In May 1980, we experienced the eruption of Mount St. Helens. This event created havoc in many communities and sent ash clouds across our state and the nation. Scientist agree that Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes in the Cascade Range are capable of future eruptions. Sheltering-in-Place may be required if evacuation is not possible in the event of a volcanic eruption. Learn more
UWEM What's New Archive
Emergency Management News Archive
Below are news articles that have been archived by our staff. Some past articles may have been removed from the database.
May is Volcano Awareness Month
Prepare in a Year: May Tip
Important Documents: After a major disaster, you may need financial assistance and will want to document any property loss for insurance and income tax purposes. Having ready access to the documents necessary for completing application forms, as well as those which could be difficult to replace, will help reduce delay and frustration. More Info
Check out the new 3Days3Ways website!
Get ready now. Be prepared to survive for at least 3 days after a disaster. The chances are high that a catastrophe could happen in the Northwest. Make it Through
What if a major earthquake hit the Seattle area? What if a tsunami followed? Would you be prepared? Do you know what to do to stay as safe as possible and to survive a potentially catastrophic event? The KOMO 4 Problem Solvers want to help make sure you are. We investigate the likelihood of a major earthquake, tsunami or volcano and asked what your family needs to know and whether government officials are prepared. Watch the 40 minute video
3 to Get Ready: Take the Preparedness Challenge
3 ways to get ready…3 ways to win! Take Action, Tell a Friend and Snap a Photo. Grand prize trip package to Victoria BC. Start here
Earthquake similar to Japan could occur here in the PNW
We are all saddened by the images coming out of Japan and devastation that has occurred due to an 9.0 earthquake in Japan last week. Reality is we could face the same situation here in the PNW. Here are a few articles describing just that. Please join Siri McLean, Plans & Training Manager for UW Emergency Management to learn about our earthquake risk and how you can become better prepared. See flyer for dates, times & locations.
Nuclear event in Japan poses no health risk in King County
The Washington Department of Health advises that there is no health risk to Washington residents from the nuclear reactors in Japan. Air sample readings in our state remain normal. The Department of Health Radiation Protection Program doesn’t expect any change in environmental measurements taken in Washington. Read more on the Department of Health’s website.
Prepare in a Year Monthly Tip: Storing Water
Water is essential for survival. The ground trembling and shaking caused by earthquakes can crack or break the lines that bring fresh water to your house. You may have to rely for three days or more on the water you have stored.More information
Spring Ahead to Prepared for Disasters
Daylight Savings Time in the United States starts on the second Sunday in March of each year and FEMA encourages all Americans to use the change to daylight savings time to update emergency preparedness plans. For years, firefighters and safety professionals have asked the public to change smoke alarm batteries throughout their homes, as they move their clocks ahead. According to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, the March ritual of making homes safer from fire is also a great opportunity to review disaster preparedness plans and restock disaster kits. Read more
10th Anniversary of Nisqually Earthquake
February 28th marks the anniversary of the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually earthquake. It was unexpected, many were injured, and damage was significant. Ten years have since gone by, much has changed, and many improvements toward earthquake preparedness and mitigation have been made. Click here to learn more. UWEM also provides training on earthquakes and personal preparedness. See the Training page for details.
Partners in Emergency Prepaerdness Conference
Registration is officially Open! The Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference is the largest and most successful regional emergency preparedness conference in the Pacific Northwest. Partners in Emergency Preparedness annually hosts nearly 700 people representing business, schools, government, the nonprofit sector, emergency management professionals, and volunteer organizations. Register here!
We've Moved to the UW Tower
After nearly 10 years of planning and anticipation, the UWEM staff recently completed our move to our new offices at the UW Tower (Suite-C140) during the period of in late January. We are now co-located with our new UW Emergency Operations Center. Throughout the move, thanks to our partners, we did have any loss of connectivity via computer or phone at that time. Thanks to everyone for your patience during this exciting time of transition! Stay tuned for our Open House this Spring!
