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					            Critical conversations
                        Information from UW Emergency Management,
                                 presented by University Week.

              UW Assistant Police Chief Ray Wittmier speaks with reporters the morning of April 2, 2007, after the murder of staff member Rebecca Griego in Gould Hall.

 Growing toolbox for communication during an emergency
    Events last spring at the UW                                                                                                                          Delivery & Support, noted, “Each
and nationwide have put the
spotlight of public attention on
                                                      Three steps if you see an emergency situation:                                                      event teaches us something.”
                                                                                                                                                              The question, then, is: How
how university campuses react
to emergency situations, be they                             1. Call 911. 2. Call your supervisor.                                                        should the campus community
                                                                                                                                                          — a virtual city of 60,000 souls
natural disasters, accidents or acts
of violence.
                                                      3. Call UW News & Information, 206-543-2580.                                                        — be informed of an emergency
                                                                                                                                                          situation, a catastrophic event or
    The UW has long had a written                                                                                                                         a growing danger? There is no one
plan for emergency response (you
can read it online at http://www.                  Stay informed — sign up for disaster, crisis alerts:                                                   simple answer, and new ques-
                                                                                                                                                          tions arise even as the discussion The
plan divides emergencies into three                                                                          continues.
                                                                                                                                                              Crisis communications at the
categories of increasing severity,                                                                                                                        UW are a work in progress, using
and indicates whether the UW            tivation of the EOC is needed and    operations and campus safety,             As Norm Arkans, UW execu-          new technologies as they emerge
Emergency Operations Center             the UW may be the only affected      provide for essential services and    tive director of media relations and   for levels of response appropriate to
(soon to be moved to the new UW         entity. Level 3 means widespread     operations, provide information to    communications, told building          various situations. A Crisis Com-
Tower) should be activated.             disaster conditions requiring that   support decision-making, and to       coordinators and other emergency       munications Committee chaired
    Briefly put, Level 1 is a situa-    the UW be self-sufficient for        manage University resources effec-    responders in a July 25 meeting,       by Arkans and Mah has been hard
tion that normal UW emergency           hours or days and the EOC is fully   tively during an emergency.           the UW needs better ways to com-       at work over the summer crafting a
responses can handle without need       activated.                              But the murder of Rebecca          municate broadly and rapidly to        new crisis communications plan for
of the EOC. This is also considered        The purpose of the plan is to     Griego at the UW and the shoot-       the whole campus. “We are much         the UW that provides guidelines
the “stand-by” mode. Level 2 is an      protect and save lives, protect      ings at Virginia Tech in April        more attuned to the need to be         for communication within the
emergency incident that causes          property, manage immediate           added a new sense of urgency to the   fast,” Arkans said. Scott Mah, as-     University and to media and the
damage or interruption to UW            communications and information       questions of when and how the UW’s    sistant vice president for Comput-     public in the event of an emergency.
operations, where partial or full ac-   regarding University response        emergency plan should be used.        ing & Communications Service                  Please see TOOlBOX On Page 4
                                          Safe at home / safe at work
                    Some strategies for personal preparedness
    Getting ready for the next disas-     house or workplace, practice leav-
ter is a bit like tying your shoelaces:   ing the building quickly and decide
If you don’t, you’ll probably trip.       where your group will meet outside.
And a fall could be serious.              (In case of earthquake, however,
    UW Emergency Management               don’t run outside. Drop to the
has a number of preparedness              floor, under a table or against an

                                                                                          FEMA photo??
and response plans grouped at its         interior wall. Cover your head and
Emergency Management Web site:            neck.)            Create disaster supply kits. Pur-
cy. They include plans for physical       chase a battery-powered NOAA
disasters such as earthquakes as          weather radio and extra batteries.
well as other types such as pan-          Such radios are available at many
demic flu.                                stores starting at about $20.
