UW Emergency Management

Seismic Resilience Program (2015-2018)

“While we cannot prevent earthquakes or know precisely when the next one will strike, we can do a great deal to make sure our communities – including the services and infrastructure on which they depend – are prepared to withstand and recover quickly from their damaging effects.”                                                                                                                        -Resilient Washington State Initiative

History

The UW (as well as Washington State) has a long history of dealing with earthquakes, but has never consolidated all of the information, planning and resources into a unified program. The UW’s Seismic Resilience Program formally began in October 2015, following a number of various earthquake-related studies, activities and actions at the University of Washington. This temporary program was funded for three years (until 2018) to provide support and connect resources within the UW system and external parties in order to increase the UW’s preparedness posture as it relates to the increasing earthquake threat.

The following three historical studies/reports represent some of the more significant past activities related to UW earthquake preparedness and mitigation:

Goals of the UW Seismic Resilience Program

  1. Identify resources, tools, and expertise to systematically address the current physical, policy, and infrastructure vulnerabilities of the UW from the ever-present earthquake threat
  2. Implement a sustainable process by which departments and schools can increase their own seismic resilience

Strategy and programs

  • Coordinating UW PEAT, RAT, and ATC-20 teams in combined drills
  • Enhancing and expanding on-site Earthquake Awareness Training Classes for students, faculty and staff
  • Support the progress and increased development of a student-based HuskyCERT program

In the event of an earthquake:

  • Drop, cover, hold under a table or desk or against an inside wall – not in a doorway – until the shaking stops.
  • After the shaking stops, check yourself and others for injuries and move toward the nearest exit or alternate.
  • Evacuate the building.
  • Do not leave the area/campus without reporting your status to your instructor, building coordinator, or floor warden.
  • Go to your nearest campus Mass Assembly Area for more information and critical updates.

How to prepare for an earthquake:

Learn more about earthquakes: