UW Alert Blog

October 14, 2020

UW Alert test on Oct. 15 timed with Great ShakeOut 2020

The UW Alert notification system will be tested on Thursday, Oct. 15, around 10:15 a.m., in conjunction with the Great ShakeOut 2020, an international earthquake drill.

A test UW Alert message will be sent via email and text, and posted on the UW Alert Twitter feed and Facebook page, reminding people about the drill and directing them to more information about preparing for earthquakes. If you don’t already receive these UW Alert notifications, sign up and learn more here.

The UW Outdoor Alert notification system will also be tested the morning of Oct. 15.

Learn more about the Washington state ShakeOut drill here.

More information:

Harold Tobin, UW professor of Earth and space sciences and director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, discusses seismic risks in the Pacific Northwest.

September 30, 2020

UW Advisory Seattle: Fire response at Stevens Court, traffic closures in place

UPDATE at 1:11 PM: The fire response at Stevens Court has been cleared, and all surrounding roads are open.

UPDATE at 12:24 PM: The fire in an apartment unit kitchen in Stevens Court has been extinguished. Seattle Fire Department crews remain on scene to help with smoke and water clean-up. One person sustained a minor burn injury.

A stovetop fire and smoke activated the building’s sprinkler system, causing some water damage to the apartment and surrounding units, officials said. Fire crews are working to clear water and smoke from the building.

Traffic closures are still in place on Brooklyn Ave. NE between NE 40th St. and NE Pacific St. Please continue to avoid the area.

ORIGINAL POST at 12:16 PM: Fire response at Stevens Court. Traffic closures; avoid area. More info alert.uw.edu

September 14, 2020

UW Alert Seattle: Hazardous materials response at MolES Building

[Update at 11:55 a.m.]: Seattle Fire Department officials have investigated and cleared the hazardous materials response at the Molecular Engineering & Sciences Building. An alarm was triggered due to an issue with the ventilation system in the building. There was no leak or release of hazardous materials. Anyone who is authorized to work in the building is allowed to re-enter.

[Update at 11:28 a.m.]: The Seattle Fire Department is responding to a possible hazardous materials incident inside the Molecular Engineering & Sciences Building near Grant Lane and Stevens Way. Please avoid the area until further notice. More updates will be provided here as they become available.

[ORIGINAL POST: 11:22 a.m.]: SFD responding to possible HazMat incident @ Molecular Eng & Sciences Bldg. Avoid area. Updates: alert.uw.edu
Sent at 11:22 a.m. Mon

August 30, 2020

UW Alert Seattle: Reported accidental shooting inside U-District business

[UPDATED at 4:26 p.m.]: Seattle police investigated a reported shooting inside a business near NE 47th St. & Roosevelt Ave. NE. They determined the shooting appeared to have been accidental and there is no suspect outstanding.

[ORIGINAL POST at 4:08 p.m. Sunday]: Report of shooting inside business near NE 47th St & Roosevelt Ave. NE. SPD on scene. Avoid area. More info: alert.uw.edu
Sent at 4:08pm Sun

August 28, 2020

UW Alert Seattle: Bank robbery on University Way NE contained; investigation continues

[UPDATE 11:25 a.m.] Suspect: Male, 5′ 10″ wearing dark jacket, dark sunglasses, bandana, carrying a brown or orange-colored bag. Last known direction of travel was east of the bank.

No injuries have been reported.

A large police presence is in the area. Seattle Police are continuing to investigate.

Further updates will be provided as they become available.

[ORIGINAL POST 10:53 a.m.] There was a bank robbery at U Way NE and NE 47th St. Report of a shot fired. There is a large police presence. Avoid the area.

More information will be provided when available.

June 3, 2020

A message regarding Monday’s UW Advisory and UW Alert messages

We have heard concerns and criticism from many members of the UW community and beyond about the UW Advisory and UW Alert messages that went out Monday ahead of and during some demonstrations near University Village. Bottom line: We hear you and we will take this feedback seriously moving forward.

The notification system is designed to provide information to the UW community about disruptions or emergencies that could threaten their safety. (Learn more about the notification system here). The first advisory was sent as a precaution about a protest that police had reason to believe was intended to incite violence, property damage and theft, and not as a peaceful demonstration intended to call attention to the very real and serious issue of systemic racism. In hindsight, it is clear that the initial note to avoid the area could be read as a directive to not attend a protest. That was not its intention but in retrospect, we should have been clearer and will aim to in the future.