    The unit’s staff members were             Stock flashlights and extra bat-
on duty last December 14 when             teries for home, work and car. Skip
a serious wind storm — the worst          candles; they’re considered fire
this decade — left large parts of the     hazards. A Coleman lantern might
Puget Sound region without power,         come in handy for either the kitch-
some for as many as 11 days. More         en table or the bathroom. Collect a
than 3 million people in Washing-         pair of old sneakers plus rain gear,
ton, Oregon and British Columbia          at least one blanket, three to seven
lost electrical power, and 15 people      days’ worth of non-perishable food
died.                                     and a pair of rainboots.
    Steve Charvat, director of UW             In your car, put a small shovel,
Emergency Management, strongly            sand or cat litter, flares, a wind-
advises people to prepare for disas-      shield scraper/brush, and booster
ters both at work and home.               cables.
    Here are some basic preparation           Put some extra cash plus insur-
ideas:                                    ance cards, medical records, bank
    Know terms used in weather            account numbers and Social Secu-
forecasts. The National Oceanic           rity numbers in a waterproof, easily
& Atmospheric Administration              carried container.
                                                                                   This table of products for emergency preparedness was at the 2006 QuakeFest event sponsored by UW Emer-
maintains a comprehensive Web                 Consider purchasing a small
                                          generator, but never use it or a
                                                                                   gency Management. The red kits at the top are the same as those sold at the HUB.
site that includes a glossary: http://                    barbecue grill indoors, as they
    The National Weather Service          produce carbon monoxide, which is        ticket office, each red nylon, zip-      confirmed in the U.S., Mexico or        affected by pandemic flu.
maintains a Web site listing state-       poisonous. If you have a fireplace,      pered bag contains a dozen basics        Canada, the UW’s response would             • Additional infection controls
by-state weather watches, warnings        make sure the chimney is clean           including water, energy bars, a first-   include:                                at University medical centers and
and advisories. Here’s the one for        and firewood dry. Maintain proper        aid kit and an emergency blanket            • Basic hygiene measures such        gathering places such as cafeterias
Washington state: http://www.             ventilation to avoid build-up of         ($21 for students, $23 for faculty       as vaccinations and covering one’s      and residence halls.               toxic fumes.                             and staff).                              mouth while coughing.                       To read the UW plan for com-
    Address potential hazards.                Make sure gutters on your roof          Know your department or unit’s           • Possible suspension of classes     municable disease management, go
Bolt bookcases to the wall, secure        and street are clear of debris. If the   disaster response plan, including        or at least public activities such as   to:
picture frames with closed screw-         storm sewer outside your house           where you’ll meet if you have to         sporting events.                        gency/pandemic/.
eyes instead of traditional picture       clogs, don’t wait for city sanita-       leave your building.                        • Possibly sending students              Additional information about
hangers and secure your water             tion. Clear the drain with a rake or        For a health disaster, specifi-       home if it appears public health        emergency planning can be found
heater to structural parts of the         similar tool; otherwise, you could       cally pandemic flu, the University       authorities will restrict travel.       at the UW Emergency Manage-
building, such as wall studs within       face flooding.                           has drafted a four-level, 45-page           • Monitoring of employees or         ment Web site: http://www.wash-
a load-bearing wall.                          At work, store an emergency          plan. If a case of human avian flu is    students returning from an area
    Create a disaster plan. Identify      support unit. Available at the HUB
a safe place in each room of your

           Business continuity: People first, then systems
   Scott Preston and his colleagues       most recently, Student Financial         would allow your unit to share re-       counted for them once outside,          abroad? If an earthquake disrupted
at UW Emergency Management                Services and the Office of the Vice      sources with similar ones. Stockpile     but hadn’t considered who would         University operations for weeks on
help departments and units plan           Provost for Student Life.                your most basic supplies.                remain on campus and who’d go           end, could administrators justify
responses to disasters such as fires,         Basically, says Preston, decide          • Decide how you’ll commu-           home — or how they’d get home.          paychecks? State law requires work
earthquakes, pandemics and plain          what records or operations you can       nicate during an emergency. If                As part of planning basic busi-    before paychecks.
