Phinney HUB Meeting – Friday, Feb. 7th

Since the two earthquakes near Monroe this past July, a small group of neighbors has been meeting and making plans to increase the capability of the Phinney HUB.  There’s much to do to further develop the HUB.  Come join us this Friday evening 7:00 to 8:00pm to learn how the HUB will operate (what neighbors can expect), how you can get involved, plus steps you can take to increase your own preparedness.

A rough agenda for the evening:

  • What is an Emergency Communications HUB?  A short overview of how the Phinney HUB will operate following an earthquake or other disaster.  Neighbors helping neighbors
  • Identify tasks that need to be accomplished to move the HUB development forward (next steps for the team).
  • Plans for a future Saturday afternoon hands-on HUB event.
  • Information about personal household preparedness.

When:  Friday, Feb. 7th, 7:00 to 8:00pm
Where:  Phinney Neighborhood Association, Blue Building, Room 6 (second floor). 6532 Phinney Ave. N.
Hope to see you there!

Drill, then party.

Phinney Hub will participate in a city-wide communications drill on Saturday, July 29, 9:00 AM – 12:00 noon. We’ll set up our canopies and radio antennae in the parking lot of Phinney Center (Phinney Ave. N & N 67th St.).  The emphasis of this drill is “Hub-to-Hub communications,” so we’ll work with brother/sister Hubs to transmit information throughout north Seattle.

Subsequently, in September, we’ll have a party at Linden Orchard Park (Linden Ave. N & N 67th St.). The exact date is to be determined. The City of Seattle recently decided that P-Patch gardens will be the default gathering places in an emergency, throughout the city. See this announcement. We’re working on getting in touch with our P-Patch neighbors at Linden Orchard to plan this neighborhood-wide social event together.

This is what a Block Leader looks like

Great story in Seattle Weekly about Byron Hardinge, a Queen Anne resident who exemplifies what a Block Leader can be.  He’s a CERT member, CERT trainer, and SNAP instructor, and he’s poured his energy into getting his neighbors ready for a big quake.  (CERT is the Federal citizen response program, and SNAP is the City’s.)

This article has an excellent discussion of what people on the block need to think about for earthquake response – the best I’ve seen in the mainstream press.

Read the article at Seattle Weekly.

Community Preparedness Network: first meeting sizzles with purpose

The first meeting of the Community Preparedness Network drew 32 experienced neighborhood organizers to learn about creating earthquake response teams on residential blocks.  The room was bursting with energy!  Speaking personally, it felt good to meet so many mature, intelligent people who are devoted to the welfare of their neighbors and their community!

CPN is a new effort to recruit and support Block Leaders – people who take responsibility for reaching out to their neighbors.  Many people have begun organizing their block, but they often hit a roadblock after the initial meetings.  It’s difficult to figure out exactly what to do to build coherence and expertise in the response effort.

The Community Preparedness Network will link Block Leaders to one another to exchange experiences and knowledge.  We can learn what works and what doesn’t.  We can help each other develop and use Tabletop Exercises and other teaching tools.  And we can give each other social support in the sometimes lonely work of organizing our neighbors to face disaster!

A work plan is forthcoming, based on the intense energy of our initial meeting.  If you want to learn more about becoming a Block Leader, please email me at CPNseattle@gmail.com.

–David B. for CPN

Neighbors are the key to survival

A commenter on the PhinneyWood blog pointed us to Professor David Aldrich, whose research shows that social networks are key to survival and recovery in disasters.  NPR did a story.

The research concerns less-developed countries (India), or places with more cohesive social bonds than we have here (Japan, New Orleans).  In Seattle – as in many American cities – we may not even know the people on our block or in our building, much less trust them.

Our challenge is to open social channels while also teaching specific disaster response skills.  Not trivial!