Newsletter: October, 2006

UWEM Gets A Fresh Look and Direction

In an effort to give the UW Emergency Management Office a unique look and feel, we embarked on a 3-month effort to develop our first logo. UWEM hired a professional graphic artist who interviewed staff, customers and partners. The result is a logo reflecting many of values of our team: forward-looking, global and collaborative. We plan on using it for all future promotions, printed and electronic material as well as at public events.

We also rolled out our very-first 5-year Strategic Plan. This plan, modeled after the NFPA 1600 national standards for emergency management, includes goals, objective and strategies to guide all our our current and future programs through the year 2011. We welcome your comments on this important initiative. It is truly a team effort and our success in becoming a global leader in campus disaster resilience can only be accomplished through the active involvement of all of our partners!

— Steve Charvat, UWEM Director

Where to Find Funding?

It was a memorable day for some University of Washington units when on September 11, 2006 the grant review committee made its announcement that 16 UW units would be the recipients of the 2006 UW Annual Internal Grant program. This grant program was created to increase the UWs homeland security and emergency preparedness efforts.

With $268,353 in requests the committee faced a challenge in how best to distribute $100,000 available each year. Essentially the projects that were awarded funding were those that meet one or more of the UWs hazard mitigation and emergency response initiatives and plans, explained Steve Charvat, Director of Emergency Management under which the grant is managed.

This highly-successful internal competitive grant program provided seed funding for Computing & Communication’s 2007 Disaster Drill. Its good to know that there are resources available to help me do a better job with our disaster recovery initiative, says Andy Ward, manager for Communication Technologies.

Scott Preston did a cartwheel when he found out the internal grant was supporting the continuation of the Campus Emergency Response Team. He pointed out that with this money the CERT program will grow and develop into an effective emergency response units. A key to Scott’s success was his effort to show in the application how the CERT program benefits the entire University community.

So if you know that in the next earthquake the large collection of terrestrial invertebrates will fly off the shelf and pop someone in the head, but don’t know where to find funding to place lips on the shelves.well dont wait! While there is no formal open application period projects can be submitted year round through the easy to fill out online application housed on the OEM webpage.

— Elenka Jarolimek, EM Specialist

Come to the UW Building Emergency Responder Summit

Do you really know what happens, who does what and what your role would be in case of a major emergency or disaster on the UW Seattle campus? Or are you just a disaster “groupie” who happens to be curious on the various actions that would occur during and after a major emergency here on campus? If so, THIS EVENT IS FOR YOU!

This (hopefully) first-annual UW Buiding Emergency Responder Summit will bring together UW volunteer staff such as emergency and floor wardens, building coordinators, department administrators, health and safety committee members, CERT volunteers and others along with professional responders from Seattle Fire, UW Police, OEM and UW Facilities Services. By attending this fun Open House and interactive simulated disaster, we will learn about the UW’s current emergency response systems and will provide opportunities to improve our systems, plans, training and networking.

The event is open to ALL UW staff who are responsible for emergency response or have an interest in disaster response. More information can be found at Click here for a preliminary program.Do you really know what happens, who does what and what your role would be in case of a major emergency or disaster on the UW Seattle campus? Or are you just a disaster “groupie” who happens to be curious on the various actions that would occur during and after a major emergency here on campus? If so, THIS EVENT IS FOR YOU!

This (hopefully) first-annual UW Buiding Emergency Responder Summit will bring together UW volunteer staff such as emergency and floor wardens, building coordinators, department administrators, health and safety committee members, CERT volunteers and others along with professional responders from Seattle Fire, UW Police, UWEM and UW Facilities Services. By attending this fun Open House and interactive simulated disaster, we will learn about the UW’s current emergency response systems and will provide opportunities to improve our systems, plans, training and networking.

The event is open to ALL UW staff who are responsible for emergency response or have an interest in disaster response. More information can be found at Click here for a preliminary program and program.

— Your Summit Planning Committee

QuakeFest (October 11, 2006)

October 11, 2006, 11 AM 3 PM. HUB West Ballroom, 2nd Floor www.UWQuakeFest.com

This fun and informational event will include exhibits on personal preparedness and what the UW is doing to be disaster resistant. Along with UW Emergency Management and other campus departments, King County, City of Seattle, NOAA, the American Red Cross and other agencies will be on hand to help you be better prepared for all emergencies.

Therell be exhibits and presentations that will show you how to build a disaster plan and emergency kit; safeguard your home against earthquake damage; and minimize your exposure to the flu and respiratory illnesses. The Burke Museum and the UW Seismology Lab will have an excellent interactive exhibit on the Puget Sound region and earthquakes; and NOAA will be on hand to tell you all about our northwest weather.

For more in depth information, therell be presentations and demonstrations on emergency preparedness for seniors and people with special needs; what to do until help arrives; and first aid for your pets.

