We have noticed that a growing number of our major clients are issuing Photo ID Cards to those staff members who could be called upon to respond to disasters or emergencies around the country.

There are a surprisingly large number of professionals whose services are desperately needed to help communities recover from a natural disaster: tree trimmers, electricians, road repair crews, wireless communications technicians, utilities (water/gas/power), civil engineers, etc etc.  Not to mention the essential police, fire, and EMT staff, as well as those critical non-profit volunteer organizations.

Unfortunately, in recent years the United States has gotten a lot of experience with disaster response: hurricanes, fires, floods, tornadoes, wind storms, . . . Our first responders are continually developing better ways to respond quickly to help us recover after disaster strikes.  One of the most important first steps is controlling access to the emergency zone, ensuring that essential personnel are allowed in while keeping out those who will not contribute to the recovery.

While there are several of high-tech initiatives underway to allow online verification of who should be allowed through the access control filters,  they tend to be regional or focused on specific sectors.  The random nature of disasters means that not everyone who needs to be given access is always fully prepared to be validated without delay.  Therefore,  access control often falls back to the most common, time-tested method of verifying someone’s identity: two photo IDs.  No matter what other systems may be in place, there will always be a requirement for law enforcement to be able to validate someone’s need-to-enter by verifying:

  • their personal identity via a current valid driver’s license, and
  • their professional affiliation via a current valid corporate ID card.

While this long-standing method is not fool-proof, it has the benefit of being universally understood and accessible any time, any where.

In case of an emergency, it is always preferable to prepare your team with proper back-up documents, so they can readily justify to authorities why they should be granted access to a disaster zone.  A professional photo ID card issued by the employer is easy to provide, and can provide key evidence required to meet a crisis.  Plan ahead by making sure your critical team members have what they need to allow them to do their jobs in an emergency!