This Saturday, May 11th, the West Queen Anne Playfield will be the staging grounds for Mayday, Mayday, an earthquake preparedness drill. Part of a citywide drill, the Queen Anne event will test our neighborhood’s response capabilities to a 6.3 magnitude earthquake.
Why a 6.3? That’s the magnitude of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand, which severely damaged the central city buildings and infrastructure, as well as resulting in the loss of 185 lives. Mayday, Mayday’s goal is to practice preparedness and response actions that would help our community and the greater Seattle area survive a similar disaster.
An estimated 125 people from disaster preparedness groups and volunteer response teams including the Public Health Reserve Corps and Ham Radio emergency communications teams will participate in the event. The amateur radio teams are sponsored and trained by the Seattle Office of Emergency Management. Their purpose is to provide emergency communications when cell and land line phones become or damaged due to catastrophic events.
The drill runs from 9am to around noon at the West Queen Anne Playfield (adjacent to the Queen Anne Community Center), and everyone is welcome to observe. If you’d like to take part in the drill, volunteer to play the role of a victim (scripts provided, no improv skills necessary).
To join the drill, you can either show up or contact Frank Gaul via email.
According to the organizers, the Mayday, Mayday designers have “built in some twists and turns involving communications networks and several developing challenging issues at Hub sites during the three hour long training event.”
If you’re looking for something to do Saturday morning, volunteer to be a victim, show up and observe the drill, or check out the following sites so you’re prepared when an earthquake strikes: