Last October the city was in the third day of a major winter storm. Some people couldn’t leave their homes, some who did got trapped.
“Maple Leaf Team to Wedgwood Hub. This is a drill. We have a car stuck snowbound with three occupants suffering from hypothermia. Requesting support.”
That was the drill last Oct. 29th. Participants came from all over northeast Seattle, including Maple Leaf, View Ridge, Meadowbrook, Hawthorne Hills, Ravenna/Bryant, even Pinehurst, Fremont and Montlake, according to a follow-up report from the Wedgwood Community Council. Some 85 neighbors participated.
Now the drill is coming to Maple Leaf this weekend, and the organizers want community support from neighbors here.
Here’s what it will sound like: “Maple Leaf here, we have a cyber attack by malicious hackers who have shut down the power grid. We have no power, no phones, no cell service.”
It’s part of a citywide effort to prepare for emergencies – officials say that in a major event all residents should be prepared to be without city services for at least three days – and maybe two weeks.
“The Maple Leaf neighborhood is uniquely suited to have its own communications hub,” emails John Parnell, a Maple Leaf resident and amateur radio operator.
“Being located in one of the highest elevations in the city, we would be able have point-to-point communications all the way from Lake Washington to Puget Sound. This would be very important when/if there is an emergency that knocks out public safety communications and overwhelms the cellular phone networks (even minor shakes cause cell overloads as everybody tries to talk at once!)”
The ham operators tested conditions earlier this month. “We were able to reach all of the community areas using a base radio at the park talking to handheld radios. The only ‘dead zone’ was a few blocks at a low spot near where Northeast 92nd Street crosses Interstate 5.
“All we need is for folks to show up at 8:30 a.m. on the 19th; we will divide them up into groups and send each group out with a radio and a radio ‘mentor’ who will help them sending out the messages. The drill will last only two hours,” Parnell says.
“Other folks can stay at the hub and participate with our volunteers and see what the various roles are in the operation of the hub. You need not stay for the whole drill. Feel free to come by and check us out!”
For more information email John: k7hv (at) arrl.netTweet