Come to QuakeFest and get ready to rumble! For more information about the exhibits and presentations, go to: www.UWQuakeFest.com

— Clarice Hall, Special Events Goddess

Pandemic Flu - Not If, but When…

The University of Washington Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases (ACCD) has been charged with developing appropriate strategies to manage communicable diseases at the University. Formed in the 1980s and Chaired by the Vice Provost for Student Life, the core committee membership has included the Health Sciences Administration, Hall Health Center, the Office of the Attorney General, Human Resources, and Environmental Health and Safety. The Committee has addressed several issues through the years, from measles vaccinations, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis, to the emerging concerns of SARS and most recently the worldwide concern that an emerging avian influenza virus subtype could become the next worldwide pandemic of human influenza. As different communicable diseases have been addressed, the Committee has involved other campus partners to develop effective control strategies. Building on the experience and planning done for SARS, the ACCD is currently drafting the UW guidance (aka a plan) and specific control strategies needed to respond to the possibility of an avian influenza pandemic in the region. Because of the unique aspects of such a pandemic, the Committee is working closely with the UW Emergency Management and several other key partners across the University. The technical and policy advice from ACCD is provided to the Presidents Cabinet and forms the basis for the University response to communicable diseases.

General Information on the Universitys Draft Plan

The UW has several characteristics that influence its planning for such an event. It hosts many international students and encourages foreign exchange for educational opportunities and research among its students and faculty. It is never fully closed, since it operates residence halls at the Seattle campus and supports the medical services at both the University Medical Center and Harborview. It has research animals and research that must be maintained on a 24/7 schedule. And, with the Board of Regents having full authority over the University facilities, there are unique relationships with public health authorities, as implied in WAC 246-100. In the event that a pandemic situation would result in social distancing strategies and restricted movements, it is anticipated that even if closed, the University would still be home to approximately 1500 resident students, who would not be able to leave the area.

The Universitys plan considers these realities and provides a systematic approach for minimizing the risk of disease at the Universitys Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma campuses, as well as at other off-site facilities. There are three primary goals in the UW plan, intended to promote the safety and well-being of UW students, faculty, and staff:

  1. Prevent the spread of the disease;
  2. Protect UW students, faculty and the staff who will need to keep the UW running; and
  3. Provide support for the essential services that must be maintained.

The Universitys plan is currently based on the World Health Organizations (WHO) six response levels.

For each level, a risk assessment for the campus is provided and critical control strategies addressing specific actions needed for disease prevention and campus protection are outlined. There are also specific actions assigned to certain administrative units who must prepare for providing essential services at each response level. In addition to the ACCD and UWEM, specific action strategies are defined for the Office of Student Life, Hall Health, HR, Facilities Services, Transportation Services, UWPD, Housing and Food Services, International Programs and Exchanges, Purchasing, Risk Management, EH&S, News and Media Relations, C&C, and the 2 medical centers. Some of the significant University concerns around which planning is focused are: the potential for disease transmission in shared living quarters; the reality of international students, travel, and research: the potential necessity of providing quarantine facilities; HR policies; and business continuity with reduced staffing. The University plan is also cognizant of necessary interactions with the jurisdictional health departments in the time of an epidemic or pandemic that may require certain mandated restrictions by City, County, or State authorities. A specific agreement is currently being drafted with Public Health: Seattle and King County to clarify roles, responsibilities, and actions regarding quarantine and isolation as per WAC 246-100. Once completed, a similar document is being planned with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

The University plan is currently is draft form, and it is anticipated that University procedures may change as new information regarding this disease continues to evolve.

The University Commitment to Campus Preparedness and Outreach

The University is committed to providing specific guidance to the Universitys organizational units based on the control strategies devised in the UW plan, and once the current draft goes though additional enhancement, information will be provided to the larger UW community in a variety of formats to ensure adequate and sufficient information sharing with students, faculty, and staff. Currently, the EH&S web site has linkages to important government information regarding pandemic avian influenza planning, and everyone is encouraged to address personal preparedness for any emergency, including a pandemic.

— Steve Charvat

FREE Business Continuity Symposium (Nov. 6, 2006)

The Business Continuity Symposium will be held on November 6, 2006 in the Walker-Ames Room (Kane Hall, Room 225) at 9:00 AM for the UW and at 1:30 PM for local Puget Sound businesses.

Business continuity is an integral part of emergency preparedness planning. Business continuity seeks to ensure the continuance of the vital operations of an organization after an incident or event. Business continuiity, when properly implemented and managed provides a marketplace advantage over those organizations who do not plan for continuance of their operations.

Our keynote speaker will be Brian Yeoman, of the Houston Area Research Center (HARC). Mr. Yeoman delivered a well-received presentation on the realities of disaster recovery at this year’s NACUBO conference in Hawaii. In addition to Mr. Yoeman, Scott Preston, Business Continuity Manager for the UW, will offer a presentation on business contiuity basics.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to disaster@u.washington.edu. THIS IS A FREE EVENT.

— Scott Preston, BCM Manager

Fiscal Assistance to Grant Recipients

To All Federal and Internal UW Grant Recipients:

Our 2006-2007 UW (Internal) Emergency Preparedness & Homeland Security Grant Kickoff Meeting was scheduled on Wednesday, September 27, 2006. All grant recipients were introduced to the grant and reimbursement process. Also, the UASI 05 (federal)grant is now well on it’s way. Expiration date is 2/28/07.

Please contact me if you have questions and/or comments regarding the fiscal aspects of your grant (invoicing, back-up materials, BARS, etc). I will be happy to assist you in your efforts to submit reimburseable expenditures to our office.

— Dede Hough, Fiscal Specialist