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November 17, 2010

Winter storms coming — and UW Emergency Management has a website to help you prepare

Anyone doubting the value of emergency preparedness need only remember the winter storm of 2008 that led the University to suspend operations. | Photo by Kathy Sauber

Anyone doubting the value of emergency preparedness need only remember the winter storm of 2008 that led the University to suspend operations. | Photo by Kathy Sauber

With winter just around the corner, its time to think about preparing for stormy weather. Fortunately, the folks at Department of Emergency Management are on the job — theyve opened up a new website full of advice on how to prepare for the storms almost certain to come.

“These are best practices, if you will. Its pretty much the same information youll find at FEMA or the Red Cross or King County. Were all kind of pulling from the same general pool of information,” said Scott Preston, business continuity manager for Emergency Management. “If we do encounter some difficult weather we want students, staff and faculty to have done as much preparing as possible. As JFK said, ‘The time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining.”

And to further help the campus prepare, Emergency Management will hold a sort of “Preparation Fair” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, on floor C4 of University Tower.

Some meteorologists are saying this winter will bring the most intense La Nina conditions in decades. Such conditions in the past have brought on such inclement weather as the storm in December of 2006 that knocked out power to 1.5 million people, and the 2008 storm that caused the UW to suspend operations.

Preston said even bus commuters should consider what supplies they may need in case they get stuck at the UW. He said Emergency Management has been doing business for years with a company called Prepare Smart in Kirkland, which gives a 20 percent discount to University students and employees and government entities.

Preston said Emergency Management is ready to advise anyone on campus about winter storm preparation needs. To contact them, call 206-897-8000 or e-mail disaster@uw.edu. “History tells us to get ready,” he said.