|BEECNs (aka Basic Earthquake Emergency Communications Node)
As Jeremy Van Keuren talked about in our meeting, PBEM hired Ernie Jones
last October to oversee BEECN. He has worked diligently to assess BEECN, build program infrastructure (such as training programming, a volunteer database, policies, and procedures) and acclimate himself to the resources available to him. This was the first phase of Ernie's work, and now he's ready to move to the next phase: aggressive recruitment of BEECN Volunteer Teams for each BEECN:
a minimum of eight volunteers per BEECN, for 48 BEECNs (a total of 384 volunteers).
As you also heard, our BEECN at Jefferson HS is actually not there right now, due to concerns about the box's safety due to vandalism and theft at other sites. If you have thoughts about where we could locate a BEECN in our area, please add them to the Operations Plan.
You don't need to be a NET trained volunteer to be a BEECN volunteer. However, being both a NET volunteer and a BEECN volunteer is feasible because NETs respond in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, while BEECN is not deployed until 24 to 48 hours following a disaster. But not everyone who wants a volunteer role in disaster preparedness and response has the bandwidth to dedicate 30 hours for Basic NET training, or the ability to meet the physical demands (lifting people/objects and carrying a heavy backpack). Volunteering for their local BEECN can be ideal for them, as the training and volunteer commitment is not as intense. If becoming a BEECN volunteer interests you, please contact Ernie
WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA TO BE A BEECN VOLUNTEER?
WHAT IS THE VOLUNTEER COMMITMENT?
Each BEECN requires a team of eight volunteers minimum, with one volunteer acting as a cohort leader who organizes the rest of the volunteers. Each team is expected to:
- Participate in a BEECN test once a year;
- Unpack, inventory, and confirm the cache equipment is in working order once a quarter;
- Make a site check of the cache once a month to confirm that it is still secure.
Additionally, each team member is expected to take a brief (one hour) BEECN class. The class can be given by other BEECN volunteers, and Ernie is also scheduling short BEECN classes throughout the city. Ernie already has some classes on the schedule. They are:
- Monday, March 21, 7 pm
Multnomah Arts Center Auditorium
7688 SW Capitol Hwy. 97219
- Monday, April 11, 7 pm
Redeemer Lutheran Church
5431 NE 20th Ave. (at Killingsworth)
- Wednesday, May 11, 7 pm
1823 SW Spring St. 97201
Ernie can also come to us and deliver a BEECN overview to our entire team, but I would appreciate it if someone interested in becoming BEECN trained would take the reins to arrange bringing that to our neighborhood. If nothing else happens, then I will see if Ernie can present at our June 14 meeting.
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BEECN PROGRAM?
You can visit https://www.portlandoregon.gov/beecn
for a full description of the BEECN program. You can also view the current draft of the BEECN Guidelines at: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/pbem/article/557545