TO MODERNIZE THE NORTH CAROLINA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ACT AND RELATED STATUTES.
Repeals Article 1 of GS Chapter 166A, the NC Emergency Management Act of 1977, with the exception of GS 166A-6.1, which is recodified as GS 166A-29. Enacts new Article 1A of GS Chapter 166A, entitled the NC Emergency Management Act. The new Article is largely a reorganization of existing law.
Part 1 of new Article 1A outlines the purposes of the Act (GS 166A-19.1) and specifies several limitations on the scope of the Act (GS 166A-19.2). It also defines key terms used in the Act, including emergency, and state of emergency (GS 166A-19.3). Notably, the term “emergency” is defined to be synonymous with the term “disaster.”
Part 2 governs the emergency management system at the state level, specifying the respective powers of the Governor (GS 166A-19.10), the Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety (GS 166A-19.11), and the Division of Emergency Management (GS 166A-19.12).
Part 3 (GS 166A-19.15) addresses local emergency management authority. Holds governing bodies of counties responsible for local emergency management and allows for local emergency management agencies (county, city, or joint city-county). Specifies additional emergency powers granted to local governments and requirements that govern county eligibility for state and federal financial assistance.
Part 4 governs declarations of states of emergency. GS 166A-19.20 authorizes the Governor or the General Assembly (by resolution) to declare a state of emergency and specifies several different categories of emergencies, the conditions that apply to such emergencies and the expirations of such declarations. Identifies a new category of emergency (“Type L Emergency”). While the category of emergency is new, the authority provided for in this category already exists in current GS 14-288.15. GS 166A-19.21 outlines the authority of local governments to declare a state of emergency including the geographical area covered by such declarations, the expiration of the declarations and the effect of the declaration.
Part 5 specifies additional powers granted to the Governor during a state of emergency (GS 166A-19.30). Also authorizes local governments to enact ordinances governing states of emergency and specifies limitations placed on such ordinances.
Part 6 governs funding of emergency preparedness and response. GS 166A-19.40 outlines when the Governor may use certain funds and GS 166A-19.41 specifies when the Governor may make state funds available for certain types of emergency assistance. GS 166A-19.42 establishes the State Emergency Response Account as a reserve in the General Fund and authorizes the Governor to use funds in the account under certain circumstances.
Part 7 addresses immunity and liability of governmental officials and private entities involved in emergency management activities governed by the Act (consistent with current law).
Part 8 includes several miscellaneous provisions addressing issues such as curfews and ensuring availability of supplies during emergencies, accepting gifts, grants and loans, mutual aid agreements with other states and the federal government, compensation for the taking and use of property, nondiscrimination, and emergency management personnel.
Adds new GS 14-288.20A to make it a Class 2 misdemeanor for violations of requirements in ordinances, declarations or executive orders issued or adopted under the emergency management authority or to willfully refuse to leave a building as directed by an evacuation order issued by the Governor.
Makes conforming changes to multiple statutory sections. With the exception of one provision, changes are effective October 1, 2011. A conforming change to GS 14-415.4(e)(6) related to a petitioners request to restore rights to carry firearms is effective February 1, 2011.