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Universal Communications

Graphics Card Tabletop

In our first “professional” table top exercise, hub volunteers gathered to test out a Universal Communications Graphic Card.  This is a tool being designed to help hub volunteers with communication barriers, such as another language, deafness or inability to speak due to shock. Deborah Witmer, the Vulnerable Populations Coordinator with Seattle’s Human Services Office, is working with community members to design the card and she coordinated the tabletop to test the draft version.  She drew in members of the community who could give a real life test of the card and role players who convincingly played difficult roles.

 

It was two hours of hard work for everyone, and we learned a lot!  Debriefing afterwards, we know we can work on improvements to the card and we will need to look at how hubs handle people with communications barriers; the use of the card to capture the message is only the first part of helping someone.  We will be working on this before our July drill!

4 tables have volutneers seated at them to take messages from community role players
4 separate “hubs” played in the tabletop

Jess and Dan from Eastlake use the graphic pictures to capture the message

Jess and Dan from Eastlake use the graphic pictures to capture the message

Amy, also from Eastlake, works to take an accurate message

Amy, also from Eastlake, works to take an accurate message

 

Martha from Ballard has one of the younger role players, who was an enthusiastic participant. Jim, in the blue vest, was one of the exercise Evaluators.

Martha from Ballard has one of the younger role players, who was an enthusiastic participant. Jim, in the blue vest, was one of the exercise Evaluators.

 

Part of the tabletop was to perform on the job training. Cheryl is training Melissa before a shift change.

Part of the tabletop was to perform on the job training. Cheryl is training Melissa before a shift change.

 

Mitch, from NE Seattle, and Orlando from the Beacon United Methodist Church Hub, were both participating in their first tabletop exercise.

Mitch, from NE Seattle, and Orlando from the Beacon United Methodist Church Hub, were both participating in their first tabletop exercise.

 

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.

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

Radio Practice Joint Session – Hubs and ACS

The June 2017 Hub Captains meeting became a hands on, joint training session with our Auxiliary Communications Services (ACS) partners. Experienced HAM and GMRS radio operators, newly licensed HAMs and Hub members from across the experience spectrum first heard a presentation from Carl Leon, N7KUW. Carl described how the Hubs and ACS work together in […]

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Posted by admin in Uncategorized, Updates

Earthquake Swarms = Media Coverage for Hubs

The May 2017 swarm of small earthquakes in the west Puget Sound region got quite a bit of coverage from the local media.  Reporters from all 3 stations visited different hubs, including Rainier Beach and a Beacon Hill organizing event, to talk about community preparedness.  KING 5 is promoting coverage all this week on preparing for […]

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Posted by admin in Uncategorized