Emergency Management Barb Graff, Director
Raising earthquake awareness with 'Big Shaker' at Westlake Park
The Seattle Office of Emergency Management and the Seattle Parks Department held a preparedness event at Westlake Park on October 11th. The event featured the 'Big Shaker' a 22 foot long earthquake simulator capable of simulating an 8.0 earthquake. Check out the action as covered by the Seattle Channel.
Seattle releases new emergency preparedness animation
A sasquatch attack may not happen anytime soon, but an earthquake could! Check out our new motion animation on how to get prepared for disasters.
Seattle First Northwest city to achieve national Emergency Management accreditation
On April 29, 2016, the City of Seattle's emergency management program was accredited by the national Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) Commission at their spring meeting in Lexington, Kentucky. Seattle becomes the first city in the four-state FEMA region to achieve accreditation. This achievement highlights the Office of Emergency Management's commitment to the City improving emergency preparedness, responsiveness, and recovery. View the full news release here.
Seattle Office of Emergency Management
2015 Annual Report
The Seattle Office of Emergency Management has just completed the 2015 Annual Report. The report provides highlights and accomplishments of the City of Seattle's Emergency Management Program. Click here to check it out.
Seattle Hazard Explorer
The Seattle Office of Emergency Management website now features and series of interactive maps that highlight some of the city's top hazards. Check out the Seattle Hazard Explorer and learn more about the hazards that impact Seattle. You can zoom in on your home, work place, or any other location to see what hazards are most likely to impact you. Informational videos and other content provide more in depth explanations of each of the hazards. Make sure you look out for links to important preparedness information as well! View the Seattle Hazard Explorer. You can also access the Hazard Explorer via the "Hazards" section of the website.
Seattle Post-Disaster Economic Recovery Event
The Seattle Office of Emergency Management and FEMA Region 10 co-hosted an economic recovery event on November 3rd, 2015. The event provided an opportunity for private and public sector partners to meet, discuss and share information, lessons learned, and best practices concerning long-term economic recovery after disaster.
To learn more about the event, click the following links for the Seattle Disaster Recovery Framework and presentation materials.
- Seattle Disaster Recovery Framework
- Strengthening Disaster Recover for the Nation - Tom Donnelly, Recovery Planning Coordinator - FEMA
- Reoccupying the Building - The Role of the Local Code Official - Jon Siu, Principal Engineer/Building Official, Seattle Department of Planning & Development
- Challenges of Economic Recovery - Lessons Learned - William Lokey, Sr. Consultant, Witt O'Brien's
- Christchurch Earthquakes - Redefining Revitalization - Susan McLaughlin, Strategic Advisor, Seattle Department of Transportation
- Corporate Challenges Post-Disaster - Chris Hartinger, Business Continuity Manager, Global Safety & Security, Starbucks
Preparing for 'The Big One'
Are you prepared for the next big earthquake and other disasters Seattle could face? Attend a presentation at a local library to hear from emergency management experts about what you can do to get prepared. Learn about the City's new emergency alert and notification system - AlertSeattle - and bring questions to ask the City's hazard specialist during an open Q&A session. View OEM's calendar to see when the next class is offered.
Unreinforced Masonry Buildings (URM)
Unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings pose a significant risk during an earthquake. These buildings are typically brick buildings built prior to WWII, and are especially vulnerable during earthquakes because the walls and parapets aren't securely tied to the floors and roof. A 2012 city-wide inventory project identified over 800 potential URMs in the City of Seattle. The Department of Planning and Development continues to work on the Unreinforced Masonry (URM) policy to develop final recommendations for a URM seismic retrofit program. Click here to read a full update on the progress of the URM seismic retrofit program.
When emergencies happen, be the first to know. Stay informed with AlertSeattle to receive real-time, official notifications from the City of Seattle.
AlertSeattle is a free service that allows you to sign up online to receive customized alerts via text message, email, voice message, and on social media (Facebook and Twitter). This service is provided by the City of Seattle at no cost; however, message and data rates may apply.
In addition to emergency alerts, you can also choose to receive customizable community notifications. These will include notifications about severe weather, safety, health, utility disruptions, major traffic incidents, and more.
Go to alert.seattle.gov to sign-up today.
What are we doing to prepare the city for a major earthquake?
With all the talk about how a major earthquake could affect Seattle, here's a summary that highlights how the City has been preparing for the next big one: click here to view summary.
Mitigation 'Triage' Workshop
As the owner of multiple buildings how do you decide where to focus your scarce mitigation dollars when you have limited funds for engineering? To explore this question, Seattle Office of Emergency Management hosted a workshop for professionals in the field to discuss:
- Strategies for prioritizing mitigation actions across multiple buildings
- Approaches to working with limited resources
- Other lessons learned and innovative ideas
The goal of the workshop was to provide an opportunity for attendees to share best practices in facility seismic risk reduction, as well as to ask questions, share ideas, and build relationships with others engaged in this type of work across our city.
To learn more about the workshop click the following links to view the presentations that were given.
- Workshop Summary
- Update of Seattle's Hazard Mitigation Plan
- Seattle Area Earthquake Hazard - Presented by Bill Steele, Director of Information Services; UW Pacific Northwest Seismic Network
- Seismic Risk Assessment Demonstration Project - Presented by Julie Matsumoto, City of Seattle - Department of Finance and Administrative Services
- School Pilot Project Case Study - Presented by Cale Ash, Degenkolb Engineers
- Restore the Core - Presented by Steve Charvat, UW Emergency Management
SEATTLE – With high-winds and rain predicted for Seattle and much of the Pacific Northwest Saturday evening and Sunday morning, the City of Seattle is advising residents to take precautions at home and when traveling. [...]
With high-winds and rain predicted for Seattle and much of the Pacific Northwest this weekend, it is recommended that residents take extra precautions at home and when out. Residents should defer traveling during the storm, avoid and report [...]