UWEM Staffer Re-Appointed to Regional Advisory Council
Steven Charvat, UWEM Director, was re-appointed to the Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) Regional Advisory Council for another 2-year term from 2011-2013. The purpose of the RAC is to advise the FEMA Regional Director on policy issues impacting State, local, tribal and private-sector emergency preparedness efforts and how FEMA and the federal government can best support local efforts. Mr. Charvat is the ONLY representative of higher education on the 18-member RAC.
Resolve to be Ready in 2011
A New Year’s resolution to be prepared for emergencies is simple - and could save lives. With the new year fast approaching, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging all Americans to make emergency preparedness one of their New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. Resolve to be Ready in 2011 is a nationwide effort to urge individuals, families, businesses and communities to focus on being ready and aware of all the hazards that exist in their communities.
La Nina is Strengthing. Are you ready?
UWEM Director Elected Secretary of National Association
Steve Charvat, CEM, UWEM Director, was elected as the Secretary of the International Association of Emergency Managers (www.iaem.com) at its annual international conference in San Antonio, Texas this week. The results of the election were announced on November 3rd. Steve was sworn in at the Presidential Banquet that evening. In his role, Steve will continue on the IAEM Executive Board for the next 2 years as Secretary, responsible for maintaining all official records of this 5,300-member professional emergency management organization - the world’s largest. Congratulations Steve!
2010 UW All Hazards Emergency Management Plan
The latest and greatest updated 2010 UW All Hazards Emergency Management Plan is final. Public version can be viewed here.
Hot Weather Safety
Summer is finally here! This week we should be experiencing temperatures in the high 80s & 90s. Please be safe as exposure to excessive heat can cause illness, injury or even death. Learn more on how to stay safe!
Homeland Security Announces New Standards for Private Sector Preparedness
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Secretary Napolitano have announced new standards for use in Private Sector preparedness. There are three standards that are currently accepted by DHS. First is the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1600:2007. Next is ASIS International’s SPC.1-2009 Organizational Resilience: Security Preparedness, and Continuity Management Systems. Finally, there is the British Standards Instruction’s 25999-2:2007 Business Continuity Management.
Prior to this announcement, University of Washington Emergency Management was already integrating principles of NFPA 1600:2007 into the Business Academic and Research Continuity (BARC) program and will continue to do so as a best practice. You can read more about this effort from Homeland Security here. If you have questions about emergency preparedness or business continuity, please contact UWEM
The Personal Side of Business Continuity from IBM
There is an excellent article from IBM on the human aspects of emergency preparedness and business continuity. All emergency planning begins and ends with people. Our students, staff and faculty are our most important resource, so they are our first and primary focus for all emergency planning. You can read the article here.
Biannual Update of the UW All Hazards Emergency Management Plan
The EMP is the UW’s all hazards plan that forms the basis for an effective and efficient response and recovery system for large scale disasters. Every 2 years the UW is required to conduct a formal review of the plan with feedback, edits, corrections from all key partners. The plan is now open for review with a final document to be completed in Sept 2010. If you would like more information feel free to email UWEM
Sign up for Earthquake Training
Come learn about the geological activity in the Pacific Northwest with tips on how to prepare for an earthquake and reduce risk of personal injury and property damage both at home and at work. The next class is Wednesday July 21st from 10-11:30am, Electrical Engineering Bld Rm 303. Click here to register.
From Chile to Seattle: What that earthquake might look like here.
A recent article from the New York Times examines that potential of damage for an earthquake similar to that of Chile occurring in Seattle. It’s an important reminder of our need to be prepared. You can read the article here.
UW Building Disaster Inspection Teams Ready for Action
A little-known resource at the UW-Seattle campus has been preparing for the “BIG ONE” for years. Known as the ATC-20 Teams, this specialized team of UW professional staff has been training and preparing for major disasters for years. Supported by UWEM and various internal disaster grants, these building officials continually train and prepare for evaluating and tagging/marking the UW-Seattle buildings after a disaster. Click here for a detailed story from University Week.
Prepare in a Year, Monthly Tip: Storing Water
March Tip: Storing Water. Water is essential for survival. The ground trembling and shaking caused by earthquakes can crack or break the lines that bring fresh water to your house. You may have to rely for three days or more on the water you have stored.WA State Emergency Management