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

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PREPHub will provide crucial services to Portland residents 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. Portland City Council voted to approve the agreement today.

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 City of Portland is leading the nation in testing innovative
solutions to emergency preparedness thanks to MIT," says Mayor Ted
Wheeler. "These hubs will serve as a place for the community to gather
so that residents feel safe and prepared. I am proud that Portland can
serve as a testing ground for innovation and can serve as a model for
other cities in promoting community resilience."

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."

"PREPHubs are designed to increase disaster preparedness at the
neighborhood level, while also providing critical power and
communications needs in the event of a disaster. We have developed
different manifestations of the PREPHub project since 2014, supported by
research on disaster response and preparedness in cities around the
world," says Miho Mazereeuw, Associate Professor of Architecture and
Urbanism, Director of the MIT Urban Risk Lab. "We are extremely excited
to be able to work with the City of Portland, Portland State University,
and Portland General Electric to turn that research into a new PREPHub
prototype, designed especially for and with the people of Portland."

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