Urban Risk Lab
Tdworld 14364 Prephub

City of Portland, PSU, PGE and MIT Partnering on First-Ever Emergency Preparedness Hub

Aug. 14, 2018
PREPHubs are a new kind of infrastructure designed to operate entirely off-grid during a disaster

The City of Portland, Portland State University and Portland General Electric, with guidance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, are partnering to create a PREPHub (Emergency Preparedness Hubs) Pilot, a program to improve disaster resilience and emergency preparedness in Portland.

PREPHubs are a new kind of infrastructure designed to operate entirely off-grid during a disaster, providing crucial services that include power, communication and emergency first aid supplies. The hubs will be able to recharge emergency communications, equipment and cell phones during and immediately after a natural disaster. They also provide secure, locked storage for Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Node (BEECN) cache equipment. BEECNs are places for Portland residents to go after a major earthquake or other disaster to ask for emergency assistance and get information. PGE will provide power to the PREPHubs from the electric grid and from energy storage devices, supplemented by solar arrays and pedal-power.

The first PREPHub will be located on the Portland State University campus and is expected to be installed in 2019.

“Locating Portland’s first PREPHub on the PSU campus is yet another demonstration of the way the university’s research expertise serves the city,” says Portland State University President Rahmat Shoureshi. “We’re excited that our faculty and students will get to test out the capabilities of this new technology, paving the way for more PREPHubs in the future.”

“The PREPHub project will provide our communities with an important energy resource in the event of a natural disaster,” says Maria Pope, president and CEO, Portland General Electric. “Successful disaster response depends on partnerships. This project will also inform PGE’s work to use technological advances to build a smarter, more resilient grid for customers.”

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