2007 Regular Session

To: Appropriations

By: Representative Davis, Formby, Howell

House Bill 1421



     SECTION 1.  Section 33-15-14, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     33-15-14.  (1)  The agency is responsible for maintaining a comprehensive statewide program of emergency management.  The agency is responsible for coordination with efforts of the federal government with other departments and agencies of state government, with county and municipal governments and school boards and with private agencies that have a role in emergency management.

     (2)  In performing its duties under this article, the agency shall:

          (a)  Work with the Governor, or his representative, in preparing a State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan of this state, which shall be integrated into and coordinated with the emergency management plans of the federal government and of other states to the fullest possible extent, and to coordinate the preparation of plans and programs for emergency management by the political subdivisions of the state, such local plans to be integrated into and coordinated with the emergency plan and program of this state.  The plan must contain provisions to ensure that the state is prepared for emergencies and minor, major and catastrophic disasters, and the agency shall work closely with local governments and agencies and organizations with emergency management responsibilities in preparing and maintaining the plan.  The State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan will be operations oriented and:

              (i)  Include an evacuation component that includes specific regional and interregional planning provisions and promotes intergovernmental coordination of evacuation activities.  This component must, at a minimum:  ensure coordination pertaining to evacuees crossing county lines; set forth procedures for directing people caught on evacuation routes to safe shelter; and establish policies and strategies for emergency medical evacuations.

              (ii)  Include a shelter component that includes specific regional and interregional planning provisions and promotes coordination of shelter activities between the public, private and nonprofit sectors.  This component must, at a minimum: contain strategies to ensure the availability of adequate public shelter space in each region of the state; establish strategies for refuge-of-last-resort programs; provide strategies to assist local emergency management efforts to ensure that adequate staffing plans exist for all shelters, including medical and security personnel; provide for a postdisaster communications system for public shelters; establish model shelter guidelines for operations, registration, inventory, power generation capability, information management and staffing; and set forth policy guidance for sheltering people with special needs.

              (iii)  Include a postdisaster response and recovery component that includes specific regional and interregional planning provisions and promotes intergovernmental coordination of postdisaster response and recovery activities.  This component must provide for postdisaster response and recovery strategies according to whether a disaster is minor, major or catastrophic.  The postdisaster response and recovery component must, at a minimum:  establish the structure of the state's postdisaster response and recovery organization; establish procedures for activating the state's plan; set forth policies used to guide postdisaster response and recovery activities; describe the chain of command during the postdisaster response and recovery period; describe initial and continuous postdisaster response and recovery actions; identify the roles and responsibilities of each involved agency and organization; provide for a comprehensive communications plan; establish procedures for monitoring mutual aid agreements; provide for rapid impact assessment teams; ensure the availability of an effective statewide urban search and rescue program coordinated with the fire services; ensure the existence of a comprehensive statewide medical care and relief plan administered by the State Department of Health; and establish systems for coordinating volunteers and accepting and distributing donated funds and goods.

              (iv)  Include additional provisions addressing aspects of preparedness, response and recovery, as determined necessary by the agency.

              (v)  Address the need for coordinated and expeditious deployment of state resources, including the Mississippi National Guard.  In the case of an imminent major disaster, procedures should address predeployment of the Mississippi National Guard, and, in the case of an imminent catastrophic disaster, procedures should address predeployment of the Mississippi National Guard and the United States Armed Forces.  This subparagraph (v) does not authorize the agency to call out and deploy the Mississippi National Guard, which authority and determination rests solely with the Governor.

              (vi)  Establish a system of communications and warning to ensure that the state's population and emergency management agencies are warned of developing emergency situations and can communicate emergency response decisions.

              (vii)  Establish guidelines and schedules for annual exercises that evaluate the ability of the state and its political subdivisions to respond to minor, major and catastrophic disasters and support local emergency management agencies.  Such exercises shall be coordinated with local governments and, to the extent possible, the federal government.

              (viii)  1.  Assign lead and support responsibilities to state agencies and personnel for emergency support functions and other support activities.

                   2.  The agency shall prepare an interim postdisaster response and recovery component that substantially complies with the provisions of this paragraph (a).  Each state agency assigned lead responsibility for an emergency support function by the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan shall also prepare a detailed operational plan needed to implement its responsibilities.  The complete State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan shall be submitted to the Governor no later than January 1, 1996, and on January 1 of every even-numbered year thereafter.

          (b)  Adopt standards and requirements for county emergency management plans.  The standards and requirements must ensure that county plans are coordinated and consistent with the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.  If a municipality elects to establish an emergency management program, it must adopt a city emergency management plan that complies with all standards and requirements applicable to county emergency management plans.

          (c)  Assist political subdivisions in preparing and maintaining emergency management plans.

          (d)  Review periodically political subdivision emergency management plans for consistency with the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and standards and requirements adopted under this section.

          (e)  Make recommendations to the Legislature, building code organizations and political subdivisions for zoning, building and other land use controls, safety measures for securing mobile homes or other nonpermanent or semipermanent structures; and other preparedness, prevention and mitigation measures designed to eliminate emergencies or reduce their impact.

          (f)  In accordance with the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and program for emergency management, ascertain the requirements of the state and its political subdivisions for equipment and supplies of all kinds in the event of an emergency; plan for and either procure supplies, medicines, materials and equipment or enter into memoranda of agreement or open purchase orders that will ensure their availability; and use and employ from time to time any of the property, services and resources within the state in accordance with this article.

          (g)  Anticipate trends and promote innovations that will enhance the emergency management system.

          (h)  Prepare and distribute to appropriate state and local officials catalogs of federal, state and private assistance programs.

          (i)  Implement training programs to improve the ability of state and local emergency management personnel to prepare and implement emergency management plans and programs, and require all local civil defense directors or emergency management directors to complete such training as a condition to their authority to continue service in their emergency management positions.

          (j)  Review periodically emergency operating procedures of state agencies and recommend revisions as needed to ensure consistency with the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and program.

          (k)  Prepare, in advance whenever possible, such executive orders, proclamations and rules for issuance by the Governor as are necessary or appropriate for coping with emergencies and disasters.

          (l)  Cooperate with the federal government and any public or private agency or entity in achieving any purpose of this article.

          (m)  Assist political subdivisions with the creation and training of urban search and rescue teams and promote the development and maintenance of a state urban search and rescue program.

          (n)  Delegate, as necessary and appropriate, authority vested in it under this article and provide for the subdelegation of such authority.

          (o)  Require each county or municipality to designate an agent for working with the agency in the event of a natural disaster.  The county or municipality may designate any person as agent who has completed training programs required of emergency management directors.

          (p)  Report biennially to the Governor and the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, no later than January 1 of every odd-numbered year, the status of the emergency management capabilities of the state and its political subdivisions.

          (q)  In accordance with Section 25-43-1 et seq., create, implement, administer, promulgate, amend and rescind rules, programs and plans needed to carry out the provisions of this article with due consideration for, and in cooperating with, the plans and programs of the federal government.

          (r)  Have the sole power and discretion to enter into, sign, execute and deliver long-term or multi-year leases of real and personal property with other state and federal agencies.

          (s)  Do other things necessary, incidental or appropriate for the implementation of this article.

          (t)  In accordance with Section 33-15-15, create, implement, administer, promulgate, amend and rescind rules regarding the development of the Mississippi Disaster Reservist Program.

          (u)  Have the authority to use public school buses for transporting evacuees during a state of emergency declared by the Governor.  The agency shall pay the fuel costs incurred by using the buses to transport evacuees and shall reimburse local school districts for any expenses incurred by the agency's use of the buses.

     SECTION 2.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.