Under State law, all government employees are Disaster Service Workers who can be called upon in any emergency. California Government Code Section 3100-3109 states in part:
“All public employees are hereby declared to be Disaster Service Workers subject to such disaster service activities as may be assigned to them by their superiors or by law.” This means that in addition to our everyday duties, we have an added responsibility to help in a disaster.
What does disaster service mean?
Disaster service means all activities authorized by and carried out pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act to aid in the response and recovery phases of a disaster or emergency, including approved and documented training necessary or proper to engage in such activities.
Who is included in the Disaster Service Worker status?
Pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act, any person employed by a county, city, state agency or public district in California is a public employee and considered a Disaster Service Worker.
What is my responsibility as a Disaster Service Worker?
It is your responsibility to be available to work and prepare yourself for disaster service duties by ensuring that you and your family are ready for an emergency. Be prepared! If you are at work when a disaster strikes, you may be staying at work until you are released. If you are at home, you may be called in to work. Management may suspend sick leave and scheduled vacation in the event of a major emergency, and you are responsible for reporting for duty if requested.
What about my family?
Every effort will be made to permit you time to check on and secure the safety of your family. However, you may be required to remain at work for an extended period of time, or to immediately report-in following a disaster. It is important that you prepare an emergency plan for your family so they will know what to do in your absence. Employees are strongly encouraged to take some basic steps now, to prepare and reduce the hazard impact to your family and yourself.
• Have an emergency kit in your home, which contains food, water, and basic supplies for at least three days
• Each member of the family should know how to turn off the gas, electricity, and water to the dwelling
• Have a portable radio and flashlight with spare batteries
• Keep an emergency supply of water and food in your car
• Develop a family emergency plan
American Red Cross has resources to create a home and family disaster preparation plan.