HB2726: Emergency plans; review of certain by localities.

Offered January 10, 2007
Prefiled January 10, 2007
A BILL to amend and reenact § 44-146.19 of the Code of Virginia, relating to review of certain emergency plans by localities.
Patron-- McClellan

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 44-146.19 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 44-146.19. Powers and duties of political subdivisions.

A. Each political subdivision within the Commonwealth shall be within the jurisdiction of and served by the Department of Emergency Management and be responsible for local disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Each political subdivision shall maintain in accordance with state disaster preparedness plans and programs an agency of emergency management which, except as otherwise provided under this chapter, has jurisdiction over and services the entire political subdivision.

B. Each political subdivision shall have a director of emergency management who, after the term of the person presently serving in this capacity has expired and in the absence of an executive order by the Governor, shall be the following:

1. In the case of a city, the mayor or city manager, who shall appoint a coordinator of emergency management with consent of council;

2. In the case of a county, a member of the board of supervisors selected by the board or the chief administrative officer for the county, who shall appoint a coordinator of emergency management with the consent of the governing body;

3. A coordinator of emergency management shall be appointed by the council of any town to ensure integration of its organization into the county emergency management organization;

4. In the case of the Town of Chincoteague and of towns with a population in excess of 5,000 having an emergency management organization separate from that of the county, the mayor or town manager shall appoint a coordinator of emergency services with consent of council;

5. In Smyth County and in York County, the chief administrative officer for the county shall appoint a director of emergency management, with the consent of the governing body, who shall appoint a coordinator of emergency management with the consent of the governing body.

C. Whenever the Governor has declared a state of emergency, each political subdivision within the disaster area may, under the supervision and control of the Governor or his designated representative, control, restrict, allocate or regulate the use, sale, production and distribution of food, fuel, clothing and other commodities, materials, goods, services and resource systems which fall only within the boundaries of that jurisdiction and which do not impact systems affecting adjoining or other political subdivisions, enter into contracts and incur obligations necessary to combat such threatened or actual disaster, protect the health and safety of persons and property and provide emergency assistance to the victims of such disaster. In exercising the powers vested under this section, under the supervision and control of the Governor, the political subdivision may proceed without regard to time-consuming procedures and formalities prescribed by law (except mandatory constitutional requirements) pertaining to the performance of public work, entering into contracts, incurring of obligations, employment of temporary workers, rental of equipment, purchase of supplies and materials, levying of taxes, and appropriation and expenditure of public funds.

D. The director of each local organization for emergency management may, in collaboration with (i) other public and private agencies within the Commonwealth or (ii) other states or localities within other states, develop or cause to be developed mutual aid arrangements for reciprocal assistance in case of a disaster too great to be dealt with unassisted. Such arrangements shall be consistent with state plans and programs and it shall be the duty of each local organization for emergency management to render assistance in accordance with the provisions of such mutual aid arrangements.

E. Each local and interjurisdictional agency shall prepare and keep current a local or interjurisdictional emergency operations plan for its area. The plan shall include, but not be limited to, responsibilities of all local agencies and shall establish a chain of command. Each political subdivision having a nuclear power station or other nuclear facility within 10 miles of its boundaries shall, if so directed by the Department of Emergency Management, prepare and keep current an appropriate emergency plan for its area for response to nuclear accidents at such station or facility.

F. All political subdivisions shall provide an annually updated emergency management assessment to the State Coordinator of Emergency Management on or before July 1 of each year.

G. By July 1, 2005, all localities with a population greater than 50,000 shall establish an alert and warning plan for the dissemination of adequate and timely warning to the public in the event of an emergency or threatened disaster. The governing body of the locality, in consultation with its local emergency management organization, shall amend its local emergency operations plan that may include rules for the operation of its alert and warning system, to include sirens, Emergency Alert System (EAS), NOAA Weather Radios, or other personal notification systems, amateur radio operators, or any combination thereof.

H.  Localities that have established an agency of emergency management shall have authority to request the review of, and suggest amendments to, the emergency plans of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day care centers, and child day care centers that are located within the locality.