The purpose of these gathering places is to have a “low tech” way of connecting neighbors if regular “high tech” methods of communication are unavailable.
During a serious emergency, it will be important that we share information within and between individual West Seattle neighborhoods. If West Seattle becomes isolated because of damage to roads/bridges, having central gathering places will aid people in sharing resources. Having predetermined locations will allow each neighborhood to more quickly collect information regarding scope of damage; it will also help police and fire respond in a more organized manner with their limited resources.
The West Seattle neighborhood Emergency Communication Hubs address the immediate, post-disaster time frame, i.e. when there may be no first responders to provide medical help or search and rescue, when area hospitals may not be accessible or available, when telephone or computer communication may be offline, when bridges may be down, when trained city or county staff may not be able to get to the affected neighborhoods to assist with communication and with search and rescue, when homes are destroyed or damaged, and each neighborhood is on its own to try to organize temporary shelters. This is when prepared citizens can act together to ensure public safety.
If you are interested in more details about how the city and related agencies will respond during a disaster, take a look at the West Seattle Emergency Preparedness Seminar videos and the various materials from the Office of Emergency Management in our Resources section.