(08/27/08) The University of Washington received six (6) new specialized emergency severe weather alert radios this week courtesy of the Federal Government. Funded by FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, Departments of Education, Commerce and Health and Human Services, these radios will serve an important public safety purpose. They will provide access to alerts and warnings and will provide UW emergency responders with an additional tool to provide our campuses (Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma) with information to respond quickly and appropriately should an incident develop.
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Below are news articles that have been archived by our staff.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.
UW Receives New Weather Radios
UW Outdoor Alert Testing Scheduled for August 27, 2008
(8/26/08) UW officials will be testing the new UW Outdoor Alert System at 12 locations throughout the Seattle Campus from approximately 8 am until 7 pm. UW Technology Services, UW Police and UW Emergency Management personnel will be training and testing the new "blue phones" as part of our ongoing continuous improvement program.
Radio Interview (8/6/08)
The Plans & Training Manager, Siri-Elizabeth McLean, was featured this week on Movin 92.5 discussing emergency preparedness. Tune in and listen!
Annual Internal Disaster Preparedness Grant Open Thru Sept. 1st
(July 21, 2008) Its that time o' the year again. UWEM is soliciting proposals from any UW department, unit, campus or college for emergency preparedness projects. The simple 1-page online application can be found by clicking on the headline above. This annual $100K grant program has NO matching requirements and has funded nearly 62 projects over the past 3 years. All applications must be received by September 1st in order to be considered!
New Vice-Chair of Partners Conference
The new Plans and Training Manager, Siri McLean, was recently elected as the Vice-Chair of the Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference steering committee.
UWEM Welcomes a New Team Member Siri-Elizabeth McLean
(July 21, 2008) Ms. Siri-Elizabeth McLean (Siri for short) today joined the UW Emergency Management Team.
She is the new Plans and Training Manager for UWEM. In this role, she will be responsible for many of the activities that Elenka Jarolimek used to do (including managing nearly $2 million in new FEMA mitigation grants), but also will be expanding to work on developing new training programs for students and faculty for disaster preparedness. She will also will be assisting in the development and update of department disaster plans, policies and procedures, and working on drills and in the EOC.
Siri is a UW graduate, having recently completed her Masters Degree in Critical Infrastructure Protection (aka "homeland security") in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning and recently worked as an emergency planner at Microsoft in Redmond, WA.
Siri's office will temporarily be located in Gerberding Hall Room B-78 (basement) until we can relocate her back into Suite 22 later this Fall. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org and her phone number is 206-897-8081.
July 2008 Newsletter Issued
(July 1, 2008) The Quarterly UWEM Newsletter was issued today. Click on the above headline to be taken to the issue and read about what's new with the UW's disaster management programs.
UW CERT Program Being Suspended Indefinitely
Effective May 29, 2008, the 5-year UW Campus Emergency Response Team (CERT) program will officially be discontinued as a campus-wide disaster response resource. Information on this difficult decision can be found on the UW CERT website by clicking on the headline above. Thanks to the over 300 UW volunteers who participated in training and activations over the past 5 years!
No News Is Good News?!
(May 13-20,2008) There are no news stories for UWEM. Please check back in the future or look in the archives.
UWEM Recognizes its 5-Year Anniversary
(May 1, 2008) - UWEM officially recognized its 5-year anniversary today. As it completes its first half-decade of existence, it is important to look back at the many ground breaking and innovative accomplishments of this small division. The next year will bring continued challenges as UWEM continues to meet is vision: A disaster resistant university as a global model for other institutions of higher learning.
Annual "Drop, Cover and Hold" Earthquake Drill Coming April 22nd
UW Facilities Services recommends that all UW buildings, departments, offices and units participate in the annual statewide (voluntary) "Drop, Cover and Hold" earthquake drill on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 9:45 am. Building Coordinators, Emergency Wardens, professors, TAs and administrative staff are encouraged to participate by taking 15-minutes to practice this procedure that could possibly save your life. Click here for more information (PDF).
Sound Shake After-Action Report Now Available
On March 5th, the UW participated in the regional catastrophic earthquake exercise, called Sound Shake. The attached report highlights the lessons learned and outlines improvements that the UW should work on to improve its overall disaster response and recovery efforts. click here for a copy of the report.
New UW Outdoor Alert System Tested on 3/27/08
The UW Crisis Communications Team conducted the first test of the UW Outdoor Alert system on Thursday, March 27, 2008 at 2 pm.
This wa the first field test of 10 (of 12) new outdoor alert pedestals. These new outdoor public address and emergency phones (aka the "code blue phones") include a distinctive tone alert followed by a voice instructions. This system-wide test includee field observers and technical experts who evaluatee the effectiveness of the sound quality, message clarity and overall campus coverage of the system.
The UW will continue to test the new UW Outdoor Alert emergency public alert system throughout the year — at least on a quarterly basis. Information on the tests was posted on the UW home website, as well as UWIN and the UW Emergency Management webpages.
UWEM to Co-Sponsor FREE Weather Spotter Training
Do you look at clouds and see more than just puffy cotton balls and rain? If so, the National Weather Service, in conjunction with UW Emergency Management and King County, wants you to attend FREE training for new and veteran spotters, on how to look for and report significant weather events. Training includes video demonstrations. The training will take place on April 15th from 6:30 - 9pm. Click here for more information.
