At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council, over 20 people agreed to volunteer their time during the next year to help secure funds to build an emergency communications HUB based on Victory Heights Park.
Communication HUBs have been set up around the city by volunteers to be used to gather and disperse information in the case of a disaster. There has been one in Lake City at the Fred Meyer parking lot for several years now (read about a drill held there several years ago).
On September 12th, Vice-President of the community council Ann Forrest is going to apply for a matching grant from the city. To match the amount requested, community members must pledge to volunteer a certain number of hours (calculated at $20 per hour worked) over the next year (starting on the 12th). So if 10 people each pledged to work 5 hours, that would be 50 hours or $1000 we could receive in matching funds. The cost to set up the HUB will be between $1,000 and $3,000 depending on how much equipment and supplies would be purchased. It would be stored in a locked box in the park, pending approval of Seattle Parks.
In case of emergency, always check your home and family are safe first. Then check the neighbors. Then find out how the community is doing. That is what the HUB is for, especially when conventional communications might not work in an emergency. The HUB would be fitted with ham radios to keep in touch with Seattle officials and other HUBs in the network. Drills would be conducted periodically to help train volunteers and establish procedures to better cope with likely events (earthquakes, massive power outage, volcanos) that likely would mean first-responders would not be able to reach us for hours or possibly days due to infrastructure damage and other priorities. Keeping people informed about the situation and connecting up resources with needs is the primary function of a HUB.
If you would like to know more, or to volunteer to help put in hours, please write us and we will let the organizers know.
The next meeting of the Victory Height Community Council is Tuesday, September 20th in the co-op preschool building in Victory Heights Park starting at 7 PM. We’ll be electing a new president and several board seats are now open. Come be a part of our great community!