs to managing a heavy radio traffic load. We are in the process of collecting feedback of successes and improvements, but everyone reports that the volunteers all learned something new and the spontaneous volunteers who step forward to help were fabulous! We thank everyone who helped make this drill possible, including our partners at the Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS)
Here is the media coverage from the drill and in the week prior, and pictures from some of the hubs we’ve received so far. KOMO and Q-13 Fox also stopped by, but we haven’t seen anything posted yet.
Alaska Junction Hub, any surface will do!
Alaska Junction Hub organizing at start of drill
Alaska Junction Hub message pocket board
Broadview Hub messaging tents
Broadview Hub crew
Broadview Hub visitors check out the Needs board
High Point Hub Radio Operator and volunteers
High Point Hub Greeters with a young citizen actor
High Point Hub message takers and citizen actor
Hubs in Seattle P-Patch Gardens
This month, the Office of Emergency Management and Department of Neighborhoods announced that the concept of community based hubs is expanding to include the P-Patch Gardens in the City of Seattle.
“The Seattle Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is partnering with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods P-Patch Community Gardening Program to designate all P-Patch Gardens as gathering places during an emergency (Community Emergency Hubs).
Community Emergency Hubs are places where people gather after a disaster to help each other. Hubs serve as a central gathering place among neighbors in homes, apartments, and condominiums. They include spaces like the P-Patches, which are already natural gathering places. With the addition of the P-Patches, it means neighbors and community members now have about 150 pre-determined places in the City of Seattle to meet after disaster.
How do I find out where the hubs are?
The Seattle Office of Emergency Management (OEM) maintains a map of hub sites. There is also an independent, interactive Seattle Emergency NeighborLink Map where community members can connect with each other.”
The press release continues with some frequently asked questions about the P-Patch hubs as gathering places, you can read the full release here
We welcome the addition of additional community gathering places and hope the P-Patch gardeners will join us in practicing what to do should a major disaster happen in Seattle!
Looking forward to 2017 –
Plans underway for a busy year!
We accomplished a lot in 2016, especial with the additional of 8 hubs and our Cascadia Rising drill. The Hub Captains are thinking about what will be the most beneficial activities and we have a great list going. Stay tuned for more details about the following.
- Hub Captains meetings will continue on 4th Thursday of every month, 7:00 pm at the Discovery Park Environmental Center
- A large – full city drill, People would like to continue to practice for earthquakes.
- “In the field” or tabletop ideas: Surprise drill, scramble drill, vulnerable populations training and tabletop
- Other activities and training
- Hub mentoring (one on one);
- Hubs 101 Open time where we cover paperwork, tabletop, equipment, full drill;
- Radio information – what is the Auxiliary Communication Service (ACS) and how do they work, what is the connection to hubs.
- Learn about the city’s response plans (especially valuable for new hub captains)
- Mapping app – hands on practice session for input and extracting info
- Outreach and engagement – new ideas and show and tell from other neighborhoods.
Be sure and check our Calendar and sign up for our Newsletter to find events you want to attend.
Disaster Relief Trials Bike Drill
Alki Summer Greenways
Imagine the impact a nearby 8.5 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami would have on Seattle. Buildings collapsed, roads in shambles, people displaced, services disconnected. Without roads that are passable to vehicles, how do we provide essential services to injured and scared residents?
The Disaster Relief Trials is a fun, emergency preparedness event which mobilizes bicyclists to carry cargo representing emergency supplies to and from checkpoints, and this year, we had hub locations in West Seattle participating. Check out our video from the Morgan Junction Hub!
New video of Hubs in Action!
If you haven’t been able to be at a hub during one of our drills, here’s a look at what hub volunteers and doing and thinking as they prepare to help their communities. This was filmed during our June, 2016 Cascadia Rising drill at the Lake City Hub, so you get to see some experienced people in action.
This video was created by Bill Aston, who is a professional videographer and who graciously donated his time and talent to do this. He is passionate about people learning about preparedness and the importance of taking action, and we thank him for this gift.
