Pick up new hub maps next Saturday at Summer Fest!

As promised, we’ve added a few more details to our earlier post about upcoming events! The main one is that we’ll be at Summer Fest on Saturday, July 11th from 2 to 6 PM. Look for us in the Community Tent, right next to the south wall of Easy Street Records (intersection of SW Alaska Street & California Avenue SW).

We will have kid’s items (bags, stickers, coloring books), as well as useful information for grown-ups. Most importantly, we’ll have our new West Seattle Emergency Communication Hub postcard maps (shown below).

Why new maps? We added a new hub  earlier this year, and relocated several of the original hubs recently, hence the updated maps.

updated hub map postcard, front side


updated hub map postcard, back side

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Happy Summer! We’ve updated our event calendar!

Summer activities and outreach events start this weekend! We’ve just added the following to our event calendar, which is linked from the home page on our West Seattle Be Prepared website.

June 20th, Saturday, Morgan Junction Community Festival: We will have an informational booth at this great neighborhood event. Look for us between 10:30 AM and 4 PM. You can pick up free coloring books and other useful materials!


July 10th – 12th (Friday – Sunday): We’ll be at Summer Fest again this year. We will not be there the entire weekend, so will post details about our schedule and location once our plans are finalized. [Update: we’ll be in the Community Tent on Saturday, July 11th, from 2  to 6 PM.]  This is another opportunity to pick up emergency preparedness materials from us, as well as ask questions or just say hi. We’ve ordered a new batch of Hub Postcard Maps that will literally be “hot off the press!”

August 4th, Tuesday, — NIGHT OUT!  Registration is open for Seattle’s 31st annual Night Out Against Crime. Night Out is a wonderful way to connect with your neighbors, who during an emergency may become your first responders.

August 8th, Saturday — Delridge Day & the SW Precinct Picnic: We’ll have an info booth again this year. Stop by between 11 AM and 3 PM! It will be held at the Delridge Community Center.

NOTE: We may continue to update this list – especially to add event flyers and links to additional info as they become available – so check back. If we’ve missed anything, please let us know.

FYI, we checked the Seattle Office of Emergency Management’s calendar of classes, at the moment there is nothing scheduled  in West Seattle. You can find their full schedule of classes here.

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West Seattle has another new hub on the map!

Last fall and winter we mentioned that the agenda for the JuNO (Junction Neighborhood Organization) meeting included discussion about forming another hub in the Junction neighborhood. Fast forward to last month, when volunteers stepped forward from this new hub to participate in the citywide emergency communication drill!

Now that they’ve had some practice, we’ve added them to our map (below)! You’ll find this newest hub, #13, at Hope Lutheran Church (4456 42nd Ave SW, at SW Oregon Street).

West Seattle hubs map

West Seattle emergency communication hubs map (updated, June 2015)

We’re updating our other informational materials, as well! We’ll have printed materials soon, but meanwhile here’s a printable .pdf version of our updated Hubs postcard.

Keep in mind that you can find lots of additional and more detailed information about the emergency communication hubs in the About the Hubs section of our website. Get in touch with our group if you’re interested in establishing a new hub in your neighborhood.


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Wondering where to get CERT training?

certlogoWe recently learned that the City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management has cancelled their CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training classes for 2015. We were quite surprised by this announcement, as their program was relatively new; it launched in the fall of 2011. Several members of our West Seattle Be Prepared group, as well as some of the hub captains from other Seattle neighborhoods, felt lucky to be part of the first “pilot” class of Seattle CERT graduates.

Cancellation of Seattle’s CERT training for 2015 now raises the question about other nearby locations where CERT classes are offered. If you are interested in CERT training, you can find info on the King Country OEM website here. As well, visit the FEMA website, which has additional information about CERT here, including a zipcode-based search.

CERT classes are skills-based; they include hands-on training in Light Search and Rescue, Disaster First Aid, Controlling Utilities, and other information that can help you help others following a major disaster.

We’ll close by noting that the annual CERT Expo is coming up on August 15th at Renton Technical College. This is not the full program of CERT training classes, but rather an opportunity to learn and practice skills and connect with others who are involved in CERT.

Added 6/11/15:  I found this interesting article about CERT training in my newsfeed today. Nice job by a writer in Lake Oswego, Oregon; he provides some useful insights and perspective on this training and raises many relevant questions.

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Want to “BEE” prepared? Find out how next Saturday, May 16th!

