Winter Weather


This page is dedicated to providing you with the resources needed to prepare you and your family for hazardous winter weather.

For more information on how the University of Washington Seattle campus mitigates, prepares, responds and recovers from severe weather activity, refer to Annex 1 - Hazardous Weather Operations Plan

Take Winter by Storm: The Wheedle is Ready! Are You?

Resources to Help You GET READY:

  1. Emergency Check List

  2. Commuters: Are you prepared for emergencies?

  3. Preparing Your Car

  4. Preparing for and responding to Power Outages

  5. Never use generators inside your home, garage or carports. Tips for using a generator during power outages
    Standby or Back-up Generators

    Never cook or heat inside on a charcoal or gas grill, they can cause a buildup of poisonous carbon monoxide gas. Carbon Monoxide Safety

  6. Help keep storm drains clear, clean gutters and down spouts regularly: Adopt a drain

  7. Flood Safety: Preventing, protecting, cleaning up and drying out

  8. Winter Safe Newsletter

  9. Winter Driving Tips SDOT

  10. 2013-2014 Winter Weather SDOT

Snow Routes

UW Seattle Campus’ Current Snow Removal Status

Seattle Department of Transportation’s Winter Weather Plan and Response Map

King Metro Snow Alert Page

Other Resources

UW Suspended Operations Policy

” The President or the President’s designee(s) may declare a temporary suspension of any or all University operations due to an emergency situation that adversely affects University operations, public health, or the well-being and safety of students, faculty, and staff.

Events which might require suspending operations include, but are not limited to: severe weather or natural disaster, spread of a communicable disease, fire or related hazard, an immediate threat to the safety of the campus community, damage to or failure of UW infrastructure, equipment or mechanical systems.”

Winter Storm: Respond & Recover

Puget Sound can expect a severe winter storm once every 3-4 years. These types of winter storms (ice or wet, heavy and sticky snow) can grind the whole city to a halt, shutting down transportation systems, and placing demands on the power systems. During these types of storms, accidents rise among those who try to drive and can trap people at home or work.

Winter Storm Watches and Warnings

  • A Winter Storm Watch indicates that severe winter weather may affect your area. A Winter Storm Warning indicates that severe winter weather conditions are definitely on the way or have already begun.

  • A Blizzard Warning means that large amounts of falling or blowing snow and sustained winds of at least 35 miles per hour are expected for several hours.


  • Stay safe, warm, dry and calm.
  • Do not drive unnecessarily. Of deaths related to ice and snow, 70 percent occur when people are stranded in cars or involved in accidents. If you must drive, bring necessary supplies.
  • Dress warmly enough to prevent frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Do not go outside if you don’t have to.
  • Check the most current Pacific Northwest Radar from the UW before heading out the door. Click here

In a Car or Truck

  • In extreme cold or in heavy snow, stay with your car until you can be rescued.
  • Run the motor about ten minutes each hour for heat.
  • Open the window a little for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked, which would cause dangerous fumes to backup inside the car
  • Make yourself visible to rescuers. Tie a bright cloth to your antenna or door to alert rescuers.
  • Turn on your dome light, at night, when running the engine.
  • Raise the hood indicating trouble after snow stops falling.
  • Exercise from time to time by vigorously moving arms, legs, fingers and toes to keep blood circulating and to keep warm.

Additional Information

Keeping Updated

  • UW Information Line (recorded message) 206-UWS-INFO, Toll Free: 1-866-897-INFO
  • Red Alerts” on UW Home page
  • Your supervisor, department/college administrator or building coordinator
  • KOMO 1000 AM (Emergency Alert System)