Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Nodes (BEECNs)

Basic Earthquake Emergency Communications Node - BEECN
A BEECN (short for Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Node) is a place to go in Portland after a major earthquake, to ask for emergency assistance if telephone service is down or report severe damage or injury.
On this page

Click on the links below to learn more about BEECNs, find a site near you, and get prepared for an earthquake.

Introduction to BEECN

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

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. To find the closest BEECN, either:

Video introducing the BEECN emergency communications program.
En Español • видео: Pусском • Tiếng Việt

BEECNs are easily located under a clearly marked red and white tent. At these sites, you’ll see BEECN volunteers, pre-designated City employees, Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) members or other volunteers operating emergency radio equipment. There are 50 locations throughout Portland. The list of BEECNs may change over time.

The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) hopes to have BEECNs up and running 24-48 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.

BEECNs are primarily intended for communication purposes—requesting emergency assistance and reporting severe damage. But BEECNs will also have information regarding where to find information concerning the disaster response.

BEECN Informational Sessions & Training

  • Everyone is invited to attend a free, online, 90-minute training:
    • There is usually one online BEECN training each month. The next session will be:
      Tuesday, August 20, 2024, 6:00-7:30pm via Zoom. Register here!

BEECN Volunteer application

Information for current volunteers

BEECN UHF Radio video

ArcGIS Map of BEECN sites

BEECN Overall System Readiness Dashboard 

Fire station "orange go-kits"