City workers trained as disaster workers
April 28, 2006
Should disaster strike San Francisco all City employees by law
become disaster workers and some 300 of them yesterday learned
what to expect.
The first obligation for all San Francisco employees - in good
times and bad - "is to maximize safety of lives and property,"
Anne Reynolds told those gathered in the auditorium of San Francisco
"Our obligation to do that is even more great when it's
not pretty outside," Reynolds added.
Reynolds works in the San Francisco Office of Emergency Services
and Homeland Security.
She teamed with Ted Yamasaki from the San Francisco Human Resources
and Mayor Gavin Newsom to detail disaster protocol. Training is
ongoing for all 27,000 City workers.
Upgraded protocols call for employees to shift into disaster
mode "through a cohesive program of clear channels, direct
communication, and clearly understood roles and responsibilities,"
All workers are interviewed for skills and limitations affecting
their service as disaster workers.
"We won't ask anyone to do anything they can't do. Sometimes
we learn of skills not connected to your jobs which would be useful
in a disaster," Reynolds explained.
That information, along with employee name, department, and contact
information, is encoded on a disaster worker ID card.
Three card colors indicate worker access to different levels
of service but are not meant to prioritize individuals.
Access colors of red, green, and yellow, signify each worker's
appropriate skill for admittance to ranked danger areas.
Pre-designated return routes to the City following a disaster
by ferry and Muni lines are tailored to each worker's need.
Appropriate location for employee shelter, food and water are
pre-plotted based on anticipated use of worker skills.
Newsom recalled seriousness of terrorist threat to San Francisco.
"We are a highly desired target. We are a target rich,"
the mayor reflected.
"That makes me take these things very, very seriously.
"We still have a lot of work to do.
"Based on our progress I would argue in one or two or possibly
three years we will be a model to the nation."