UW Emergency Management

UW Emergency Management

UW Emergency Management (UWEM) is one of eight Facilities Services departments.  We provide technical and custom services to the entire institution, including individual and group training, orientations, consultative sessions, seminars and orientation materials as they relate to major campus crises, disasters and major emergency incidents.  With input from our stakeholders, we facilitate the development and implementation of institution-wide, department and individual protection programs and projects that promote disaster resilience, planning, training, mitigation, response, prevention and recovery for all-hazards.

  • Build Your Husky Ready Plan in a Year: Month 7

    July 31, 2018

    This post is part of a 2018 series breaking the process of business continuity planning for University of Washington departments into monthly tasks to help build a plan in a year

    Last month we detailed the IT systems and applications that are used daily to support business, and that would be used to drive our critical functions. Now we shift to addressing how to restore IT functions should an event limit access to files or destroy equipment.

    When you wrote each of your critical functions you were asked to address how to complete the function despite a loss of network connectivity. What we talk about here has to do with restoring equipment and applications. Additionally, we will address who set up to work from home after a business disruption and how.

    Build your plan in a year: Month 7 (2 Hours)

    Step one: How to restart (1 hour)
    • We have considered ways to continue work despite a loss of network or computers, but those workarounds are not meant to be a permanent solution. The goal here is to get computer systems and workstations set up again. This could go very quickly, or you can get in-depth. We recommend leaning in-depth!
    • Answer the questions in the section "How to Restart" under "Information Technology." If you have IT staff they can assist you with this section.
    • Identify the equipment and software that is most needed. For software, include links to download the software and any software keys you have that would allow you to set them up. Add this to you documents in "Documents" under "Key Resources."
    • If any of your IT suggestions require pre preparation, add them to "action items" under "Information Technology."
      • Upload any and all documents and SOPs you may need to continue your work or reestablish your It systems
      • Are there ways to continue your business without the IT systems you usually use? Are they accessible from any computer, or only a computer on the network? How can this be tackled?
    Step two: Work from home (1 hour)
    • Many of us already telecommute--sometimes we're home with a sick kid, or not feeling well ourselves. Because of this, we may believe everyone on our staff is ready to work from home during continuity of operations. However that may be more complicated then it seems: The process you use on a normal day may not be available to you after a business disruption; people who can work from home may be essential to have on site; and once you narrow your business to critical functions you may find it is better to have everyone in the same room. Consider these factors as you develop your work from home list. This is not simply a list of people who are able or allowed to work from home generally; this is about who can/should work from home (or another remote location) during continuity of operations.
    • Start with the people who have responsibility for critical functions, or listed in your key people, because their ability to work from home is of the most interest to you. Add them to "Work from Home" under "Key Resources."
      • You have a comment box; use this if you want to qualify when this person can work from home. For example "Susan may work from home after the initial incident response, but if expected to report to campus for at least the first three working days after a disruption." Or "Andre may work from home if an incident occurs May - September, but should report to campus otherwise."
      • The system will ask "Must their office computer be running to connect from home?" This is the million dollar question! Most people at the University who connect from home do so using remote desktop, but that means their computer at the office must be online to connect. Obviously in a power outage or fair, this might not be an option. So what are the options? A remote connection into the UW Network! UW-IT can assist you with this--please visit their page on Connecting to UW Networks and take a look on their information on Husky OneNet.
      • Get everyone who is going to work from home set up with a remote VPN through UW-IT
      • Explore the UW-IT Resources for working during emergencies: https://itconnect.uw.edu/work/emergency/


    Through this process we have started to think about preparing staff for their role in continuity of operations. Next month we will address how to prepare staff at home so they are available if the time comes to continue operations despite a disaster, and assign roles a head of time so everyone can hit the ground running.

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  • Build your Husky Ready Plan in a Year: Month 6

    June 24, 2018

    This post is part of a 2018 series breaking the process of business continuity planning for University of Washington departments into monthly tasks to help build a plan in a year

    This month we will capture the details about your technology dependencies--both those with central IT and those managed entirely within your team. Next month we will take this information and address the process of restarting and work from home. The reason for breaking it out over two months is to separate the process of collecting data from the process of exploring the ways to restart IT systems and prepare for outages.

    Build your plan in a year: Month 6 (4.5 Hours)

    Step One: What UW-IT Applications Support Your Work? (30 Minutes)

    • UW-IT provides a number of central applications that are used by teams to complete their day to day work. For the purposes of this work you can include all applications you use, or focus only on those applications that support your identified critical functions.
    • To add a function, go to "Central Applications" under "Information Technology." Click the "add central application" button which will give you a pop up to fill out. You will select a central application from the drop down, and provide details about how you use the application, level of criticality to your operations, and how long it can be offline before you face significant outages

    Step Two:  What Department Applications are you Using? (90 Minutes)

    • Many departments purchase or license applications, programs and software themselves and not through the central UW-IT offerings. Some of these are just as essential, if not sometimes more  crucial, to operations as central UW-IT applications.
    • Capture these key applications on "Department Applications" under "Information Technology." Gather as much information as possible in this section. You do not have to answer every question, but the more you include, the better it will be for the person who picks up and tries to implement your plan. If the product requires log in, tell users where to find that information. If it requires a license key, include that here.

