A Basic Earthquake Emergency Communications Node (BEECN) is a place to go in Portland neighborhoods after a major quake to ask for emergency assistance or to report severe damage or injury.
Cell phones, landlines, texting and internet service are not resilient enough to endure the damage anticipated from a Cascadia Subduction Zone Quake. The 48 neighborhood BEECNs in Portland rely on amateur radio to help neighborhoods and local government reach each other.
WHAT DOES A BEECN VOLUNETEER DO?
BEECN volunteers use a handheld radio from the cache. They talk with an amateur radio operator at the fire station who will relay those messages to the city’s Emergency Coordination Center. Each BEECN cohort requires a team of eight volunteers, with one volunteer acting as a cohort leader to organize the rest of the volunteers. BEECNs set-up about 24 to 48 hours after a disaster strikes, so you will have time to see to the safety of yourself and loved ones.
WHAT IS THE VOLUNTEER COMMITMENT?
- 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.
- Take a brief (one hour) BEECN class. They are offered:
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
Ascension Church, 1823 SW Spring St. (97201)
To arrange a group class in your neighborhood contact Ernie Jones
WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA TO BE A BEECN VOLUNTEER?
- Live within walking or biking distance of a BEECN cache.
- Complete a criminal background check (at PBEM’s expense).
- Register in our volunteer database at Volunteer Database