old human error.                          afford to lose, and how to protect       phone and Internet services aren’t       ness continuity, Preston reminded           Business continuity plans also
   But first and foremost, they           what you can’t.                          available, how will you communi-         planners about such things as           require multiple scenarios: If an
plan how                                      The Business Continuity Pilot        cate with employees and those you        alternative storage. UW Records         earthquake damages or destroys
to keep                                   Project, which Preston manages,          serve?                                   Management Services stores              a data center, there ought to be
people safe.                              has developed a planning check-              • Test the emergency plan regu-      inactive but necessary records in       back-up systems, but what if a
   “You                                   list. “The more homework units do,       larly and revise as necessary.           a 15,000 square-foot warehouse at       pandemic prevents people from
cannot                                    the less they have to figure on the          This past year, a $100,000 grant     the former Sand Point Naval Sta-        working at a center? Not everyone
protect                                   fly,” he said.                           from the Federal Emergency Man-          tion. The building has multiple         can work at home, and network
anything                                      Here are some key points:            agement Agency initially funded          alarms, motion detectors and a          providers such as Comcast would
unless                                        • Devise an employee safety          the Business Continuity Pilot            buzz-in entry system. Earthquake        likely be swamped.
you have                                  plan. It’s most important in busi-       Project. It included planners from       mitigation measures include                 “You could have a cascading
protected                                 ness continuity.                         four campus units: Payroll, Human        bungee-like cords holding some          series of disasters,” Preston said.
people,”                                      • Decide which assets and op-        Resources, the Evans School of           28,000 boxes in place.                      For a fuller explanation of the
Preston                                   erations are crucial. How will you       Public Affairs and Comparative               “Hundreds of departments            Business Continuity Management
said.          Scott Preston              protect them?                            Medicine.                                still need business continuity          Project, including a more detailed
“They’re                                      • Choose an alternative work             In three-hour simulations this       planning, but there’s also need         checklist, go to http://www.washing-
the linchpins.”                           site, either on or off campus.           past winter and spring, each unit        for overall university planning,”
   UW President Mark Emmert                   • Protect your data with back-       responded to a major earthquake          Preston said. If, for instance, there       Preston and his colleagues also
and his advisors have identified          ups and off-site storage. Test to        which knocked out or compro-             were a pandemic and students            welcome inquiries and can arrange
business continuity planning as           make sure they function properly.        mised all bridges in the Puget           were sent home, would tuition be        planning sessions. For additional
a top priority, and all UW units              • Protect your supply chain.         Sound region.                            refunded? If federal officials closed   information, contact UW Emer-
are required to plan for business         Obtain memorandums of agree-                 The work revealed problems:          U.S. borders because of a pan-          gency Management, 206-897-8000
emergencies. Since last winter,           ment both inside and outside the         Some managers, for example, got          demic, what obligations would the       or e-mail
Preston has worked with six units,        local area. Consider plans that          people out of buildings and ac-          UW have to faculty and students

                                             Learn much more about disaster preparedness at the UW Emerge
P age  m University Week supplement m Sept. 27, 2007
                                               To prepare and protect
                              UW Emergency Management at work
        It was about 8 a.m. on the
    morning of April 24, 2007 — a
    normal school day — when news
    of the accident came in. A tanker
    truck carrying hazardous chemicals
    had overturned near the corner of
    NE 45th Street and Brooklyn Ave.
        The spill’s plume, or area of
    impact, was spreading toward the
    UW, placing the campus com-
    munity in danger, remembered
    Steve Charvat, director of UW
    Emergency Management. “The
    leak continued and got larger, and
    the plume went from immediately
    around the ‘Ave.’ to up to a mile
    downwind — which included
    major parts of the campus.”