    Step Three: Detail your servers (1 hour)

    •  For some departments this section might be blank; for others it may be a lengthy list of research back up and database support. The purpose of listing your servers is to get a sense of priority for restoration and to assign a responsible party to bring the server back online.
    • Add Servers to "Servers" under "Information Technology"

    Step Four: How do you preserve your data (90 minutes)

    • How you save your data and which data is the most important to you is essential to restoring operations. By backing up data, knowing where data is saved, and knowing which data is of greatest interest to you, you can prioritize recovery and quickly get to work on restoration.
    • Add backup information to "Workstations" under "Information Technology."
    • In the comments, include specific folders or data pieces that are of most importance to restoration of operations. It can be much faster to restore specific pieces of data instead of all data.
    • Include the contact information--names and details--for anyone who supports you in maintaining and restoring data.

    This month you have captured the details about what you have and what you use. Next month we will reflect on this information and begin the process of identifying how best to cope with technology loss, and how to get processes up and running again.

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  • 2018 Annual EOC Exercise to include Special Olympics USA and partner jurisdictions

    April 27, 2018

    Emergency Management (UWEM) is one of many UW departments who have been planning and preparing for the upcoming 2018 Special Olympic USA games at the UW Seattle campus for nearly 18 months now. We are honored to be working with an organization that empowers communities across the nation!

    While there have been many e-mails, conference calls, in-person meetings, walk-throughs, trainings, and even a smaller-scale tabletop exercise (TTX) - our main event before the actual show is coming up on May 22nd. The annual UW Emergency Operations Center (EOC) functional exercise will include Special Olympics USA and partnering agencies from other jurisdictions hosting the 2018 Special Olympic Games. A functional exercise is conducted in a “realistic” real-time environment, the UW EOC response personnel from across UW, Special Olympics, and our regional partners will be simulating what they normally would do if an incident does occur on the UW Seattle Campus within the EOC and simulated Special Olympics Command Center. For this type of exercise, the movement of people and equipment will be simulated and there will not be an impact to the larger campus community.

    The purpose of conducting a functional exercise is to test and evaluate our capabilities to coordinate and manage any emergency or incident that could potentially arise during the first week of July, when the games are scheduled to take place.

    UW EOC responders are encouraged to register here: registration link

    Questions about the upcoming functional exercise and opportunities for supporting emergency response and coordination during the 2018 Special Olympic Games should be directed to the UWEM Plans, Training, Exercise & EOC Operations Manager Eli King: eliking@uw.edu


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  • BARC Planning gets easier while attracting special attention

    April 26, 2018

    The Business, Academic, and Research Continuity (BARC) program at the University of Washington is not new. Some of the tools available to help UW departments complete this (sometimes overwhelming) task are!

    Megan Levy of Emergency Management continues to create a monthly task for departments and schools working to complete their BARC plan - often referred to as their "Husky Ready" plan, referencing the online tool used to document it. These step-by-step directions can be found in a previous blog post, Build Your Plan in A Year, which will be continually updated when each step is published.

    Something else quite "new" for the BARC program is the opportunity to engage senior leadership in recovery-focused discussion. This first-of-its-kind tabletop exercise was facilitated by UWEM earlier this month: UW Senior Leadership Test Recover Plans.

    Our records show that at the end of January, 2018 only 21% of UW departments had begun their BARC plan in Husky Ready. Moreover, only 32% of those plans had been updated within the past year! While this paints an ugly compliance picture, UWEM is confident that with the support of senior leadership, and additional "how-to" resources, these numbers will increase in no time.

    As always, if you need support during your continuity planning process, please reach out to BARC Program Manager, Megan Levy (levym2@uw.edu).

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  • UWEM hosts a week of trainings

    April 18, 2018

    Last week on Tuesday, April 10tth and Wednesday, April 11th at the UW Facilities Services Training Center two classes participated in the Incident Command System (ICS) Combo Course. The audience for these training we20180418_113044re members of Unit Response Centers (URCs), Emergency Operations Center (EOC) responders, and members of the Pre-entry Assessment Team (PEAT), Rapid Assessment Team (RAT), post-earthquake building safety evaluation team (ACT-20 teams). In both courses, everyone learned what is the Incident Command System and why the University of Washington is required to use it to manage all incidents and planned events on campus.20180418_112500

    During the course, the participants worked in small groups to plan an event using the ICS terms, roles, and responsibilities they learned. Each group developed an organizational chart, talked through the roles and functions of what a planned event needed to be successful. The small groups in each class developed plans to host a cat fashion show, music festival, fireworks show, and high school science fair. The in-person facilitated course allows people to ask questions of the instructors who are subject matter experts in the field of emergency management and other first responder agencies. We had instructors from WA-Tech, City of Seattle Emergency Management, City of Redmond, and our own UWEM Training Manager.

    Instructor Class

    UWEM also hosted a FEMA Instructor Workshop over the weekend of April 13-15 at the Facilities Services Training Center, The National Center for Biomedical Research and Training (NCBRT) delivered the three-day training with great instructors. Many of the instructors were from the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) who also have delivered training here at UW.


    Last week was a wonderful week of training. UWEM will be hosting another set of Incident Command System (ICS) courses later in the fall, for more information about training opportunities contact Eli King Plans, Training, Exercise, & EOC Ops Manager eliking@uw.edu 206-897-188.

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