Forgive us for the pun…and stop by to see us at the 3rd annual West Seattle Bee Festival at High Point Commons Park (6400 Sylvan Way SW, Seattle, WA 98126). We’ll be among the community groups participating in the Information Fair this coming Saturday, May 16th. The Information Fair runs between 11:30 AM and 2 PM.

The West Seattle Bee Festival starts at 9 AM with the Honey Run, and there are other fun and educational activities — for adults as well as kids — that follow. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the West Seattle Bee Garden. Between noon and 2 PM, they offer free tours of the bee enclosure!

We’ve included the West Seattle Bee Festival informational flyer with additional details below.

3rd Annual Bee Festival flyer

Join us for the 3rd Annual Bee Festival in West Seattle’s High Point neighborhood!

We hope you’ll stop by “make a beeline” to our booth to learn more, pick up informational materials and hub maps, find out how you can get involved, ask questions or just say hi!

FYI, you can also find and like the West Seattle Bee Garden on Facebook.

Added 5/23/15:  Here is some video from King5 TV taken during the Bee Festival this year.

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Takeaways from the citywide emergency communications drill?

Saturday, May 9th, was sunny and warm — truly a gorgeous day here in Seattle. I later heard that the temperature reached 80 degrees. At 5 PM, the Hub/ACS communication field exercise, dubbed Dark and Stormy 2015, got underway. It did get dark, but participants had to try very hard to imagine stormy conditions.

Two West Seattle hub locations, at Ercolini and Hiawatha parks, were activated for this drill, with participants from the other West Seattle hubs. As noted earlier, this was the first drill that has taken place partially after dark. Another big change is that ham radio, rather than GMRS radio, was the primary method used to communicate information  during this drill. Information being sent to/from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was all done via ham. GMRS channel 1 (West Seattle’s frequency) was only used to communicate from hub-to-hub during the drill.

For those of you who participated, or listened in, we want to hear your takeaways! You can find the Twitter stream for the drill at #Darkandstormy2015, and post any comments or photos you may have taken there. Or, send us your thoughts via the contact form on our website.

West Seattle Blog has posted coverage of the drill including photos and video.

Added 6/10/15: Discovered that the Seattle ACS group has posted photos taken during this drill in a photo gallery here. Scroll down a little and you’ll see one of our West Seattle Emergency Communication Hub signs. They have some great shots taken at our hub locations.

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Watch or join the citywide emergency communications field exercise on May 9th!

As noted on our calendar, several members from West Seattle Be Prepared will take part in this year’s citywide spring communications field exercise on May 9th! This event runs from 5 PM until 10 PM in two West Seattle hub locations as well as at other locations throughout the city.

Emergency Communication Hubs organizer, Cindi Barker, sent out the following details today.

Hi everyone,

It’s been a whole year since our last Seattle Emergency Communications Hub drill and time to get things shaken up – literally!

Please find below our two page flyer with information about this years drill.  We again welcome anyone who can come to the hubs in West Seattle (Ercolini and Hiawatha Playfield near the south baseball diamond) to help us keep our skills sharp and ready to respond in the event of a major disaster when all normal communication channels are down, and neighbors need to help neighbors.

We are aware that our drill is again on the same day as the West Seattle Community Garage Sale, but at least this year we begin our drill at 5:00 pm and go until 10:00 pm at night.  This is so we can practice nighttime operations and with the longer drill, can also try doing a shift change.  So stop by if you’re out and about at dinner time, or on your way home from an event.  You can join in and learn one of the hub roles, or you can be an actor for us, drawing a situation from our misfortunes fishbowl and seeing how we handle it.

If you plan on participating, do let me know, it’s nice to know who is able to come.  But drop-in’s are very welcome!

We sincerely appreciate all the community support we get at these drills to help make West Seattle a place where we are prepared to help ourselves and others in a major disaster.

You can reach Cindi directly at cindiLbarker@gmail.com, 206-933-6968, or use the Contact Form on our website. The attached flyers, including a version in .pdf format, are below.

May 9th drill informational flyer, page 1 of 2

Come watch or participate in this citywide emergency communication drill!

May 9th drill informational flyer, page 2 of 2

May 9th drill informational flyer, page 2 of 2

May 9th citywide emergency communications drill 2015  (2-page, .pdf format )

Visit the West Seattle Be Prepared website to learn more about the West Seattle emergency communication hubs, view maps, etc.  You can find additional information in the Resources section of our website about the hubs in the other communities and about the ACS (Auxilliary Communication Services) groups.

If you can’t attend the drill in person, but have either a GMRS or ham radio, tune in to listen!  You’ll find more details about our radio frequencies here.

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