The Bay Area Urban Areas Security Initiative

Disaster Service Workers

In 2020, the Bay Area UASI funded a Regional Analysis of Disaster Service Worker (DSW) Programs to achieve a regional understanding of the Bay Area’s local DSW programs, including strengths and challenges. Products developed through this project are available for download and customization from the UASI Resource Library. They include the following:

Analytical Products

  • Regional Analysis of DSW Programs Report
    This report summarizes successes and challenges faced by the Bay Area UASI jurisdictions while activating local DSW programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • DSW Programs: Summary of Lessons Learned and Best Practices
    An abbreviated reference for lessons learned and best practices for operating local DSW programs.

DSW Program Toolkit

Guidance and Templates

  • Guidance for Establishing Essential Functions
    Provides guidance on establishing essential functions and incorporating DSW activities into Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning.
  • ​DSW Activities Descriptions
    Provides examples of activities for various DSW assignments to aid in DSW recruitment and links to external resources available to assist in job description development.
  • DSW Messaging Template for Executives
    Provides sample language that can be used in COOP plans or used at the time of DSW activation to convey the importance of the DSW program and what to expect once the program has been activated.
  • Resources for Local DSW Programs
    Provides a list of available references and resources from local, state, and federal sources pertaining to DSW activities.
  • Modified ICS 214 Template
    This modified Incident Command System (ICS) 214 form was developed and used with permission from Mike Martinet at It provides more effective and efficient data collection from DSWs for state and federal reimbursement applications.

DSW Engagement Brochure Template
This DSW brochure can be customized by jurisdictions to re-emphasize the role of a DSW; necessary or suggested training; the importance of training; tips for preparing for a DSW deployment; and information on finding important emergency information in the Bay Area, such as air quality, wildfire information, and traffic.

DSW Skills Registry Tool Template
This skills management tool template can be used to catalogue various skills, certifications, and trainings that employees may have which can be useful during emergencies, such as languages spoken, medical certifications (e.g., emergency medical technician, nurse, cardiopulmonary resuscitation), and transportation-related skills (e.g., pilot’s license, commercial driver’s license).

Example DSW agreements for DSW mutual aid
Neighboring jurisdictions across the state are developing general mutual aid agreements to address resource needs—such as fire, law, and emergency-management resources—that are not specifically covered by established plans. These agreements can cover activities performed by DSWs such as emergency sheltering and food distribution and can be useful in instances of a more-localized emergency that may prevent many DSWs from being able to report to their jurisdiction due to transportation disruptions.