The Lake City Emergency Communications Hub is beginning to take shape at Lake City’s Fred Meyer after hard work by a group of dedicated neighbors.
The emergency communication hub is part of a network around Seattle that would be staffed by trained volunteers and ham radio operators who could send emergency messages to the city in case of a large-scale disaster.
Efforts to establish a hub in Lake City have been led by Cedar Park resident Sandy Motzer. During a presentation, Motzer saw a map that showed the hubs closest to Lake City were at the top of Maple Leaf and in Wedgwood! “It was pretty clear we didn’t have one,” she said.
If a large-scale disaster were to hit the area, communication with city leaders and emergency responders would be essential.
“One of our challenges was finding a site because Lake City is very big,” Motzer said. Normally parks are considered ideal locations for Hubs since they have fewer structures nearby that might sustain damage. However the tiny parks in Lake City weren’t conducive for a Hub location. Fortunately, Troy Graves, the store director at Fred Meyer and Kroger, its parent company, embraced the idea to let them use a commercial property as the site of the Hub. A grant proposal to create a Hub in Lake City was submitted in September 2012 and approved for funding in November 2012.
The hub began taking shape this week with delivery of a sturdy shipping container where emergency equipment will be based. Eventually organizers will hold an open house so everyone can learn about the Hub and how it will help the Lake City community.
The delivery of the shipping container and the physical beginning of the Lake City Emergency Hub comes the same week that Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced a national grant to create emergency hubs in P-Patch community gardens in southeast Seattle. The $35,000 FEMA grant will help fund 8-12 sites in diverse communities where people can go in case of large-scale emergencies.
The only City of Seattle P-Patch in the Lake City area is a small one for residents of the new Lake City Court housing project on 33rd Avenue NE. It was not part of the proposed project.
Ryan from the Victory Heights blog contributed to this post.