Scott Preston Leaving UW for Wetter Pastures
Scott Preston, UWEM team member for the past 2.5 years is leaving the UW soon to become the very-first Emergency Management Coordinator for the Covington Water District. Scott developed the UW CERT Program as a nationwide model with over 300 UW staff trained, was one of our main ICS trainers, and the university's business continuity manager. He will be sorely missed by everyone who he met and worked with. Scott's last day will be Friday, March 14th. GOOD LUCK SCOTT!!
New UW Crisis Communications Plan Unveiled
(Reposted 2/15/08) A new campus crisis communications plan has just been published and is being distributed to key campus partners. This plan was developed over the Summer of 2007 in response to local and national events related to campus safety and the ability of the UW to quickly and reliably develop critical campus emergency messages for our community. This plan forms the basis for critical message development, approval and distribution. Click (here) for a PDF version of the plan.
The University of Washington will be a full-participant in the statewide SOUND SHAKE 08 earthquake disaster drill on Wednesday, March 5, 2008. As a regional partner in disaster planning, response and recovery, the UW will be conducting a number of real-time disaster response activities on the Seattle campus from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. Besides fully-activating its campus Emergency Operations (command) Center as part of the drill, the UW will also be activating disaster response teams Harborview Medical Center, the UW Medical Center and other specialized response teams throughout the Seattle campus. This annual drill, the largest in over 10 years, will simulate the region
UW Campus Volunteers Needed for Sound Shake Disaster Drill
UWEM is calling a few dozen volunteers from the Seattle campus to help out at the statewide earthquake drill on Wednesday, March 5th from 8:30am - 4:30 pm. We need people to help run the drill, be earthquake victims or help out in the UW's disaster command center. If interested, call us at 206-897-8080. Volunteers will be trained, fed and will get a better sense of the UW's disaster response plans and activities. FUN STUFF!
UW Begins Campus Disaster Plan Update
The UW has just begun the biannual wholesale update of its campus disaster plan. The UW's Emergency Response Management Plan (ERMP) is now open for public comment and review. The focus of the plan is the effective operational response and recovery from all-hazards and disasters. Comments on the plan are due to UWEM by COB, Friday, February 22, 2008.
2008 National Earthquake Conference in our Own Backyard
Just your fellow disaster groupies from April 22-26th at the Downtown Seattle Westin hotel for the 2008 NATIONAL earthquake conference. Why Attend?
Understand the research: Develop a shared understanding of the scientific, engineering, and social research that underlies our ability to assess, mitigate, and respond to earthquakes across the U.S. (California, Pacific NW, New Madrid, Northeast, Southeast)
Exchange ideas about tools for earthquake hazard and risk reduction: Exchange key information on the needs and state of the art in technological and informational products meant to facilitate earthquake hazard mitigation and response
Showcase successful programs: Present and discuss successful earthquake and other hazard mitigation and response programs in the public and private sectors
Learn from past disasters: Relate the lessons learned from large-scale disasters to probable future earthquakes
Discover and build on new approaches and solutions to achieving resiliency to earthquakes
Record Flooding Hits Region and UW Impacts
(Updated 12/03/07 2:00pm). As a result of the near-record rainfall over the past 30 hours, the UW-Seattle campus remains OPEN for all classes and activities with 1 (one) exception. Due to flooding in a basement-level high voltage utility room, Condon Hall has canceled most classes today due to potential for loss of electricity. Details on those classes that are canceled can be found on the Office of the Registrar's emergency website. Click on the headline above to be taken to that link.
Annual UW Winter Inclement Weather Policy Revisited
(Posted 11/9/07) With a stronger-than-normal "La Nina" winter pattern expected this winter, UW students faculty and staff are asked to review the UW's official inclement weather policy. Click on the the title above for more information and links to important details.
UW Issues MRSA Guidelines and Recommendations
(Posted 11/20/07) The UW's campus health officials have posted and distributed a number of recommendations related to MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. This information includes protective actions due and is the result of recent increased mass publicity on local MRSA infections. This easy-to-understand information can be found at the UW's Hall Health website by clicking on the title above.
UWEM Hosts 2nd Annual UW Building Emergency Responder Summit
(November 6, 2007) UWEM, in cooperation with C&C, Media Relations & Communications, hosted the 2nd Annual UW Building Emergency Responder Summit on Tuesday, November 6, 2007. Click here for all the details (time, location, agenda) This FREE event, attended by over 200 UW staff, was open to all UW staff, but primarily for staff responsible for building safety and disaster response (Building Coordinators, Evacuation Wardens, UW CERT, Department Administrators, Health & Safety Committee members…). The focus of this year's summit was campus crisis communication: how information on critical campus events are transmitted to key building staff. We updated staff on new and proposed processes and tools on how we can better communicate with our campus population. Click on the title for copies of Summmit materials.
New UW Campus Emergency Volunteer Study Posted Online
(Oct. 8, 2007) UWEM recently completed a 9-month comprehensive study outlining the issues and challenges of developing a post-disaster emergency volunteer program for the Seattle campus. This 61-page comprehensive report, identifies other current volunteer programs at the UW, legal and regulatory requirements for implementing a disaster volunteer program and provides a series of recommendations for improvement for a future disaster volunteer management program.