Emergency communications

The University of Washington is committed to keeping the campus community informed during emergencies and situations that might disrupt normal operations. These are among the ways information is communicated:

UW Alert messages: Immediately upon learning about a potentially serious situation, a crisis communications team convenes on a conference call to assess the nature of the risk and the quality of the available information. The team then decides what, if any, message to send and how to disseminate the information (options include text, email, voice, Web, Twitter, Facebook). See the UW Crisis Communications Plan for details about the team’s role and procedures. UW Alert is an opt-in system that requires you to enroll through your mobile phone, land line or email. More than 52,000 individuals registering 120,000 devices are active on UW Alert.

Outdoor Alert: Outdoor speakers can broadcast messages across the Seattle campus. The broadcast towers also include emergency phones with direct two-way communication with the UW Police Department.

Indoor Alert: Messages can be broadcast to about 95 campus buildings in Seattle. “Reader boards” also are strategically located in about 45 buildings and garages.

Emergency blog: http://emergency.uw.edu UW Alerts and updates are posted on the UW Alert Blog, as well as information about situations on campus that aren’t serious enough to warrant an alert but might raise some concerns. For example, the Seattle Fire Department routinely sends a large response in potential hazardous materials instances. These situations almost always are determined to be not dangerous. But the blog might be used to let you know that the Fire Department is checking out a hazmat call when it occurs in a heavily trafficked area where a lot of people might be concerned. If the situation does escalate, the UW Alert system would be activated.

Website banner: If the UW Alert system is activated, a banner is posted at the top of the UW home page and dozens of other pages to alert the campus community. A red banner signals the most serious alert. Orange banners mean “pay attention,” there’s a significant event or situation. A silver banner is used to convey information of an FYI nature. If you’d like the banner to automatically appear on your website when UW Alert is activated, you can get the code from our Web toolkit: http://www.washington.edu/marketing/uw-alert-banner/

UW Information Hotline: All UW Alert messages are sent automatically to the hotline.

  • 206-UWS-INFO (206-897-4636)
  • 1-866-897-INFO (1-855-897-4636)

Safety Portal: http://uw.edu/safety The UW has dozens of websites and programs with resources and information related to campus safety. The Safety Portal contains links to many of our major resources. We urge you to visit this site to familiarize yourself with available resources and learn more about campus safety before an emergency or need arises.

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