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Disaster Service Workers

As a public employer, all Santa Clarita Community College District employees have been designated as Disaster Service Workers (DSW).  This is a requirement for all California public employees.  Emergencies include, but are not limited to, fire, flood, earthquake, or public health emergencies.  In an emergency, non-essential public employees (those who are not required for continuity of operations) may be released from their traditional duties and assigned to assist in emergency response.  

In the event of a disaster, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be activated to manage major emergencies and request employees through the emergency notification system to advise them of whether and when to report to DSW duty. DSWs are needed to perform general duties such as clerical support, damage assessment, driving, food preparation, sorting, packing, or loading. You may have more specialized duties, depending on the work you do every day, and/or any special skills you may possess. Let your Emergency Services Manager know if you have special skills you do not use in your regular job, such as language skills, a commercial driver’s license, or CPR training.

The California Constitution Oath or Affirmation

As a public employee, before you entered upon the duties of your employment at CoC, you took and subscribed to the oath or affirmation; 

"I, ___________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter."

Emergency Response Expectations

During Business Hours Outside of Business Hours
You must remain at work and be available to assist with relief efforts. Ensure that your family is safe.  If you have a designated emergency role, you will need to respond in accordance with your departmental procedures.

Supervisors are responsble for ensuring that their employees remain present and available.  Supervisors are not permitted to release employees without the approval of senior administration.  Only the County Administrator is permitted to release all non-essential public employees during a disaster.

Employees who leave work during an emergency without permission will be subject to disciplinary action such as termination.

If you have not been pre-designated to report to campus in an emergency, you are expected to listen to radio/news broadcasts and/or contact your supervisor and comply with their directives.  

Employees are expected to report to work at their normally scheduled time unless instructed otherwise by their supervisor. 


Recommended and optional DSW Training Program elements consist of:

  • IS-100.B Introduction to Incident Command System.
  • IS-200 ICS-200 ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
  • IS-700.A National Incident Management System, An Introduction.

(Note: the two above optional courses are part of the online FEMA Independent Study Program, approximately three hours each in length, with an online exam and certificate upon completion. Staff may register at the FEMA website.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What does disaster service mean?
    Disaster service means all activities authorized by and carried out pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act.
  2. Who is included in the disaster service worker status?
    All public employees are included in the disaster service worker status which are all persons employed by any county, city, state agency or public district.
  3. What are the scope of duties of employee disaster service workers?
    Any public employees performing duties as a disaster service worker shall be considered to be acting within the scope of disaster service duties while assisting any unit of the organization or performing any act contributing to the protection of life or property or mitigating the affects of an emergency.
  4. How are public employees assigned disaster service activities?
    Public employees are assigned disaster service activities by their superiors or by law to assist the agency in carrying out its responsibilities during times of disaster.
  5. What is the oath or affirmation referred to in the government code?
    Before entering upon the duties of employment, all public employees take and subscribe to the oath or affirmation set forth in the California Constitution that declares them to be disaster service workers in time of need.
  6. When do public employees take the oath or affirmation?
    Most public employees sign the oath or affirmation during the hiring process and it is kept with the employer.
  7. Do public employees acting as disaster service workers get paid?
    Public employees acting as disaster service workers get paid only if they have taken and subscribed to the oath or affirmation.
  8. Can disaster service workers be sued for actions taken while performing duties?
    Public employee disaster service workers for non- profit organizations and government cannot be held liable for their actions during a disaster while acting within the scope of their responsibilities.
  9. What if public employees are injured while acting as disaster service workers?
    Claims sustained by public employees while performing disaster services shall be filed as worker compensation claims under the same authorities and guidelines as with all employees within their agency.