Call 9-1-1 for ambulance, police, or firefighter help

The 911 emergency number is answered by an operator who will ask about your emergency. The operator will send appropriate assistance to you (ambulance, police, firefighters, etc.) as quickly as possible. This number should not be used for non-emergencies. If you are unsure whether your situation is an emergency, call 911. The operator will transfer you to the appropriate resource for non-emergencies if applicable.

Health Care Services

Hall Health Center is a primary health care clinic for University of Washington students, alumni, academic personnel and staff, as well as the general community. Hall Health can be crowded so it is best to make an appointment for non-emergency services.

If you have a serious medical emergency , call 911 for an ambulance. If your medical problem is urgent but not life threatening, you can take yourself to an emergency room. While Hall Health and other primary health care clinics are often open only during the day, Monday through Friday, local hospitals have emergency rooms open 24 hours a day. UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center offer emergency care, as do other local hospitals.


Property theft is an occasional and unfortunate fact of life. You can take the steps to prevent theft and also recover your belongings if they are stolen. The University of Washington Police Department has tips for both situations.

If your passport, I-94 card or immigration documents are stolen, report the theft to the police and to your advisor in International Scholars Operations (ISO). Notify your consulate if your passport is lost or stolen.

Large-scale emergencies and disasters

To prepare for and respond to large-scale emergencies like earthquakes, severe storms, and fires, visit the UW Office of Emergency Management.

Call your consulate

If there is a large-scale emergency in the area where you are living or visiting, call your home-country’s local consulate to check in. They may be able to pass information along to friends and family back home. Your consulate may also have specific information regarding services they can provide you. The Department of State maintains an accurate list of foreign consulates in the United States.

Other useful emergency sites

These sites offer additional suggestions:

  • – a federal website about emergency preparedness, is maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. The site’s motto is “Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed.”
  • Regional Public Information Network (RPIN) – a one-stop resource for news alerts from government, transportation, utility, health, and emergency response agencies in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. With the motto “Be in touch. Stay in touch,” RPIN keeps the public informed about street and highway closures, weather, major transit disruptions, and provides updates on what agencies are doing to respond to emergencies and incidents. The public also can sign up to receive e-mail alerts and pager headlines from RPIN partners and get helpful tips to prepare for emergencies.
  • King County’s Office of Emergency Management – maintains thorough information about preparing for disasters and emergencies.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – provides detailed information on how to plan for a variety of natural disasters, and much of the information is location specific.

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