Plan for emergency evacuations in a hybrid work environment


University units and departments that establish hybrid work schedules need to ensure adequate coverage for evacuation wardens in the event of an emergency that requires evacuation. Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) recommends University units and departments train as many evacuation wardens as possible within their work areas to ensure there is at least one warden on site at all times during normal business hours.

The “community warden” approach is an effective way to increase the number of wardens on site at any time who have the training and knowledge necessary for a safe evacuation. Evacuation directors in hybrid work environments have found the traditional method of assigning primary, secondary and tertiary evacuation wardens doesn’t always provide complete coverage during business hours, which can lead to slower response times during an emergency.

Evacuation wardens are required to complete Emergency Evacuation Warden Training – Online prior to assuming their responsibilities. Visit the Building Evacuations and Fire Drills webpage to find out more about the roles and responsibilities of evacuation wardens and evacuation directors.

University work areas that adopt the community warden approach may need to update their Fire Safety & Evacuation Plan accordingly.

Faculty, lecturers, teaching assistants, and conference/seminar facilitators should follow the Classroom Evacuations guidelines to effectively inform students and attendees of actions to take in the event of an emergency.

EH&S works closely with UW Emergency Management and campus partners to provide resources for the campus community to plan and prepare for emergencies. Contact the EH&S Building and Fire Safety team at (206) 685-0341 for more information.