Community Emergency Hubs


What is a Community Emergency Hub?
Hub graphic

Community Emergency Hubs are places where people gather after a disaster to help each other. Hubs are established by community members and encompass geographic areas larger than just an immediate block or building. Hubs serve as a central gathering place among neighbors in multiple homes, apartments and condominiums, some who have organized using SNAP.


While the Office of Emergency Management supports Community Emergency Hubs, the mission of the Hub is accomplished solely through neighbors and community members. Currently there are more than 50 Hubs organized throughout the city. Each Hub reflects the unique character of the community they serve, and may look different from location to location.

Sign up for the SNAP email distribution list for updates on Hub events.

Get up to $1,500 to start a Community Emergency Hub - apply now through Oct 28, 2016! Download application here.

Click here to download the Hub Frequently Asked Questions.

What is a Community Emergency "Hub"?

•·       A pre-determined, emergency gathering place designated by community members.


When would I go there?

•·       After a major disaster, like an earthquake, when City systems (roads, water, communications, electricity) have been severely disrupted and you need or can offer help to others.


What will happen there?

•·       People meet to help each other, exchange information and share resources.

Who will be there?

•·       Fellow neighbors and local community members.


Will City representatives be there?

•·       No, but knowing where Hubs are can help ensure the City gets critical information out to all parts of the community afterward.


Why is the City asking the community to designate Hub locations?

•·       Immediately after a disaster, there will not be enough City resources to help everyone who will need help. Past disasters tell us we rely on the people around us for the first 7 to 10 days. Having Hub locations identified ahead of time lets people know where to go to get or give help.


How do I establish a Hub location?

•·       Three steps:

•1.     Decide what locations in your community would be "natural" gathering places where people would go to after a major disaster. Examples include: parks, community gardens, faith-based centers, small business locations, or other public or community-oriented locations.

•2.     Identify who will be the primary and alternate contacts for the Hub.

•3.     Fill out the on-line form at: Your personal or organizational contact information will be publicly available for other community members to see on the Seattle Emergency NeighborLink Map.

•·       Spread the word and let others know about the Hub!


If I am the Hub Contact, do I have to be at the Hub during a disaster?

•·       No. It simply gives the Seattle Office of Emergency Management a way to maintain current Hub locations and update contacts annually.


How can people find Hubs in their area?

•·       Go to the Emergency NeighborLink Map at: interactive map shows all the Hub locations, as well as SNAP* groups, Block Watch groups and individuals with CERT** or disaster skills training. Community members can add themselves to the map and contact each other directly.

•·       The City also maintains a PDF map with all of the same Hub locations. It is updated once a year and copies are printed and distributed to community members to help promote Hub awareness in their neighborhoods.

*Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare   **Community Emergency Response Team


How many Hubs are there now?

•·       52. The City wants to add 40 more each year for the next five years in all parts of the city, so anyone who lives, works or visits Seattle has a place to go to start helping one another during a disaster.


What if I want to do more?

•·       Three options:

•¨ Join the SNAP email list to find out about emergency preparedness trainings and workshops. Scroll to the bottom of:

•¨ Apply for a Small Sparks Neighborhood Matching Fund award of up to $1000 to supplement your Hub with tools, equipment or emergency supplies. Go to:

•¨ Network with the "Hub Captains," an all-volunteer group of community members who specialize in emergency communications, train fellow community members and promote preparedness in their neighborhoods. Go to:


How can I get more information?

•·       Contact Debbie Goetz, Community Planner, Seattle Office of Emergency Management at: or 206-684-0517.

Hubs are popping up across the city.  The following map will show you where they are currently located. It is important to recognize that each community hub will look a little different. There is not a "one size fits all" template, rather communities have developed hubs to meet the particular needs of the people who live in the area. 

For an interactive map of Hub locations, including SNAP groups, go to the Seattle Emergency Neighborhlink Map.

Designating a Hub can seem like a huge task, but it is really pretty simple. Check out the Hub Flyer for details.


Small Sparks 

The Department of Neighborhood's Small Sparks Fund provides awards up to $1,000 to support community members in becoming civically engaged. Projects can include neighborhood organizing, membership expansion or numerous other types of activities, including emergency preparedness. Small Sparks awards are given year-round!  Click on the Small Sparks link above to learn more.

Neighborhood Matching Fund

Seattle's uniqueness and quality of life is tied to strong neighborhoods and active residents. The Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) program was created in 1988 to provide neighborhood groups with City resources for community-driven projects that enhance and strengthen their own neighborhoods. All projects are initiated, planned and implemented by community members in partnership with the City. Every award is matched by neighborhoods' or communities' resources of volunteer labor, donated materials, donated professional services or cash.  To learn more click on the Neighborhood Matching Fund link above.

Other Community Hub websites

Seattle is the first City in the nation to develop its own network of Emergency Communications Hubs.  Neighborhood leaders from many parts of Seattle are now working together, training together and actively involved in mentoring and developing new and emerging community Hubs.  Click on the link above to learn more about this innovative initiative.

Video Training

The following videos will assist your Hub develop and train others in the various roles that may be used at Hub locations

Other Videos and Resources

For more information, please contact Debbie Goetz at: or call 206-684-0517