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Fred Hutch is vulnerable to many natural, technological, and human-caused hazards. Knowledge of these hazards, their frequency, and Fred Hutch's vulnerability to them allows Fred Hutch to better assess their risks and to plan and prepare for their consequences. The Fred Hutch Hazard Identification Vulnerability Analysis (HIVA) identifies and prioritizes natural, technological, and human-caused hazards which have the potential to impact Fred Hutch's staff, mission, environment, and property. The HIVA is the foundation of effective emergency preparedness and identifies the hazards that must be mitigated against, prepared for, responded to, and recovered from in order to minimize the effects of disasters and emergencies.

5.1 Four Phases of Emergency Preparedness

To ensure continuity of operations, Fred Hutch has adopted a comprehensive, risk-based, all-hazards planning approach, which incorporates the four phases of emergency preparedness:

  1. Mitigation Activities: These are actions taken to eliminate or reduce the degree of long-term risk to human life, property, and the environment from natural and technological hazards.
  2. Preparedness Activities: These are actions taken before an emergency to develop operational capabilities and facilitate an effective response in the event of an emergency.
  3. Response Activities: These are actions taken immediately before, during, or directly after an emergency occurs in order to save lives, minimize damage to property and the environment, and enhance the effectiveness of recovery. Emergency management requires planning for and responding to the involved events.
  4. Recovery Activities: These activities are necessary to return vital systems and functions to minimum operating standards. They also include long-term activities designed to return operations to normal or improved state.

5.2 Minimizing the Impact of Emergencies

The purpose of Fred Hutch's emergency preparedness activities is to minimize the impact of emergencies on staff, property, environment, and on the mission of Fred Hutch by:

  1. Mitigating vulnerability to known natural and technological hazards, operational failures, and human imposed events;
  2. Providing public safety and emergency planning education and encouraging behavior among staff that will lead to widespread preparedness across Fred Hutch;
  3. Fostering planning at all levels which leads to a uniform and rational approach for coordinating action before, during, and after any threat to Fred Hutch welfare; and
  4. Regularly evaluating Fred Hutch's capacity to affect a coordinated response and recovery effort that focuses on protecting and saving lives; lessening human suffering; minimizing property, economic, and environmental losses; and a prompt return to normal operations.

In simplest terms, the goal is to define the problem, to try to lessen the impact of the problem, and to prepare to respond and recover from those impacts that could not be prevented.

5.3 Emergency Guide

The Fred Hutch Emergency Guide provides a quick reference source to help determine what actions to take for each type of emergency that may be encountered at Fred Hutch. These hazards include:

  1. Medical emergencies;
  2. Fires;
  3. Hazardous material incidents;
  4. Security threats;
  5. Bomb threats; and
  6. Utility failures.

The guide is formatted as a flip chart for easy use and quick access to essential emergency information. Emergency Guides are located throughout Fred Hutch, generally in conference rooms, break rooms, and other public assembly areas.

5.4 Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP)

The CEMP is activated when emergency conditions exist under which normal operations cannot be performed and immediate action is required to:

  1. Save and protect lives;
  2. Prevent damage to the environment, systems, property, or Fred Hutch's mission;
  3. Provide essential services;
  4. Temporarily assign Fred Hutch staff to perform emergency work;
  5. Invoke emergency authorization to procure and allocate resources; and
  6. Activate and staff the Emergency Operating Center.

The direction and control structure for emergency operations includes an on-scene control system called the On-Scene Incident Command Post (ICP), and a centralized direction and control system called the Emergency Operating Center (EOC).

5.4.1 What is Expected of Staff in an Emergency?

Staff who are on-duty when an emergency occurs are expected to:

  1. Follow department evacuation and sheltering procedures and proceed to emergency assembly areas if required. Request emergency assistance if needed. Assist persons who are injured, have disabilities, or who have other special needs.
  2. Follow the instructions of floor emergency wardens, building captains, and any others who have designated authority and responsibilities during an emergency.
  3. Minimize telephone usage to reporting emergencies and other essential communications.
  4. Follow procedures to assist coworkers with protection and personal safety; provide, or obtain, emergency assistance as needed.
  5. Check in with the supervisor or the person in charge as soon as possible. Report for emergency assignments as assigned, or as directed.
  6. Check in daily with supervisors for possible assignments or to obtain general emergency information and instructions from the Fred Hutch Emergency Information Hotline at 888.667.2020, or check online.

5.4.2 Fred Hutch Emergency Closure

The policy for Fred Hutch is to remain open except under the most extreme conditions. In such an event, city or state officials will generally recommend closure for safety reasons. Staff should assume Fred Hutch is open unless the emergency information hotline, 888.667.2020, or emergency information web site (Center Status Website) mentioned above, indicates otherwise.

The night before inclement weather is forecast, senior management will determine whether Fred Hutch will be open under a normal schedule or under adverse conditions, be closed or have a delayed start. By 10 p.m., a message regarding center status for the next day will be recorded on the center’s Emergency Information Hotline and published on the center-status website. In addition, an all-Hutch email will be sent.

If weather conditions change overnight enough to require an update to center status — say, if deteriorating conditions cause a delayed start to be upgraded to a closure — any modifications to the center status will be communicated the next morning by 5 a.m. to all staff via the same channels.

If during a work day the Center is to be closed early due to weather conditions, all employees who have signed up to receive emergency notifications will get a text/e-mail message. All workers can sign up to receive the emergency notifications at the Employee Self Service

Fred Hutch may be required to operate certain cirtical service areas, such as maintenance, security, and animal health resources. Staff in critical service  positions must report to work on regular workdays during a closure. Critical service staff are pre-advised about such requirements by their supervisors.

Conditions during Inclement Weather or Emergency

Open - The Center is open and operating under a normal schedule.

Open under adverse conditions – Weather/road conditions are such that most employees should be able to come to work and go home without significant safety issues, but some adverse conditions may be experienced. The Center would be fully open and operating on a normal daily schedule. If non-critical service staff want to change their working hours based on local weather conditions, they should contact their supervisor. Critical service staff  must come to work. 

Delayed - Weather/road conditions are such that most employees commute would be safer after a delay (e.g., 1-3 hrs) in opening the Hutch. The Center would be fully open after the delay period.  Non-critical service staff are not expected to come to work until after the delay period. Critical service staff must come to work at their normal schedule.

Closed - Weather/road conditions are such that most employees would not be able to come to work safely (or go home safely). The Center would be closed for the full day for all but critical service staff .  Critical service staff must come to work.

Disaster – A natural or human caused disaster has occurred that has seriously disrupted transportation or affected operations at the Hutch. Examples would be a massive earthquake, local terrorist activity, uncontrolled fire or flooding at the Hutch.  Non-critical service staff staff should not come to work. All staff currently at the Center will remain until travel is once again advisable. Critical service staff should not come to work until conditions are safe.

For more information on Inclement weather or Air Quality, see the Inclement Weather Website