Hubs continue to grow
Several new hubs have either signed up or are in the process of getting established. New this month are Hubs in Victory Heights and Eastlake, and watch for additions in Ravenna Bryant and University Heights. We’ve also had some additional SNAP groups put themselves on the map as well; don’t forget to pass the word to your local SNAP group who might not yet be on the map.
Successful Cascadia Rising
Seattle Emergency Hub Drills
King 5 News coverage of the Rainier Beach Emergency Hub Drill
Komo News coverage of the Queen Anne and Magnolia Emergency Hub Drill
West Seattle Blog coverage of the High Point Hub Drill
2015 Year in Review for the Hubs
Drills, training, outreach tables, presentations; the Seattle Emergency Communications Hubs had a busy year! We end the year with 51 hubs on the map and about 10 more in the process of getting organized. Many of the individual hubs held special events and training and we made some great new partnerships. Please see our Hubs 2015 Year In Review Newsletter Edition for all the details and pictures to boot.
City of Seattle Releases New Tool
Seattle Hazard Explorer
The Seattle Office of Emergency Management website now features and series of interactive maps that highlight some of the city’s top hazards. Check out the Seattle Hazard Explorer and learn more about the hazards that impact Seattle. You can zoom in on your home, work place, or any other location to see what hazards are most likely to impact you. Information videos and other content provide more in depth explanations of each of the hazards. Make sure you look out for links to important preparedness information as well! You can access the Seattle Hazard Explorer here: View the Seattle Hazard Explorer
You can also access the Seattle Hazards Explorer by going to the “Hazards” section of the Office of Emergency Management website.
Western Washington 4.8 magnitude earthquake!
The strongest earthquake in the region for over a decade hit the Vancouver area on December 30th, 2015. This event has raised concerns with many Puget Sound residents about whether or not they are prepared for a disaster.
So what do you need to put in an “emergency kit” to keep in your car, office and your home to prepare yourself for the worst scenario? Do you have a plan of communication worked out with your family and the children? If the roads were closed and fire or medical services were unable to reach you, what are your options? Lucky for us we live in Seattle and our local government and individual resident volunteers are already gearing up to save lives and make a disaster in our city and neighborhoods more survivable.
Komo News covered the steps for Earthquake and Emergency Preparedness they interviewed the Seattle Emergency Hub Captains, Cindi Barker and Karen Berge, about their Volunteer activities as well as the Pacific Northwest Seismic Center.
The Seattle Emergency Hubs organization is a volunteer group of residents who practice emergency drills and training exercises on a regular basis. They coordinate these activities with other volunteer groups such as SNAP, CERT, Block Watch and ACS as well as City Management and Emergency services.
The Pacific Northwest Seismic Center had the perfect opportunity to test out their new equipment with this latest quake. They hope to have a mobile app ready soon so that residents can be alerted of future quake activity. Even so much as a 20 second alert can save lives.
How to prepare for emergency scenarios
Seattle Emergency Management Preparedness
Seismic Scenario Seattle
WA State Seismic Hazard Catalog
During the COVID-19 stay at home period, multiple efforts got underway to clean up our hub files and make the Hub Captains book more organized. We have created this graphic to illustrate how the hub works and how information is organized. 2020 Hub Areas and Roles
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Posted by admin in Announcements, Updates
Self Help Posters were created by Hub volunteers to be used at the Hubs as a tool to help people immediately after a major disaster. In those first few days when information will be hard to get, these posters remind people of basic information so they can stay safe. There are 5 posters for the […]
Read More »
Posted by admin in Announcements, Updates
Leaders from international learning program speak with Hub Captains Seattle was a stop on a national tour made by a number of leaders from other countries studying preparedness planning in the United States. The visit was coordinated through the World Affairs Council International Visitors Leadership Program and included participants from the following countries; Bolivia, Grenada, […]
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Posted by admin in Announcements