        You don’t remember this
    major new story? Don’t worry, it
    didn’t really happen. It was the
    annual campus emergency exer-
    cise, coordinated by Emergency
    Management, a sort of expanded
    tabletop simulation this year given
    the ominous title “Operation Dark
        Within about a half hour of
    the pre-advertised beginning to
    the exercise, nearly 80 key campus
    decisionmakers — managers and
    administrators called Emergency
    Responders for this scenario — had
    reported to the Emergency Opera-
    tions Center located in the Bryant
    Building, near Lake Union, to
    share information and address the
        And so for about four hours that
    morning, these campus representa-
    tives acted as if the danger were                                                                                                                                                     Photo by Mary LevIN
    imminent — a scenario made              Trainees for the UW Campus Emergency Response Team (CERT) attend to a victim during a simulated disaster held in August. From left, they
    more realistic by phone calls, faxes,   are trainees Eric Ryan and Collen Marquist, “victim” Michele Schoenecke and Tamlyn Thomas, UWMC emergency management coordinator.
    e-mails and runners all arriving at
    the center demanding information        time information-sharing to help          days, or longer, for help to arrive.        UW Emergency Management            vulnerabilities in their facilities or
    and guidance. In such situations,       managers make informed public             That’s why the UW has cre-              also oversees grant applications —     operations. Generally speaking,
    UW emergency responders must            safety decisions quickly. “It’s sort of   ated its own Campus Emergency           and in many cases acts as principal    successful grants have addressed
    decide whether to advise the            like an online chat, but it’s much        Response Teams (CERT), to act           investigator — for campus colleges,    one or more or the following
    campus community to evacuate or         more powerful,” Charvat said. “You        as first responders in the case of an   offices and units, for both disaster   principles:
    to “shelter in place” — to hunker       could be in South Africa and you          emergency.                              preparation and recovery after the        • Improving the sharing of
    down and wait for help, taking          can get into the system and find              • Recovery: When the earth          fact. Charvat said the office “has     needed information campuswide.
    advantage of emergency prepared-        out what’s happening.”                    has settled, the fires have been        been designated by UW admin-              • Training or equipping campus
    ness packages created for just such         Overseeing such simulations is        extinguished or the flood waters        istration to be one-stop shopping      emergency responders.
    a purpose. As chemical spills tend      just part of the work done by UW          have receded, this is the process       for searching out and applying for        • Assessing and protecting Uni-
    to dissipate over time, sheltering in   Emergency Management. Charvat,            of putting the institution back to      emergency, disaster, preparedness      versity assets and infrastructure.
    place was the right advice for that     its director, said the office’s overall   where it was before the event. “We      and Homeland Security grants.”            • Providing for continuity of
    day’s simulation.                       message is not unique to their            are the coordinating body to make           Since 2004, Emergency              business before, during and after
        After the morning’s hustle,         office but is reflected by all those      sure the UW is working with the         Management has had a hand in           large-scale disasters.
    the exercise was evaluated and its      who work in emergency manage-             city, the county, the state and the     bringing more than $2 million             • Informing the University
    strengths and weaknesses noted for      ment: “Emergencies and disasters          Federal Emergency Management            in grant money to the UW, with         community and visitors how to
    a detailed follow-up report.            are everyone’s business.”                 Agency (FEMA),” said Charvat.           another $1.5 million in grants         prepare for and operate in an emer-
        This was the fourth such simula-        He said Emergency Manage-             The UW is eligible to receive 90        pending. The money, which is           gency environment.
