UW Emergency Management

UW Emergency Management (UWEM) is a department within the UW’s Division of Campus Community Safety.  We provide technical and consulting services for the Seattle campus and act as a liaison to other university locations (Bothell, Tacoma, UW Medicine, Friday Harbor, South Lake Union, etc…).  Our team delivers individual and group training, workshops, seminars, drills and exercises and distributes general materials to help the campus community prepare for campus crises, disasters and major emergency incidents.

With input from our stakeholders, we facilitate the development and implementation of local unit/department-based plans, encourage individual preparedness efforts and promote programs and projects that promote institution-wide disaster resilience. Together with our internal and external partners, we accomplish this through structured planning and training, identification of mitigation actions, supporting effective response efforts, and promotion of sound prevention actions — all with the goal of shortening the impact and length of time involved in recovery efforts.

  • Summer emergency preparedness: outdoor air quality and extreme heat info

    June 14, 2023

    Hello Summer on a yellow background with illustrations of cameras, swimsuits, palm trees, sunglasses, shells, flip flops, a life ring and boat anchor. As we prepare for Washington's wildfire season and warmer temperatures, UW Emergency Management is sharing updated guidance and tips for students, faculty and staff in the event of prolonged unhealthy outdoor air quality and/or extreme heat.

    The webpages have info about how to check conditions, recommended actions for the different levels of unhealthy outdoor air quality and extreme heat and where UW will provide information if operations are affected by air quality or heat.

    UW's Emergency Management office coordinates the University’s response and convenes UW’s Weather Status Assessment Group when the outdoor air quality index reaches (or is expected to reach) unhealthy levels for an extended period of time or our area experiences prolonged periods of extreme heat (or both).

  • UWEM Webpage Undergoing Updates

    April 19, 2023

    The UW Emergency Management webpage will soon be undergoing some long-awaited updates.  During this time, you may encounter a broken link, see information located in different areas, or may not find what you need as we navigate this process.

    While we work to update our website we would also like to hear what we can do better with! So, feel free to email us with your thoughts on what you would like to see highlighted, or improved upon, with our new design.

    If you have any suggestions, or have trouble accessing anything, on our website, please feel free to reach out to us at disaster@uw.edu.

  • UW Ranked #5 in US for colleges best prepared for natural disasters and emergencies

    April 14, 2023

    A recent comprehensive national study of university disaster preparedness gave the UW high marks for its past efforts in supporting emergency management activities...noting that natural disasters are becoming ever more commonplace all over the world, including all areas of the USA. To ensure resiliency, colleges and universities to implement, invest and support a range of solutions to the increasing threat of natural disasters. Only some colleges can be sure that they are protecting their communities to a high standard. The 30 colleges in the study, summarized in this article, are all shining examples.  Find out why the UW ranked #5 in the country.

  • Virtual SKYWARN Training Offerings with the National Weather Service

    March 27, 2023

    Interested in the weather? Want to support your local community and National Weather Service?


    SKYWARN® is a National Weather Service (NWS) program of trained volunteer severe weather observers. Weather spotters support their local community and emergency responders by providing the NWS with timely and accurate ground truth reports of severe weather and its impacts. These reports, when integrated with modern NWS technology, are used to inform communities of the proper actions to take when severe weather occurs.


    NWS has started scheduling for Spring Skywarn Weather Spotter training. These trainings will teach you how to identify and report hazardous weather to the NWS. Additional training will be scheduled accordingly so please continue to check in for the latest. Click the hyperlinks below to register for this virtual opportunity.


    When: Tuesday April 11 3:00 - 5:00 PM PDT

    Wednesday April 19 6:00 - 8:00 PM PDT

    Where: Virtual



  • Some Big Changes coming to UWEM

    February 1, 2023

    2023 will see some big changes in the way the UW will address it's approach to disaster preparedness.  On the heels of the release of two independent program reviews in 2022 and in an effort to refresh and build upon the many successful efforts over the past 20 years, a number of major initiatives are being planned to give more visibility and much-needed support for this critical University program.  Beginning with last year's sunset of the old ERC advisory committee and appointment of a new Preparedness Oversight Committee, hiring a new Continuity & Resilience Planning Manager (vacant throughout the pandemic) and initiating a hiring search for a new UWEM Director to guide the program in a new direction ... change is in the air.  As part of a larger attempt to re-imagine campus safety with the establishment of a new Division of Campus Community Safety, UW leadership is looking to elevate the University's disaster resilience posture by building on the many successful UWEM programs and applying lessons-learned from past experiences.

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