- By State law and City ordinance, all City and County employees are designated as Disaster Service Workers ("DSWs").
- This means when the Mayor declares a citywide emergency, City and County employees may be required to serve as DSWs in support of the City’s response and recovery efforts.
- When you receive a notice to report to an assignment as a DSW, you are required by law to report and serve.
- In a citywide emergency, the Department of Emergency Management will activate its Emergency Operations Center (EOC), a physical or virtual hub where City and County departments and partner agencies coordinate the city’s emergency response activities.
- If the City determines that DSWs are needed, the San Francisco Department of Human Resources (DHR) will work with department human resources representatives to deploy needed DSWs.
- To ensure you receive City notifications during an emergency response, please keep your emergency contact information up to date by visiting the City Employee Portal and selecting the "My Information" tab.
DSW Reporting Information
- If you are being deployed, DHR will contact you, typically by email, to advise you of your assigned role, and when and where to report.
- As a DSW, you may be directed to perform duties that are different from your regular work responsibilities, to report to a different work site, or to report at times that are different from your normal work schedule.
- DHR will make every effort to assign you to DSW roles based on the work you do every day or on special skills you possess. Some roles DSWs may be assigned include:
- General duties such as clerical support, damage assessment, driving, food preparation, sorting, packing, or loading.
- Specialized duties depending on special skills you possess such as language translation, public outreach and communication, or driving a commercial vehicle.
- Let your department human resource representative or disaster preparedness coordinator know if you have special skills that you do not use in your regular position, such as language skills, a commercial driver’s license, or CPR training.
- Remember, as a DSW you will not be asked to perform any duty or function you do not know how to perform or have not received adequate training to complete.
- For questions about the responsibilities of a DSW, please speak with your department’s human resources representative.
- If you have a serious health concern, childcare responsibilities, or another issue that would prevent you from serving as a DSW, you may file a DSW Accommodations Request Form with your department’s human resources representative.
What to do in an Emergency
- Your first duty after an emergency occurs is to ensure that you and your family are safe.
- Once you know you and your family are safe, follow the steps below:
- If you receive a DSW Assignment Notice: Follow the reporting instructions in the notice.
- If you are at work: During a declared citywide emergency while at work, report immediately to your department supervisor or to the department staging area, operations center, or other emergency location to which you have been assigned.
- If you are at home or away from work: Follow your department's emergency planning and/or DSW reporting instructions:
- Listen to the radio to receive possible citywide reporting instructions (KCBS 740AM or 106.9FM);
- Contact your immediate home department supervisor to receive reporting instructions;
- Follow the procedures for reporting to your normal work location or designated emergency reporting location; and
- Be sure to have your DSW Identification Card with you. It will be required to rapidly access emergency transportation routes. View the FAQ about the DSW ID Card for more information.
All City and County employees are required to complete the following trainings to prepare to serve as a DSW:
Additional training is required for some City staff.
For information on required DSW training and how to access, refer to the DSW Training page.
- You cannot be effective as a DSW if you are worried about your safety or the safety of your family or home.
- Follow the steps on the DSW Preparedness Checklist to prepare yourself and your family for emergencies. These steps include:
- Making a family emergency plan .
- Signing up for emergency alerts from San Francisco or the city where you live .
- Putting together an emergency kit for home, work, and your vehicle .
- Taking free personal preparedness training from your local Community Emergency Response Team .
Personal Preparedness Resources
- Red Cross preparedness video: Ready or Not: Prepare for Chance
- Ready.gov: Plan Ahead for Disasters
- SF 72, San Francisco's Hub for Emergency Preparedness
- San Francisco Fire Department Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) Training - NERT training is free to anyone who lives or works in San Francisco.
- For additional preparedness resources, see the Emergency Preparedness Resources page.