    tion to be held at the UW. The          ment is designed to assist the            percent of all costs for recovery, he   passed through to other campus            The projects must be able to
    first, in 2004, was called Operation    campus community in four basic            said, but it can take years to come     entities, has been used to support     be completed within six to nine
    Jumpstart and imagined a major          functions: Emergency preparedness,        in. For example, the Nisqually          disaster preparedness campuswide,      months of the notice of award,
    earthquake. Operation Detour in         response, recovery and mitigation.        earthquake happened on Feb. 28,         paying for, among other things,        and are best when they benefit
    2005 imagined a regionwide black-       The four functions create a sort of       2001, but the UW received its last      improved security systems, the new     more than one campus unit. Over
    out, and in 2006 a flu pandemic         cycle, he said, with no beginning         reimbursement check for fixing          bomb-sniffing police dog Kali, the     the past three years, the internal
    was simulated.                          and no end.                               damages this April. “And we met         CERT program and its training,         UW grant has funded 16 projects
        The simulations in 2004 and             • Preparedness: Those things          the national average,” Charvat          equipment such as chemical decon-      designed to enhance campus crisis
    this year were the only ones to         that a person, a group, an organiza-      said.                                   tamination suits, communications       communications.
    make use of the Emergency Op-           tion or a government can do before            • Mitigation: Preparedness          systems, and outreach events such         The simulated chemical spill
    erations Center, which will move        a disaster or an incident occurs.         is getting ready for an event you       as QuakeFest, a Universitywide         imagined that morning in April
    in early 2008 from the Bryant           Charvat said the office is ready to       know will happen, while mitiga-         disaster preparedness event held       was determined to have been
    Building to the UW Tower, the           provide emergency preparedness            tion aims energies toward lessening     last fall.                             relatively successful. But prepared-
    building the UW has purchased           presentations to any member of the        that inevitable damage. “It’s what          Since 2004, UW Emergency           ness is an ongoing process, and so
    from Safeco.                            campus community.                         can we do right now to get rid of       Management also has overseen           the exercises and simulations will
        This year’s “Dark Cloud” ex-            • Response: “Response is sort         the threat, or modify the threat so     distribution of an annual, competi-    continue. The next one will be a
    ercise was the first to make use of     of the sexy part of emergency             that it doesn’t impact us as much.”     tive grant for disaster preparedness   regionwide event held throughout
    Web EOC, an online information-         management,” said Charvat. The            Charvat cited the example of            and response open to all UW of-        the Seattle area on March 5, 2008.
    sharing system now used by the          UW is served by the City of Seattle       the ongoing “Restore the Core”          fices and units. These are one-time       What disaster will occur? Take a
    City of Seattle and all 39 counties     for fire and disaster protection,         project, renovating and upgrading       grants designed to encourage the       guess from the name of the coming
    of the State of Washington. Web         but history has shown that in             campus buildings for safety.            campus community to address key        exercise: “Sound Shake ’08.”
    EOC provides wide access and real-      major disasters, it can take several

ency Management Web site:
                                                                                                                                             Sept. 27, 2007 m University Week supplement m P age 
TooLbox                                            It should be updated as new information          check it. Building coordinators and deans,           Emergency Responder
COnTinued frOm Page 1
                                                   becomes available.
                                                       • Alerting the media: The Director of
                                                                                                    directors and chairs are two key groups that
                                                                                                    can be notified rapidly in this manner.
                                                                                                                                                         Summit set for Nov. 6
                                                   News & Information, in consultation with             • Bulk e-mail: Takes several hours for           It won’t be an emergency, but cam-
    The plan states that after an emergency                                                                                                           pus emergency responders — building
situation has been identified, the following       the executive director, will decide on the       complete delivery, and is dependent on
                                                   best way(s) of reaching the news media. In       people checking their e-mail account.             coordinators, police, evacuation wardens
procedures begin to take place:                                                                                                                       and first-response teams — should keep
    • Assessment: “People who become               the case of a prolonged emergency, the direc-        • Short message service (SMS): Pro-
                                                   tor may create a Joint Information Center        vides active notification, but only to those      the afternoon of Nov. 6 open on their
aware of a potential crisis or emergency must                                                                                                         calendars.
