UW Emergency Management

June 5, 2019

Ready for another HOT and smoke-filled summer?! The UW “leans-forward” in its planning efforts

On June 4, 2019,  a group of nearly 3O UW staff and external experts convened for the first time to begin an intensive process to plan for the likelihood of yet another hot and dry summer season in Washington State.  Joined by experts from the WA State Climatologist’s Office, the WA State Department of Health, King County, the City of Seattle and the WA State Department of Ecology, UW officials discussed past and future weather trends, wildfire and drought forecasts and other environmental factors that all indicate that the Summer of 2019 will present clear and persistent challenges related to extended heatwaves and the impacts on air quality in the Puget Sound Region.

Photo of UW's air quality planning task force meeting on June 4, 2019The UW’s Summer Heat and Hazardous Air Quality Task force will be meeting frequently over the next 2 months to inventory and evaluate current UW polices, procedures, training and public outreach/warning strategies as they relate to heat and outdoor air quality.  Major issues related to building HVAC systems, HR polices related to heat exposure and air quality, outdoor sporting and youth activities, childcare center operations, vehicle use and emissions,…. are just a few of the many topics being evaluated and discussed by the Task Force.  The UW continues to be proactive regional leader in addressing this issue.  Questions or comments on the Task Force may be sent to disaster@uw.edu.