On an overcast June 1st before the marine layer burned away, a dozen Victory Heights residents gathered to participate in using our Emergency Communications HUB located in Victory Heights Park.
The locked storage box next to the tennis courts was opened at 8 AM (see this photo if you are curious what’s inside), tables were set up, signs posted, and metal plates were mounted to post messages using magnets.
By 9 AM everything was set up including an information area outside the court to let people know more about the HUB, emergency preparedness, and how to set up low-tech toilets without water.
Away from the action (as it would be in an actual emergency) a team was set up with a ham radio so we could communicate with the HUB set up in Maple Leaf Park. They simulated a drill where lost children were trying to be reunited with their parents.
An emergency communications HUB’s only resource is information. There are no supplies, food, or medical equipment. But it is a place for the community to gather and share needs and resources, using a message board system with different categories (e.g. lost pets, services, supplies that can be shared, etc). Matching needs is very much the goal of the HUB, but also a way to keep people informed and as Victory Heights Community Council President Ann Forrest likes to say, “We are social creatures, and during an emergency we seek others to be with.”
In the case of an actual emergency (most likely a huge earthquake), volunteers would set up the HUB and take on different roles like “Greeter” or “Information Officer.” For the drill on Saturday, scenarios were written out on paper for members of the public to use to see the HUB in action and help everyone practice.