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Barb Graff, Director



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Welcome to the Seattle Office of Emergency Management!

The Seattle Office of Emergency Management partners with the community to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. Explore our Preparedness, Recovery, Programs & Services, and Hazards sections for up-to-date information and news. For a schedule of classes and other preparedness activities, see our event calendar.

We want to hear your comments, complaints, and any commendations so we can make this a better site.

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Hot Topics

Ebola Information (PDF)

Information regarding Ebola is also available in a number of languages. Visit Languages are listed on the right hand side of the page.

Overview of Northwest Seismic Hazard and Early Warning Pilot Project (PDF)

Presentation by John Vidale, Washington State Seismologist, to the Seattle Disaster Management Committee. The slide deck summarizes the Northwest's seismic hazard and introduces an exciting project to pilot an earthquake early warning system. The proposed system would detect earthquakes where they happen, as they happen and 'radio ahead' to population centers before damaging seismic waves arrive.

Draft Hazard Mitigation Plan Release

The Office of Emergency Management has just released a draft update to the Seattle All-Hazards Mitigation Plan. This plan has incorporated community input collected this spring to help identify hazards, assess risks, and select mitigation strategies. The resulting ‘blue print’ will help guide future mitigation planning in the city. Click here to access the plan (PDF) and a jump-start presentation (PDF) to help guide your review.

What you think matters to us. With your participation we can best plan for hazards and take actions to reduce the impacts when hazards strike. This plan is available for review from September 5 to October 3, 2014.

How to Protect Yourself From Landslides

The Department of Planning and Develop has a great page that explains steps you can take to protect yourself from landslides. It also lists contact numbers to get help.

Seattle Releases Update to the Seattle Hazard Identification and Vulnerability Analysis

Seattle is a vibrant city, yet it faces hazards that threaten the very tissue of our community. Seattle can reduce hazard impacts and this document is where we start. The Seattle Hazard Identification and Vulnerability Analysis (SHIVA) identifies Seattle’s hazards and their consequences so we can make smart decisions about how best to prepare for them.

The SHIVA is the foundation for all the City of Seattle's disaster planning and preparedness activities. The City hopes the rest of the Seattle community will use it in the same manner. The SHIVA is a community document. The Office of Emergency Management is constantly collecting information from partners to update it. It is updated as needed but a major review occurs at least every four years.

Map hazards yourself

The Department of Planning and Develop has an excellent mapping application that enables you to map Seattle's environmentally critical areas, including landslide, liquefaction, and flood prone areas. Use it to find out if properties of interest to you are in or close to these hazard areas.

Seattle's 2014 Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

Tell us what you think!

Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Landslides, Winter Storms, Wind Storms, Power Outages, Volcanic Eruptions – these are just the tip of the iceberg for risks we face in our area. The City is responsible for planning for all of our 18 hazards, but cannot do that without your help.

Tell us what hazards concern you the most and how you think we should prioritize our activities to make our buildings and infrastructure safer. We have three ways for you to do this:

  1. Complete a fast and easy online survey:
  2. Email your thoughts to:
  3. Attend a public meeting:
    April 8, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave. South
    Seattle, WA 98118

Share your thoughts with us between March 25 - April 23, 2014.

Interpretation and accommodations are available upon advance request to Donna Voss, Project Manager, at (206) 233-5089 or by email at:

Overview of Seattle’s 2014 Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is currently updating the City’s Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP), which describes our City’s natural hazard risks, such as earthquakes, storms, volcanic eruptions, and landslides, identifies the people and facilities at risk, and describes ways to prevent and minimize damage to life and property.

The existing plan is being updated as part of the City’s emergency management program and in order to ensure the City remains eligible for federal grant funding. For further information click here.

Earthquake Home Retrofit Handbook

Earthquakes are Seattle's biggest threat due to the combination of magnitude and frequency. The City of Seattle is actively preparing to respond to a catastrophic earthquake. Key efforts include strengthening critical infrastructure, building community preparedness, increasing employee preparedness and emphasizing individual preparedness. This report gives an overview of some of those completed and planned activities.

  • Seattle Office of Emergency Management
    2012 Annual Report (pdf)

    Check out OEM’s Annual Report for highlights on the work that has been done by the City of Seattle to prepare for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from disasters.
  • The Hard Realities of Earthquake Recovery: Christchurch, NZ - Two Years Later (pdf)

    John Schelling is the Washington State Emergency Management Earthquake Program Manager. John travelled to Christchurch, New Zealand in August, 2012 to observe the progress Seattle's sister city is making in recovering from a powerful earthquake. He shares his astute observations in this presentation.
  • "Two Hands" - Powerpoint

  • Take Winter By Storm

    Take Winter By Storm

    Get ready for wind, rain, power outages or whatever comes our way this season. "Take Winter By Storm"  is the largest regional campaign in Western Washington to help everyone stay warm, safe and dry. Register on the TWBS website to receive continuing updates and alerts.
  • Smart911 Makes its Debut in King County
    Check out the link below and see attached Fact Sheet:
  • After Action Report and Improvement Plan for the City of Seattle Evergreen Earthquake Functional Exercise, June 5 and 6, 2012.
  • Activation History for Seattle Emergency Operating Center (EOC). Since 2005, the Seattle Emergency Operating Center has activated for 12 large scale exercises and 25 actual events, of which, 6 were large enough to warrant a Presidential Disaster Declaration. For more information on Seattle EOC Activation history click here.
    Check out this new "one-stop shop" that includes personal testimonials, preparedness resources and a school contest on how to get ready for a catastrophe, part of an eight-county effort throughout Puget Sound. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook!

    Make it Through
  • Help Us Plan for Disaster
    Seattle Office of Emergency Management hosted two community meetings to discuss the Seattle Disaster Readiness and Response Plan.  In our ongoing commitment to planning with the community rather than for the community, we invite you to weigh in on the plan by emailing us at: If you are interested in hosting a meeting for friends or a pre-existing group you belong to, please let us know and we'd be happy to schedule a time to do that. 
  • Disaster Survivors: Tell Us Your Story, Teach Others
    Remember living through the power outages, winter storms, excessive heat and flooding events in our area over the past few years? Perhaps you or a family member survived Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami in Japan, or catastrophe in another part of the world. If so, the lessons you learned may help teach and inspire others.

Popular Links

During an emergency, go to for the latest information.

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Non-Emergency Police:
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Emergency Prep - Fun Preparedness Videos
Fun Preparedness Videos

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