UW Emergency Management

Enhanced Credential Options for Critical Service Staff

In order to provide critical public services, protect our campus buildings and infrastructure, and maintain a safe environment, under APS 13.2 (business continuity) each UW department/unit is required to identify critical/essential staff to perform these duties.  These employees do not have the option to tele-commute and must travel to/from their home to the worksite.  Examples include doctors, nurses, other medical providers, police officers and dispatchers, facilities maintenance/ custodial/ utility/ transportation staff, animal care technicians, housing and food service staff, mail delivery, health and safety personnel, EOC staff, etc…   

During times of disaster, government authorities may impose restrictions limiting public travel outside the home with fines or penalties for non-compliance.  While there is no national or state-recognized emergency credential system, UWEM recommends that departments consider other supplemental resources that may enhance you ability for mission critical employees to travel to/from their home and workplace.


Additional resources for UW Employees who MUST travel to-from work to serve and protect our campus & community

UWEM is often asked about the availability of an additional credential, access system, enhanced ID/badge or recognized process to allow critical service providers and credentialed members of the media unrestricted travel into or outside of a local confined/restricted movement zone.  Washington State currently does not have a statewide emergency credentialing system that is universally-recognized.  However, a number of UW departments (EH&S, UWEM, HFS, Advancement, KUOW,….) have discovered a little-known program run by the WA State Emergency Management Department (a division of the WA National Guard) called the Washington Business Re-entry Program that may be pursued.

To date, some UW departments and affiliated entities have successfully applied to, and were provided access “cards” from this program.  If your department or unit is interested in participating in this voluntary program that provides temporary access passes, please read about the program’s requirements, limitations, eligibility and disclaimers, prior to applying.  If you choose to proceed, UWEM makes the following recommendations to any UW unit or office that is considering to apply:

  • Apply online using the link on the website
  • Each interested UW unit must apply separately, under your own organization name. UWEM does not have the capacity, or ability to manage this process centrally or for any other UW entity.
  • On the online application form, the UBI # for the University of Washington (not any one department) is:  178019988
  • Each UW entity requesting entry “cards” must designate one person from their organization (office, department, unit, center, …) as a Primary Point-of-Contact (POC).  This person will be responsible for any inquiries, distribution, and tracking of all approved cards.
  • The application form asks for # of cards Requested”.   Do not request a card for each employee in your unit, or your application likely will be rejected.  ONLY CRITICAL SERVICE STAFF!
  • Once the e application is submitted online to EMD, the request will be vetted, and the applicant will receive an email response. (NOTE:  most are received within 24-hours).
  • If approved, the applicant will not receive physical cards, but rather will be emailed a single PDF file. This printable PDF file will contain the “cards”.  Each page of the file will represent one access credential, each with its own unique identifier #, a scannable QR code and contact phone numbers at the bottom.
  • Each UW organization/department/unit that wants to participate in this voluntary program must apply as an individual entity.  There are no plans for the UW for the whole institution, as this process would be unmanageable.
  • It is up to the approved POC to maintain their own internal tracking system to inventory their allotted cards, maintain a register of employees assigned to each card, and be ready to respond to any potential calls from field personnel needing to verify credentials.
  • UWEM strongly recommends that you read all of disclaimers and limitations of this system/cards and share that with all participants.
  • If your critical service staff do not already possess another form of emergency credentials (like a police badge, hospital ID), UWEM suggests that each staff member also carry with them, a general letter, on official UW letterhead, signed by your Vice President, Dean, Chair, or Director, stating that the person possessing this letter performs mission-critical, essential work for the University and should be allowed access to travel to his/her job site and home.

Finally a note regarding enforcement of local travel restrictions:  The complex process of closing off access to/from entire cities, towns, counties or even a statewide restriction of non-essential travel is new and unique for WA State.  The sheer logistics of enforcement is mind boggling.  As the small print in the application notes…even if a person carries one of these cards, their ability to travel freely in order to access a critical system, support essential operations or make deliveries of critical supplies, is not guaranteed.  Local and state law enforcement, acting under the direction of a local Incident Commander, always reserves the right to deny entry/access to anyone at any time.