A post from Front Porch, the blog for the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods !
The Seattle Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is partnering with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods P-Patch Community Gardening Program to designate all P-Patch Gardens as gathering places during an emergency (Community Emergency Hubs).
Community Emergency Hubs are places where people gather after a disaster to help each other. Hubs serve as a central gathering place among neighbors in homes, apartments, and condominiums. They include spaces like the P-Patches, which are already natural gathering places. With the addition of the P-Patches, it means neighbors and community members now have about 150 pre-determined places in the City of Seattle to meet after disaster.
How do I find out where the hubs are?
The Seattle Office of Emergency Management (OEM) maintains a map of hub sites. There is also an independent, interactive Seattle Emergency NeighborLink Map where community members can connect with each other.
What will happen at a hub?
Ideally, people will meet, exchange information and resources, and problem-solve with each other.
Will City representatives be there?
No, hubs are places where neighbors go to help each other. After a disaster, City responders will prioritize their resources to help those in the most life-threatening situations, such as people trapped or injured in collapsed buildings.
Will there be food, water, or first aid there?
Generally, no. The idea is people who gather there will share information on what they know and problem-solve together. Some gardens may use message boards to help share information with others. Some may organize supplies together. It will vary depending on who is there.
I’m a neighbor and live near a P-Patch hub, but I’m not a gardener. Can I still help?
Yes, check the OEM and P-Patch contact information below for the best way to get involved. You may be asked to attend a garden party to meet the gardeners, or become part of a garden preparedness team.
Where can I go for more information?
Seattle OEM encourages people to find out where their nearest hub is. For a printable map, go to http://seattle.gov/hubs and click “Find a Hub.”
Are there funding opportunities available to support Community Emergency Hubs?
Yes, go to our Neighborhood Matching Fund page to find out how to apply for a Small Sparks Award of up to $5,000 to supplement your hub with tools, equipment or emergency supplies.
Who can I contact if I have questions?