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Portland Bureau of Emergency Management

Readiness. Response. Recovery.

Phone: 503-823-4375

Fax: 503-823-3903

TDD: 503-823-3947

Frequently asked questions about BEECNs

What is a BEECN?

A BEECN is a temporary radio communications site staffed by at least one person after a major earthquake. BEECNs are places where you can report severe damage or injury or ask for emergency assistance when phones are down.

When should I go to a BEECN?

It’s best if you can stay at home and remain self-sufficient until help arrives. If that’s not possible, go to a BEECN if you need to call for emergency assistance.

How do I find the nearest BEECN?

You can search for a BEECN by entering your address here - http://www.portlandoregon.gov/pbem/article/414941. You can also print out a postcard with the BEECN sites here – http://www.portlandoregon.gov/pbem/article/423717.

How many BEECNs are there?

There are 48 locations throughout Portland. The list of BEECNs may be added to or changed over time.

What will I find at a BEECN?

BEECNs are easily located under a clearly marked red and white tent. At these sites, you’ll see pre-designated City employees, Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) members or other volunteers operating emergency radio equipment.

How were these sites picked?

PBEM worked with several City Bureaus to find BEECN sites on flat ground, away from known hazards (floodplain, steep or unstable slopes, hazardous material sites, etc.). BEECNs are distanced from overhead power lines, underground utility lines, trees, unreinforced masonry buildings and other structures that may fall (such as poles). The sites are at least a half-acre in size to accommodate a potential surge of people and emergency vehicles and supplies. When practical, BEECN sites are adjacent to schools, libraries, churches or other central, accessible neighborhood establishments.

How soon will BEECNs be up and running after an earthquake?

It depends. PBEM hopes to have BEECNs up and running within 24 hours of a major earthquake. The reality is that some sites will be activated before that, and others may take longer to establish depending on the damage caused by the quake.

Can I find food, water, shelter and other emergency supplies at a BEECN?

No, at least not initially. BEECNs are intended for requesting emergency assistance and reporting severe damage. But BEECNs will have information about where people can go to find food, water, shelter and other supplies.

What’s the difference between a BEECN and a NET staging area?

BEECNs are primarily intended for communication purposes. They are places for the public to go after a major earthquake to call for help. A NET staging area is intended as a rally point for NET members to gather after an earthquake (or other disaster) before going out into the community to provide assistance. In some cases the BEECN site and NET staging area for a neighborhood are co-located.

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