Regarding the second message, the Safeway store near University Village was broken into and was being looted by several people. As part of this incident, an individual who we learned later is a UW student was assaulted by multiple people trying to force their way into the store. All of this occurred within a span of about 15 minutes and the decision was made to send a UW Alert message to advise the UW community about a potentially dangerous situation, especially considering the location which has student housing around it in multiple directions.

A nearby traffic camera that was pointed toward Safeway showed a peaceful group of protestors sitting in the Safeway parking lot, and some helicopter footage showed University Village itself was heavily guarded and clear of anyone except for police patrolling the area. UW police contacts on the ground reported the activity at Safeway, and confirmed that the broken windows and looting was out of view of these cameras. We made the decision to send the message based on the information available at the time and did not intend to imply that the full group was involved in any such activity.

Finally, every time the Crisis Communications Team is convened, we conduct an after-action review to assess, analyze and learn from every decision we make and every message we send. We understand that words matter, and we will take this feedback and consider it when making future decisions.

June 1, 2020

UW Advisory Seattle: Protest in U Village area; citywide curfew at 6pm

[UPDATE at 5:35 p.m.] A large police presence remains near University Village. Please continue to avoid the area. A reminder that the citywide curfew begins at 6 p.m.

[UPDATE at 5:03 p.m.] Police are on site and handling the disturbance. Please continue to avoid the area.

Police report that one person was injured and taken to the hospital. No arrests have been made.

[UPDATE at 4:38 p.m.] A large group has formed around University Village and people are smashing store windows and looting businesses. Traffic closures are in place near NE 45th St. and 25th Ave. NE. Please avoid the area and find alternative routes.

[UPDATE at 2:34 p.m.] The following UW Housing & Food Services service modifications are in effect:

  • Nordheim Court desk was closed at 2 PM
  • Local Point, Center Table, The Nook, and District Market dining venues will close at 6 PM.

[UPDATE at 2:30 p.m.] Please avoid roadways around campus, to the extent possible, to allow emergency vehicles to access the area if needed.

[UPDATE at 2:25 p.m.] Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced a citywide curfew of 6 p.m. Monday through 5 a.m. Tuesday.

[ORIGINAL POST at 2:10 p.m.] Police are monitoring a potential protest at University Village this afternoon. Members of the UW community who are on or around campus are advised to avoid the U Village area. Businesses there are closing early. More information will be provided here as it becomes available.


May 31, 2020

UW Advisory: Citywide curfew in effect at 5 p.m. Sunday

As a reminder, the City of Seattle has imposed a curfew for Sunday night, beginning at 5 p.m. and remaining in place until 5 a.m. Monday. Residents are asked to stay home and not to travel in and through downtown.

The curfew comes after some demonstrations Saturday in downtown Seattle turned violent and fires were intentionally set, according to Mayor Jenny Durkan’s announcement, and it is intended “to preserve the safety of our residents by keeping our streets safe and accessible for essential workers and first responders and preventing the further spread of COVID-19.”

The curfew is intended to be observed voluntarily and will not be enforced “except for violations that result in public health and safety threats,” the mayor’s announcement states. More details on the curfew can be found on the City of Seattle’s website here.

May 30, 2020

UW Alert Seattle: Immediate curfew imposed in the city

[UPDATE at 5:53 p.m.] Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has issued a news release announcing the curfew. Here are the primary points:

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, Police Chief Carmen Best, and Fire Chief Harold Scoggins announced an 5:00 p.m. curfew effective today, May 30 and tomorrow, May 31. Mayor Durkan will soon be signing an emergency order. The curfew will be in effect from 5:00 pm – 5:00 am, and during those hours residents and visitors should remain in their residence to the extent possible and should refrain from traveling in and through Seattle. The curfew is intended to prevent violence and widespread property damage, and to prevent the further community spread of COVID-19 through continued gathering.

Read the full release and further details here.

[UPDATE at 5:45 p.m.] On the UW campus, District Market and Local Point will be closing soon as a result of the citywide curfew.

[ORIGINAL POST at 5:30 p.m.] The City of Seattle has imposed an immediate 5 p.m. curfew due to fires and an extremely dangerous situation downtown. Residents are asked to stay home, stay safe. More updates will be provided here as they become available.

Sent at 5:28:37 PM Sat

April 9, 2020

UW Alert Seattle: Armed robbery at University Way NE & NE 42nd St

UPDATE at 10:49 p.m.: Seattle police have not yet located the suspect and will continue investigating. Any further update will be provided here as it becomes available.

ORIGINAL POST: Seattle police are searching the U-District area for a male suspect in an armed robbery that was reported at a business in the 4200 block of University Way NE. The suspect may have a knife and there is no further description confirmed at this time. Please avoid the area.

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