Newsletter: January, 2007

In/Out With a Bang

Wow! November and December 2006 sure went out in a bang and it reminds us again that when it snows in Seattle, life pretty much shuts down! Since we live in a world of using debit cards and credit cards, this serves as a reminder to keep some cash available with you and at home. Keep a small amount of cash with you while traveling. And when you are home, “stash some cash” for emergencies in a place where you can get money quickly in case of changing weather conditions or other disasters that prevent you from traveling to your local ATM or bank. Having said that, here’s looking at the new year and wishing you a wonderful 2007!

— Dede Hough, Fiscal Specialist

Sandra Lier Announces Her Retirement

Sandra Lier leaves the University a stronger and much safer place then when she arrived in 2000. Not only was she instrumental in establising the very-first UW Office of Emergency Management in 2003, but she has also been a good friend and mentor to everyone who works with her.

Sandra promises us that she will keeping busy in her retirement. Please join UWEM, UW Police, Publications Services, Real Estate and Record Management in wishing her all the best!

— SteveCharvat, UWEM Director

Is The UW Open?

When the November snow storm left you struggling through snow and ice to get home, and the December wind storm left you shivering in darkness, did you wake up the next morning wondering if you could just stay in your warm and cozy bed? Did you turn on the news hoping to hear the UW campus would be CLOSED for the day?

Just so you know, the UW never closes. We do, however, suspend operations. With students living on campus, thousands of research animals in the labs, and the medical center on premises, the UW is a 24/7/365 operation. But there are times when conditions are so extreme the administration will choose to suspend operations and request that only essential employees report to work. How do you know when operations are suspended?

Just call the UWs Info hotline! Its easy to remember 206.UWS.INFO (206.897.4636 or toll free 1.866.897.4636).

If you have internet access, you can also find campus alerts and emergency information on the UWIN homepage: http://www.washington.edu/uwin/

These information resources will keep you updated with the latest news about the UW in the event of an emergency or disaster.

For more information about the UW Suspended Operations Policy, go to: http://www.washington.edu/admin/hr/pol.proc/susp.ops/suspend.operations.html

— Clarice Hall, Special Projects Manager

THAR SHE BLOWS!!!

Overall the University of Washington was able to recover quickly from the destructive winds and flooding that caused loss of life, mass power outages and extensive property damage elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Wind blown trees and flooding caused moderate damage to the Seattle and Bothell Campuses, UW Botanic Gardens Arboretum, Friday Harbor Laboratories and Pack Forest Center.

Debris clean up was necessary on the Seattle campus as uprooted trees blocked pedestrian and vehicle traffic. The bus shelter at Stevens Way Medicinal Herb Garden was significantly damaged as a large conifer fell through the west section of the bus shelter. Bothell campus was without power for three days, and had a number of trees down.

At the Botanic Gardens 50 fallen trees blown down with several large ones blocking Lake Washington Drive. Pack Forest where winds clocked at 113 mph near Mt. Rainier was out of power for seven days, and debris still covers about 35 miles of roadway blocking access for forest research. Friday Harbor Laboratories facilities were mostly spared as trees toppled over in the forest preserve.

Once again this storm event serves as a reminder about personal preparedness and responsibility. Make sure you have at minimum stash of extra water, non perishable food, flashlight and extra batteries for both home, office and car. Also hearing people’s experience it is highly recommended to have a full tank of gas in your car, and to make sure the gutters on your roof and street are clear of debris.

— Elenka Jarolimek, CEM, EM Specialist

Winter Outdoor Safety

Winter in Washington throws just about every kind of weather at us imaginable. From cold and wet to heavy snows, we get it all. A few simple tips will keep you warm, dry and healthy outdoors during out Winters.

1- Avoid cotton. “Cotton Kills” is a common mantra from Wilderness Search and Rescue experts. What they mean is that cotton loses all insulating value when wet. Worse, it provides a wonderful heat-conductor that will serve to draw heat from the body, increasing the liklihood of hypothermia. Dress in synthetics like fleece that have insulating value even when wet.

2- Dress in layers. Having a wicking layer of Polypropylene or some other synthetic will help keep you from getting wet from sweat. A middle insulating layer such as wool or fleece will help keep the chill off. An outer water/wind-proof layer will protect your core temperature from rain and windchill.

3- Play with a friend. The buddy system works and outdoors adventures are always better with friends.

4- Be smart. Pay attention to safety signs. Avoid avalanche areas and stay on well-marked trails. Don’t get caught out after dark where temperatures may plunge and you may get lost.

5- Be prepared. Have a way to call for help, a way to light the night and way to stay warm and dry. A first-aid kit and some water are good ideas too.

A few simple steps can make all of the difference between a great day in the great outdoors or endng up the subject of a search and rescue mission. Be safe, be prepared, have fun.

— Scott Preston, Business Continuity Manager