Training and workshops

Training and Workshops

We aim to support people in gaining the knowledge and skills needed to prepare for, respond during, and recover from a disaster. Each year we train thousands of people how to prepare for emergencies, prevent injuries and respond effectively when a disaster strikes. Year round we offer free training and information sessions to individuals, businesses, community groups, schools and other organizations throughout Seattle. 

The trainings listed below can be scheduled by filling out our online training request form. Please read through the available options in detail so you can choose the training that best fits your needs.

Disaster Preparedness: The Basics

This presentation provides an overview of the hazards that can impact Seattle, and steps that individuals and families can take to become more prepared to deal with them. This includes guidance on how to develop a disaster plan, build a disaster supply kit, and organize with your neighbors to become better prepared. The presentation also provides an overview of other OEM efforts including the SNAP program, Community Emergency Hubs, and the City's new alert and notification system, Alert Seattle.

Intended Audience: This presentation is intended for a broad array of audiences. This could include a business or non-profit organization looking to increase the personal preparedness of its employees. It could also
include a community group looking to improve the personal preparedness of the neighborhood or people they serve.

Duration: Approximately 1 hour

Neighborhood Preparedness (SNAP: Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare)

The SNAP program introduces participants to basic information on personal and family preparedness, including how to develop a disaster plan and an emergency supply kit. In addition, this presentation provides guidance and tools for organizing with neighbors. Participants will become familiar with neighborhood response priorities and strategies for working together with neighbors to ensure an effective neighborhood response.

Intended Audience: A group of neighbors from a particular block, apartment building, or condo. You may also want to have a SNAP presentation at a community center or other location to get a larger group of neighbors thinking about preparedness.

Duration: 45 minutes - 1 hour

Workplace Preparedness

The workplace preparedness training provides an overview of key workplace preparedness steps, including guidance on planning for sheltering in place, plans for communicating with employees, clients and partners, the basics of continuity planning, and the importance of individual and family preparedness for employees.

Intended Audience: A business, community organization, or other workplace that is in the process of developing emergency plans or wants to improve existing preparedness efforts. Typically this will be smaller organizations that do not have staff dedicated solely to safety or continuity planning.

Duration: 45 minutes – 1 hour

Special Events

When possible OEM will staff informational tables at special events. OEM staff will provide information on personal and family preparedness and interactive preparedness activities. These types of events are more difficult to staff, but we do our best to accommodate these requests.

Skills Specific Training

OEM offers and supports a series of courses that provide more in depth instruction on specific preparedness and response  topics. The trainings listed below are offered throughout the year at various locations throughout the
city as scheduled by OEM.

Earthquake Home Retrofit Classes

Introductory class provides information for do-it-yourselfers or those who want to become educated consumers on how to seismically secure your home (especially if built before 1980) to its foundation. Experienced home retrofit instructors share their insight on tools needed, building techniques, the city's free plan set and the permit process. View the upcoming trainings page to see when the next class is offered.

Home Retrofit Contractor Training Seminar

The Washington Association of Building Officials (WABO) hosts a one day seminar for contractors on how to complete a seismic retrofit based on the city's standard plan set. This seminar is scheduled based on demand. If you are a contractor interested in taking this class, contact WABO at Once they have established sufficient interest, they will work to schedule a class.

Disaster Skills Series

Disaster Skills Workshop

This workshop provides training on key skills needed after a disaster and more in depth instruction on key preparedness actions. Participants will rotate through four stations, with each lasting 30 minutes. The workshop covers the following topics: (1) Fire Extinguisher Use, (2) Utility Control, (3) Water Storage and Purification and (4) Emergency Sanitation. Registration is required for this session. View the upcoming trainings page to see when the next workshop is offered.

Disaster Skills: Basic Aid

Learn how to care for and respond to injuries after a major disaster when 9-1-1 is overwhelmed or unavailable. This session provides practice on how to recognize and treat life-threatening conditions, how to conduct a patient assessment and how to creatively use household items as first aid materials. **Course does not meet requirements for first aid certification. View the upcoming trainings page to see when the next training is offered.

Disaster Skills: Light Search and Rescue

This training provides an overview of light search and rescue skills and basic rescuer safety. When first responders are overwhelmed, residents may apply some of these techniques to help those around them in need. This Workshop covers rescuer safety, basic search techniques and basic rescue techniques (lifts, carries, cribbing). This training includes a lecture portion and hands-on practice of search and rescue techniques. View the upcoming trainings page to see when the next workshop is offered.

Online Training

The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) offers on-line courses through their Emergency Management Institute. The courses are self-paced and designed for people who have emergency management responsibilities and the general public. All are offered free-of-charge to those who qualify for enrollment. Here is a list of courses that may be of interest:

Animals in Disasters: Awareness and Preparedness

Multihazard Planning for Childcare

Workplace Violence Awareness Training 2017

Earthquake Basics: Science, Risk, and Mitigation

Seattle OEM Skills Videos

For those unable to attend an OEM disaster skills training, or looking for a refresher, these short videos provide instruction on some key disaster skills.

Controlling Utilities: Gas 

Controlling Utilities: Water

Using a Fire Extinguisher