Newsletter: April, 2007

April Will be another Calendar “Disaster”

The UW will be conducting a number of disaster-related activities during April as our part of the the Statewide Disaster Awareness Month. On Tuesday, April 24th, UWEM will be encouraging campus units, departments and building to voluntarily participate in the annual “Drop, Cover and Hold” earthquake drill. Check out our 1/2 page ad in the DAILY student newspaper on April 17th for more details or check out our UW homepage.

On April 24th, the UW’s Emergency Response community will conduct its annual drill of our Emergency Operations Center. This year’s 4-hour simulated drill will involve a new (secret) disaster scenario — not earthquake!

In addition, UW staff will be attending and speaking at the annual Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference in Tacoma April 10-11 and conducting additional CERT training. With all these activities, May likely will be an R&R month for most of us.

Happy Spring!

— Steven Charvat, UWEM Director

Reducing Our Risks and Preventing Losses

The University of Washington can’t control how earthquakes will shake nor stop the rain or snow from falling. However the good news is that the University is developing and implementing actions to minimize damage and prevent further harm from occurring.

As a condition of receiving federal public assistance post disaster, the University of Washington completed a Chapter to the Washington State Enhanced Hazard Mitigation Plan through a collaborative effort of individuals representing University sites.

The workgroup was made up of representatives from the Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell Campuses, Friday Harbor Laboratories, Center for Sustainable Forestry at C.L. Pack Experimental Forest, Olympic Natural Resource Center and UW Real Estate Office.

The UW Hazard Mitigation Plan guides the University in protecting its people, its facilities and environment by identifying appropriate initiatives and projects, which include the following goals: Protection of Health and Life Safety Preserving University Resources Promote Business Continuity Planning Increase Public Awareness and Education about Disaster Preparedness Strengthening the Transportation Infrastructure

You can view a summary of the 2007 update at: The 2010 Update will include additional UW sites not included in this update.

— Elenka Jarolimek, CEM, Emergency Management Specialist

When the Earth Stops Shaking…

So the ground starts shaking and you know to Drop, Cover, and Hold. But what should you do once the earth stops shaking? Here are the four steps UW Emergency Management recommends:

Check For Injuries And Damages Needing Immediate Attention First, take care of your own personal safety, assessing your injuries and immediate situation. Check for any dangerous situations such as fire, fallen items, gas leaks, damaged power lines or wires, spills, and damaged masonry.

Go To A Designated Building Evacuation Assembly Point Each building on campus has an evacuation route, complete with an evacuation director, wardens, and an assembly point. Carefully make your way out of the building, noting any damage you see on the way out. Look for the Floor warden at the assembly point for your building.

Check In With Your Floor/Emergency Warden & Report Injuries Or Damages Letting the wardens know of any injuries or damages will help them call on the appropriate help.

Await Further Instructions Your building evacuation director and wardens will be in communication with the other emergency responders on campus.

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

— Kate Nickel, Volunteer Plan Coordinator

Kali Has A New Home!!

The fiscal division of the UW Emergency Management office has been busy with the close-out of two large grants. We are excited to report that the purchase of many new types of equipment and supplies throughout the campus is the result of the grants awarded through UW Emergency Management, including our new explosive detection canine, Kali, with the UW Police Department.

The months to follow will continue to be busy ones as we monitor the $100,000 in grants that were awarded to various departments within the UW campus. For details on how to apply for one of this in-house grants, please go to our website and click on “Disaster Grants”.

Happy Spring Everyone!!

— Dede Hough, Fiscal Specialist

Hams Needed for Disasters and Emergencies

No, please dont send us Virginia hams or cans of Hormel. Were not conducting a disaster food drive. Were looking for ham radio operators!

Did you know that amateur radio operators regularly assist in emergencies? When disasters strike, ham networks like the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) spring into action when other communication systems often fail. During Hurricane Katrina, ham operators were instrumental in saving many lives in Louisiana and Mississippi.

In an ongoing effort to prepare itself for emergencies, the UW would like to have a cadre of ham radio operators who can help establish communications should other systems fail or become overloaded following a major disaster.