contact the Office of Media Relations and          and/or news media briefing center to coordi-     subscribing. Beginning Sept. 26, faculty, staff
                                                   nate information flow. The report states, “In    and students may sign up for UW alert, a             That’s because the Second Annual
Communications.” The Executive Director                                                                                                               Building Emergency Responder Summit
or his designee will decide whether to invoke      general, the University will welcome report-     new crisis notification service that delivers
                                                   ers and allow them as much access as public      text messages to mobile devices such as cell      will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in Hog-
this plan and convene a Crisis Communica-                                                                                                             ness Auditorium in the A Wing of the
tions Team.                                        safety and good taste permit.”                   phones. Visit for
                                                       There is an ever-growing set of options      more information.                                 Health Sciences building. And all those
    • The Crisis Communications Team:                                                                                                                 who respond to crises or are involved
The team may include Media Relations               available to achieve this aim: It’s called the       • 206-UWS-I’M OK and 1-888-UWS-
                                                   communications toolbox. Here are some of         I’M OK: A registry under consideration and        with the UW’s emergency preparedness
and Communications, University Police,                                                                                                                program are asked to attend.
Computing & Communications, Human Re-              the tools listed and comments about their        intended to provide a way for faculty, staff
                                                   effectiveness:                                   and students to report their status following a      This informational forum will feature
sources, Student Life, the Attorney General’s                                                                                                         the latest on how crisis communica-
office, the Office of the President, and the           • UW Web site alerts: A great way to         major emergency event.
                                                   share information if the community knows             • An outdoor public address system is         tions are being improved across the UW
affected unit(s). The Crisis Communications                                                                                                           campus, and how those changes will affect
Team will designate a spokesperson — usu-          where to look, but it does not provide “active   being considered to improve communication
                                                   notification.” Currently, staff members are      with major outdoor areas such as Red Square       emergency response on campus.
ally the highest-ranking person with direct
knowledge of the events, or the executive          working on coordinating the same message         and the campus mass assembly areas.
director of Media Relations and Communi-           on the UW public home page, UWIN and                 Other tools include faxes, pager systems,
                                                   MyUW, as well as the UW Emergency Man-           two-way radios and runners to carry informa-
                                                   agement home page.                               tion across campus when other systems are
                                                                                                                                                      UWEM staff
    • Notifying key constituencies: The
Crisis Communications Team will determine              •              down. The media, too — local television and       Steve Charvat, director.
which groups need to be informed, and in           This is an alternate UW Web site based           radio — can play a critical role in keeping       Scott Preston, business
what order. The report notes that “effective       outside the Puget Sound region that will         the campus and outside community informed         continuity manager, Cert
                                                   be updated with critical information in the      of ongoing events.
communication will help quell rumors, main-
                                                   event that a catastrophic event disrupts the         Based on the timing, location and sever-
tain morale and ensure public safety.” Key
constituencies include students, faculty, staff,   Seattle-area infrastructure.                     ity of the event, any or all of the options in    Clarice Nakata Hall,
parents of students, the Board of Regents,             • UW Information hotline, 206-UWS-           the communications toolbox may be put into        special projects,
public officials, alumni, area neighbors, the      INFO (897-4636) or 1-866-UWS-INFO                use.                                              Delia Hough, fiscal
                                                   (897-4636): As with the Web site, effective          But even these reports are not the final
general public and the news media.
                                                   but only if people know to look there.           word on UW emergency preparedness or
    • Fact sheet: Such a document should be                                                                                                           n Stories by Peter Kelley and
prepared as soon as possible, time stamped,            • UW ListServ E-mail: Provides instant       communications — that conversation will
reviewed by the executive director and             notification, but only when recipients are       continue, involving the entire campus com-        Catherine o’Donnell, UW News &
provided to reporters by the spokesperson.         near their e-mail or portable devices to         munity.                                           Information.

                             Poster courtesy of Public Health Seattle and King County. For more information, visit online at

P age  m University Week supplement m Sept. 27, 2007