OEM Mission

We partner with the community to prepare for, respond to, mitigate the impacts of, and recover from disasters.  

Principles of Emergency Management œ 


We consider and take into account all hazards, all phases, all stakeholders and all impacts relevant to disasters. œ 


We anticipate future disasters and take preventive and preparatory measures to build disaster-resistant and disaster-resilient communities. œ 


We use sound risk management principles (hazard identification, risk analysis, and impact analysis) in assigning priorities and resources. œ 


We ensure unity of effort among all levels of government and all elements of the community.


We create and sustain broad and sincere relationships among individuals and organizations to encourage trust, advocate a team atmosphere, build consensus, and facilitate communication.


We use creative and innovative approaches in solving disaster challenges. œ 


We value a science and knowledge-based approach based on education, training, experience, ethical practice, public stewardship and continuous improvement.


Service Oriented, Collaborative, Continuous Improvement 

Hot Topics

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.

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.

Seattle Office of Emergency Management
2014 Annual Report

Seattle Office of Emergency Management Annual Report 2014

The Seattle Office of Emergency Management has just completed the 2014 Annual Report. This Report provides highlights and accomplishments of the City of Seattle's Emergency Management Program. Click here to check it out.