There are dozens of metal chests hidden throughout the city of Portland, but, they aren’t filled with your average treasure.They’re called Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Nodes (BEECNs) and there are 49 of these large metal chests hidden in Portland. Inside are the tools to help Portlanders during a major emergency.“We know that people might need life safety information or life safety help.” BEECN Coordinator Earnest Jones said. “That’s why the BEECN system exists."The program is designed to help Portlanders in the case of an earthquake or other major emergencies.“As far as we know, there’s only three other places on the planet that have something like a BEECN system,” Jones said.Milwaukie, Oregon, Seattle, and a city in New Zealand are the only other places in the world known to have an emergency system like this one.Volunteers near each site are trained to recover and deploy the nodes within 48 hours of a disaster. Inside are medical supplies, radios to communicate with the nearest fire station and more.“There are lots of different kinds of bandages, cold packs, hot packs, and bandages you hope you never have to use,” Jones said.The city of Portland is trying to make the sites more obvious and wants to design and install art installations that would house the BEECN and act as a landmark.The budget for these has yet to be approved.It takes 90 minutes to be trained to be a BEECN volunteer and the city needs more. They have about half of the volunteers they need and they’re looking for another 200 more.If you want to know where the closest BEECN site is to where you live, visit this link here.
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