UW Emergency Management

UW Emergency Management (UWEM) is a department of UW Facilities. We provide technical and custom services to the entire institution, including individual and group training, orientations, consultative sessions, seminars and orientation materials as they relate to major campus crises, disasters and major emergency incidents.

With input from our stakeholders, we facilitate the development and implementation of institution-wide, department and individual protection programs and projects that promote disaster resilience, planning, training, mitigation, response, prevention and recovery for all-hazards.

UWEM-2019-Factsheet:  This 2-page fact sheet summarizes our history, department organization, and services we offer to the campus community.

Are you ready for the next big earthquake?

Learn about the earthquake risks in the Pacific Northwest and how to become better prepared.

  • UWEM partnerships in practice

    November 1, 2019

    Generally, you know its not a good day when this group arrives on campus to convene in the UW's Emergency Operations Center, or EOC.  But on November 1st, nearly 20 City of Seattle staff and volunteers were just here for training and a mini exercise.

    Buy WHY were they in the EOC in the first place??  You may ask...  City staff spent 3 hours learning and testing how they would function and  work in our facility (located in the UW Tower complex) because the UW's EOC is designated as the primary alternate - or backup - for their main EOC located in the International District.  Planning for, and regularly-testing an alternate EOC or Command Post, is both recommended and required by various laws, regulations and standards.  Just as the UW's EOC has an alternate location (Madrona Hall), the City needed to identify a number or suitable locations to operate in case their main EOC is damaged, inaccessible or threatened due to an incident, disaster or event that required staff working from an alternate site.

    This concept of sharing space and partnerships in times of crisis continues the longstanding partnership between UWEM and the City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management.  While the City has 3 other alternate EOC sites designated in their plans, the UW's is considered the primary choice due to our 24/7 set-up, availability and vast technical resources at their disposal.

    And what does the UW get from this partnership?  We owe our current EOC capabilities and success in large part to the support we needed - and received - back in 2010 when the UW applied for a federal grant to enhance and grow our new EOC, which was moving from the old Bryant Building to our new location at the UW Tower.  Thanks to the City's proactive endorsement of our grant proposal, we received nearly $350,000 in homeland security grant funds to purchase all new communications and computing equipment, audio-visual systems, furniture and general supplies.  Without their support, our current EOC capabilities would be greatly diminished.

    Thanks to this strong partnership, both the UW and City of Seattle continue to reap the benefits of our shared commitment to disaster resilience for our community.


  • TODAY (10/17) @ 10:17 am: The Great Shake Out earthquake drill

    October 16, 2019

    Where will you be (or were you) TODAY, Thursday, October 17th at 10:17 am?  Hopefully, safety tucked away under a desk or sturdy table, practicing your "DROP, COVER & HOLD ON" skills.  For the 4rd year in a row, on a building-by-building voluntary basis, thousands of UW students, faculty and staff will once again be participating in the nationwide Great Shake Out drill to educate the public on our earthquake threat and provide tools, skills and resources on how everyone (individuals, families, employees, students....) can be prepared for the day when the "BIG ONE" strikes.  As we all know, it is not a matter of IF but WHEN.  For more information on how to not only survive an earthquake, but also detailed preparedness steps you cant take right now, check out the UW's earthquake resources page.  So, join over 65 million other people globally who will be also be getting ready on 10/17/19.  Will you be one of them?!


  • UW/USC Football Game-Not all Teams were at Husky Stadium

    October 1, 2019

    UW & national weather service staff pose for a group photo on Sept. 28, 2019

    UW Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma campus emergency officials, along with local weather service staff during half-time at the UW/USC football game.

    In the early morning hours of Saturday, September 28, 2019, team members gathered, reviewed their game plans, and began a 3+hour preparation for kickoff.  But this team was on the other side of campus from Husky Stadium.  Our field of play is the university's Emergency Operations Center (EOC), located in bowels of the UW Tower complex.  Since 2013, for every home football games, the University's EOC has activated to monitor and support safety and logistical needs between larger University and the Stadium Command Post. Each game day activation provides an excellent opportunity to tests systems, communication and procedures and provides for regular training of UWEM staff and our regional partners from the Seattle office of the National Weather Service.  The USC game was unique in that we were joined by our emergency management colleagues from the Bothell and Tacoma campuses.  By providing cross-training  for all 3 campuses in the EOC, we continue to improve our incident response capabilities to ensure that the EOC is better prepared for when the "Big One" finally hits!

  • September 7, 2019: Lightning storm sends Cal-Washington football game into lengthy delay

    September 9, 2019

    The unprecedented game delay of 2-hours and 38-minutes meant that the game did not end until after1am the next morning.  Local news coverage reported that fewer than 10,000 fans remained to watch the game's conclusion.  A record number of lightning strikes in Western Washington, along with brief heavy rainfall, thunder and winds, caused localized flooding, power outages and traffic accidents.  Along with UWEM employees working in the EOC supporting every home football game, expert meteorology staff from the local National Weather Service Office at Sandpoint, were present to give minute-by-minute spot weather forecasts to the Stadium Command Post in support of the response.  Power spikes and temporary loss of stadium lights provided a challenging night of response.  To make matters worse, the #14-ranked UW team lost to Cal by a score of 19-20.

  • Annual UW Indoor Alert Test COMING

    August 27, 2019

    UW Alert LogoThe UW's Crisis Communication Team, in coordination with UWEM, will be conducting a brief test of the UW's Indoor Alert System (IAS) on Thursday, September 5th at approximately 7:00 am.  This annual mandated activity will test the alarm systems in nearly 140 buildings and structures on the main Seattle campus.  Expect to hear brief loud noises, beeps and tones as well as see flashing strobe lights and test messages on LED reader boards throughout campus.    Building occupants will NOT be asked/required to leave the building.  For more information on the various notification tools and systems used by the UW in case of an emergency, click HERE.

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