If you are a licensed ham radio operator, know of people on campus who are, or are interested in becoming licensed, we want to hear from you. UW Computing&Communications (C&C) will be setting up a program to coordinate ham operators on campus. Please contact Clarice Hall at for more information.

— Clarice Nakata-Hall, Special Projects Manager

UWEM Comes in “Runner-Up” in Annual BIZTECH Awards

Stressing the “Rule of 3s”, the UWEM staff was happy to have nearly 1,000 UW staff stop by our personal disaster preparedness booth at this year’s BIZTECH Campus business and technology fair on March 14th. Building on the “3 Days - 3 Ways” theme used by local emergency preparedness organizations, we showed faculty and staff how they can not only survive, but thrive if they are stranded (or without power, water, etc…) for longer than an expected “3-hour tour.” Congratulations to the entire staff!

— Gilligan

Water…Gotta Have It!

It’s cheap, it’s plentiful and it’s everywhere, especially in Seattle. I’m talking about water. We need it. Humans consume a lot of water just for daily health. Under disaster conditions, we may need it more than ever. Here are some tips on storage. Emergency Water treatment will be discussed in a future article.

The rule of thumb for human consumption is 1 gallon/person/day. This may need to be increased for persons who are pregnant, nursing or have a medical need.

There are a lot of ways to store water. Let’s first talk about how:

1- Soda-pop containers. Food-grade plastic containers work great for water storage. Make sure to wash them out well before use. Fill them to the top, so there is no air left in the bottle and store in a cool, dry, dark place. Swap every 6 months or so. Don’t wash them in the dish-washer. Heat can release toxins from the prastic that will be absorbed in the water.

2- Store-bought water. Go to your favorite market and buy the distilled or purified water they have for sale. They usually come in either individual bottles in bulk packages, 1 gallon and 2.5 gallon jugs. These should be swapped every 6 months or so.

3- Commercial food-grade water barrels. These can be purchased via the Internet. Shop around for the best price. Be sure to sterilize the barrels before use with a weak water- chlorine bleach (liquid, unscented)solution. Fill the barrels to the top and add a little bleach to keep it good for 6 months or so (see below for bleach use).

We recommend that you add 5-7 drops, about 1/8 teaspoon, of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water stored.

Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon bleach to each 5 gallon bucket.

Add 1/2 cup of bleach to a 55 gallon barrel. Add 1/3 cup of bleach to a 30 gallon barrel.

Swap it out every 6 months or so.

Next let’s talk about how much. As I stated before, the general rule of thumb is 1 gallon/person/day, increasing as appropriate for individual necessity. We recommend you have two types of water storage: short term and long term.

Short term: Smaller units of water, sufficient for you and your loved ones for 72 hours. This is the first water to use if your water supply is not available. It’s also portable, if you have to evacuate.

Long term: Larger units of water, sufficient for you and you loved ones for 3 weeks or more. Usually in larger containers like barrels. Not portable, but excellent for long-term storage and sheltering at home.

A quick word on safety: NEVER use any container that has been used to hold toxic chemicals. These chemicals permeate the plastic and will bleed out into any stored water, regardless of how well the container has been cleaned.

Feeling overwhelmed? Start with a small goal: water storage at home for three days. One person can do this from a grocery store for under $10 per year. Swap it out every 6 months. Water is cheap, plentiful and easy to store with a little effort. It’s also the most important resource you can store for a disaster.

— Scott Preston, Business Continuity Manager

Your Best Tool for an Emergency

The best possible tool you can have for an emergency is your brain. Your knowledge and skills that you learn now can help you and others later during a disaster.

The University of Washington has such a program designed to give employees the necessary skills, knowledge and abilities to be able to help themselves and others after a disaster. The UW Campus Emergency Response Team (UW-CERT) is that program. Its a three day course that will take someone with no knowledge of proper disaster response and give them basic skills in:

Triage Disaster Medical
Light Search and Rescue Incident Command Disaster Psychology Fire Safety and Suppression Emergency Radio Communications All Hazards (including terrorism)

CERT teams assist the University in emergency and disaster response, when requested. If youre interested in this free training, please contact UW Emergency Managements CERT Coordinator, Scott Preston at There are still openings this Spring for the FREE 3-da7 courses. Check out our website for dates and times!

— Scott Preston, UW CERT Coordinator