Feb 03 2016

Here’s How We Execute Our Mission:

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Enable Emergency Communications: In time of major emergency we cannot depend on the availability of traditional communications systems. We have four ways to communicate between ourselves and out of the area that are independent of the traditional communications grid:

  1. Vessel (to and from) Vessel: We have established Marine VHF Channel 71 as the Shilshole Vessel Mutual Assistance Network, or V-MAN. V-MAN meets weekly, Mondays at 8:00PM on Channel 71 to practice communications skills, test radios, and pass relevant communications. V-Man
  2. Vessel <> Port of Seattle Operations: These communications continue to use Marine VHF Channel 17.
  3. Shilshole HUB <> Northwest Sector: This link is primarily for local communications with the greater Ballard area and uses Amateur Radio or GMRS equipment and trained operators. This link will be activated during times of emergency and will be physically located in the central plaza area near the marina offices. This HUB also participates in city-wide drills to verify that we can successfully transmit messages out of the area. Both voice and digital protocols are employed.
  4. Shilshole HUB <> Seattle EOC (Emergency Operations Center): This link connects us with the City of Seattle for status reporting and is similar to the Shilshole HUB <> Northwest Sector except that it is manned by Seattle ACS (Auxiliary Communications Service) personnel and uses voice and digital modes on amateur VHF or UHF bands.

Getting Prepared:  If we are prepared for an emergency we stand a much better chance of survival. Our preparedness plans fall into these categories:

  • Awareness: It is critical that each of us know our neighbors, the skills we have amongst us, understand the plans that are in place before the disaster strikes. Currently we envision these methods for building awareness:
    • V-MAN: Vessel Mutual Assistance Network on Marine VHF Channel 71 on Monday nights at 8:00pm.
    • Presence at community events such as Family Night Out and the Ballard Seafood Fest.
    • Word-of-mouth at dock events, dock captain meetings, etc.
    • Shilshole skills training events.
  • Vessel Preparation: Boaters almost by definition are set up to operate off the grid. However, it is in our best interest to plan for major disasters and get our vessel in shape to survive. We are developing a Vessel Preparedness Checklist with things to consider for giving your vessel the best chance to survive a major disaster.
  • Skill Training: We need to know how to handle marina utility problems, fuel spills, fires, medical emergencies, sanitation, and security. We are working with the Port of Seattle to address these issues and will be training those who are interested during the months ahead. We are encouraging everyone in our our neighborhood to consider the following courses:

Integrate with Community Efforts: In times of emergency we need to make sure our plans fit with and supports those of our neighbors. Currently the Shilshole Prepares Leadership Team is working with the following organizations to plan and integrate our efforts:

  • Ballard District Council
  • Seattle/Ballard HUBS
  • Shilshole Liveaboard Association
  • Shilshole Dock Captains
  • Port of Seattle
  • Seattle Office of Emergency Management
  • Seattle Auxiliary Communication Service
  • US Coast Guard

Shilshole Prepares is staffed by volunteers.  We are always looking for volunteers and no experience is required! For more information, contact any of the leadership team. The Leadership Team Consists of:

  • Shilshole HUB coordinator-vacant.  Interested?  Please contact us.
  • Sheri Medley, V-Man/V-Kids VHF marina communication
  • HUB/ACS/Ham Radio-vacant. Interested?  Please contact us.
  • Al Hughes, vessel preparation

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