Newsletter: April, 2006

Welcome to the First OEM Digest

Howdy Partners!!! On March 15, 2006, the UW Office of Emergency Management and its partners officially launched its “new-and-improved” webpage as part of the BIZTECH Technology Roundup. Changes to our website are the result of the comments of a user focus group and 4-month of hard work by OEM staff and our webmasters in Publication Services. I hope that you enjoy the changes that we made to our webpage and this newsletter.

OEM staff plans on delivering this information-packed newsletter on a quarterly basis directly to your email IN-BOX. We hope that you take a few minutes to browse the articles by OEM staff and other guest columnists.

With over 8,000 “hits” on some days, the UW OEM website has become a beacon of information and we hope to continue to make improvements. Check us out and let us know how we can better serve you!

— Steve Charvat

Resist the Urge to Run! Drop, Cover, and Hold Where You Are!

Where were you when Nisqually Earthquake hit the Puget Sound area back in 2001?

Hopefully you resisted the urge to run, and went under a sturdy furniture, protecting your head and neck with your arms. Why?

According to the Institute for Building & Home Safety, the greatest number of injuries during an earthquake are caused by objects, furniture or falling debris. In addition over 90% of post earthquake damage is nonstructural in nature.

And as a reminder to practice what we know, the annual Statewide Drop, Cover and Hold Earthquake Drill will be on April 6, 2006 from 9:45am to 10am. Plan to conduct a drill at work or in the classroom. Between 9:45 am an 10:00am, imagine that an earthquake is occurring. DROP under a sturdy piece of furniture, COVER your head and neck with your arms. HOLD on to a leg of the furniture and move with it. Hold that position until the drill message is complete (about 30 seconds). Use the drill as a springboard to discuss other essential earthquake safety actions with co-workers or students, or to develop your family disaster plan or put together disaster supply kit.

For more information about earthquake safety, visit our Family preparedness section on the UW Office of Emergency Management at:

Remember: Resist the Urge to Run! Drop, Cover, and Hold Where You Are!

— Elenka Jarolimek

Business Continuity Project Begins at the UW

This quote from the Roman philosopher Seneca appears on all e-mail sent by me, the new Business Continuity Manager for the University of Washington. Its central to my philosophy regarding business continuity at the UW. If weve properly prepared, well be able to transform potentially negative problems from disasters into positive opportunities for growth. Business continuity is a decisive market place advantage. Those companies and organizations who fail to plan for business interruptions will eventually close due to the disruption of a disaster or lose so much market share from slow response, that they will be overtaken by a competitor. Conversely, those companies and organizations that have proper business continuity planning will be in a position to benefit from the market opportunities created by such an event.

Ive been tasked with developing a model business continuity program here at the University of Washington. Over the next year, working with the Office of Emergency Management, Ill start this pilot program by identifying four departments at the UW and helping them plan for operational continuity after a disaster. Such planning includes identifying critical business processes, vital records and systems and other necessary dependencies required for daily operation, identifying risks to those systems and the impact of the loss of one or more of those systems and then developing ways of protecting them against such an eventuality.

If anyone has any questions about business continuity, please contact me via e-mail at or 206-897-2378.

— Scott Preston