UW Emergency Management

February 21, 2018

How are we doing: January 2018 BARC Report

After a year of hurricanes, flooding, and earthquakes that elevated the awareness and concern about natural disasters and returning to business in the minds of the UW community, people have asked us “how are we doing?” We had a sense that there was a lot of room for improvement, but we didn’t have the hard numbers. Now we do!

As of January 2018, we have finished compiling data on the Business, Academic and Research Continuity program to help us better identify how we’re doing, prioritize our continuity planning, and help leadership better understand how the University is doing enterprise-wide. We will dive into the overall numbers in different ways each month as we work toward helping every single department at the UW Seattle, UW Tacoma, UW Bothell, and UW Medicine to create continuity of operations plans.


Data below was compiled on February 8, 2018 and reflects the status of the program at the end of  January. What do we see? That there is a lot of room to improve! Let’s start by looking at the hard numbers.

First, a note on departments

We have identified 702 needed plans. This number may shift as we work through the process. It may grow as departments recognize the need for more individualized plans–for example, the power plant at the University is in a facilities services department, but has specialized needs that justify it having its own plan. Other teams may find that the overall responsibilities they are trying to maintain do not require as individualized a plan as their organization chart might indicate.

Our current status

The chart below represents the U-wide status of department continuity of operations planning. For a department to complete a plan they must 1) start a plan, 2) update that plan annually, and 3) exercise that plan every other year with UWEM. The first version of the plan is also reviewed by UWEM and comments provided. Departments can request this review at any time.

In future months we will dive into other data, and tracking improvement, but this is our baseline. At this time, 21% of departments have a plan. These plans may not be complete, and in fact only 32% of the plans that have been started have been updated in the past year, but the department has started the process, and that’s a good sign that awareness to this need is growing. This is the kind of work that can only come from individual departments/units because the people doing the work every day know what kind of work has to be prioritized after a major disruption.

21% of departments have continuity plans


We will be working with departments to get plans written and exercised. But it also depends on interest and awareness in departments. Ask your team about continuity of operations planning. When a new staff member joins your team, updating your continuity plan should be an obvious next step. This is all part of developing a culture of continuity at the University. While the severity and consequences of an emergency cannot be predicted, effective contingency planning can minimize the impact on the University of Washington missions, personnel, and facilities.

Do you want to know more about how your team is doing? Contact our BARC manager, Megan Levy, a levym2@uw.edu