On Saturday May 19 the first Broadview Emergency Communication Hub particpated in a city-wide drill of emergency communication hubs. The purpose of the drill was to allow communications volunteers from emergency communication hubs, the Auxilliary Communication Service (ACS) and the staff at the Seattle Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to practice emergency communications in a simulated disaster environment. The exercise also provided on-site training and mentoring.
A simulated disaster scenario involved regional terrorist attacks. In the scenario the attacks started on Friday May 18 and were assumed to be ongoing on Saturday May 19. In the scenario there was significant damage to the electric power system supplying Seattle, and communication networks were compromised and not reliable. The Seattle EOC had been activated, and the Seattle network of community hubs had been activated across the city.
The volunteers from Broadview Prepares set up a hub at Grace Lutheran Evangelical Church. Volunteers simulating Broadview residents presented simulated problems to the hub volunteers. Reports of high priority problems were sent by radio to the EOC, and messages on the situation around the city were sent from the EOC to the hub.
At a debrief session at the end of the drill the Broadview volunteers said they had learned a lot from the realistic conditions of the drill. Another drill will be held some time in the autum of 2012. Some pictures of the drill are online.
You can learn more about preparedness and how you can be involved at the Broadview Prepares website.