2015 Seattle Disaster Relief Trials

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Press Release:

Seattle’s Disaster Relief Trials will take place Saturday, September 12th, 2015 and will run from 11:00AM to 3:00PM, starting from Garfield Playfield. This year, the Seattle DRT will be held in partnership with the inaugural Seattle Summer Parkways, Seattle Emergency Hubs and the Seattle Auxiliary Communication Service (ACS).

Why Participate?

Imagine the impact a nearby 8.5 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami would have on Seattle. Buildings collapsed, roads in shambles, people displaced, services disconnected. Without roads that are passable to vehicles, how do we provide essential services to injured and scared residents?

Three things need to come together for disaster relief activities to be successful:

  1. The ability to communicate via HAM radio (Seattle Auxiliary Communication Service volunteers)
  2. The ability to move disaster relief supplies (Seattle Cargo and Family bike riders)
  3. Bases of operations (Community Emergency HUBs)

Enter, CARGO BICYCLISTS!  Bikes can traverse the city even when roads seem impassable, and can bring needed medical supplies, person-power, blankets, tools, water, and relief equipment to disaster victims all over the city.  In coordination with Emergency Community and Communication Hubs, these bicyclists will know where to go and what to do, so that their relief activities are targeted to where they are needed.

Join the Disaster Relief Trials to feel the empowerment of biking through the city bringing emergency supplies to grateful citizens!  For the Responder class the DRT is a race, and prizes will be awarded to the top finishers.

The Resilient, Citizen, and Family classes are more leisurely, and you will have time to participate in family- friendly mini-workshops at each checkpoint: water filtration, emergency baby carry, preventing exposure, sanitation, and more!

Basic Details

  • The Disaster Relief Trials will take place Saturday, September 12th, partnering with the Central District Summer Parkways event (which includes a loop of 4 miles of closed-to-cars streets, the opening of the first Central District greenway route, and lots of other fun, in-the-street and parks activities), from 11am-3pm.
  • It is a fun, emergency preparedness event which mobilizes bicyclists to carry emergency supplies to and from six Community and Communication Hubs throughout the Central District, Madison Park, Beacon Hill, and Rainier Valley.

Participation Classes

  1. Responder—30 miles, 100 lbs of cargo, all checkpoints/no workshops, race
  2. E-assist—same as Responder, but with an e-assist on their bike, race
  3. Resilient—30 miles, up to 20 lbs of cargo (water and food for volunteers), all checkpoints/all workshops, not a race
  4. Family—10-30 miles, up to 20 lbs of cargo plus at least one child, minimum 3 checkpoints/workshops, not a race
  5. Citizen—free, no cargo or checkpoint requirement; enjoy as many workshops as they want, not a race

Goals

The goal is to provide a realistic practice of how bicyclists can be a vital link in providing supplies to citizens, in cases where the roads are impassable to larger vehicles, within the context of educating the public and having a great time!

  • Each of the 6 checkpoints will include a cargo activity for the Responder class, and an emergency response mini-workshop for the Resilient, Family and Citizen classes, as well as for the public. The emergency response activities will be provided by partnering organizations.
  • Each checkpoint will include a ham radio operator (ACS volunteer), who will relay messages from station to station, and track the Cargo racers.
  • Additionally, each station will be staffed by volunteers from that community or communication hub who can provide relevant outreach to the local community, and can help activate the community for the event.
  • Some checkpoint activity ideas include: Learn how to and practice carrying a child by strapping them on with a blanket, shirt, or sweatpants; How to treat Lake Washington water so that it is drinkable; Emergency sanitation (i.e., emergency toilets for when the sewer systems are down); First aid; and, keeping safe in cold/hot/wet/dry conditions.
  • Some cargo ideas include: Buckets of water from Lake Washington; Bags of pet food; Sand bags; Bags of rice; Blankets; Eggs (representing vaccines or antibiotics); Other food; Tools.
  • The riders will be required to go to the checkpoints in a certain order, and suggested routes along Greenways will be provided, to raise awareness about the local Greenways.
  • The start and finish will be on the Parkways route at Garfield Playfield, and can host an activity, and there will be 2 other checkpoints along the Parkways route (at Judkins Park and Pratt Park).

Opportunities to get involved:

  1. Staff a checkpoint and provide an Emergency Response activity
  2. Provide materials such as blankets, 5-gallon buckets, 5 lb bags of apples, burlap coffee sacks, or water filtration supplies
  3. Sponsor the event, and receive your name/logo on the DRT tshirt, website, and program
  4. Volunteer at the event for set up, take down, photography, or myriad other fun opportunities
  5. Partner with DRT in some other way that furthers the mission of fun, community-focused disaster preparedness!

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