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  1. 1. Stearns County/City of St. Cloud Annex 0 Emergency Operations Plan Legal ANNEX 0 LEGAL I. PURPOSE The purpose of this annex is to make provisions for legal services during emergency situations or when such situations appear imminent and to provide guidance for invoking the emergency powers of government. II. SITUATION AND ASSUMPTIONS Situation 1. We are at risk from a number of hazards that could threaten public health and safety as well as personal and government property. Legal issues requiring timely resolution may arise during pre-disaster hazard mitigation designed to lessen the effects of known hazards, during emergency preparedness activities designed to enhance the local capability to respond to an emergency, during the actual response or during the post-disaster recovery process. Assumptions 1. Local emergency preparedness plans and programs should have sound legal basis. 2. In responding to major emergencies or disasters, local officials may be required to take extraordinary measures to protect public health and safety and to preserve property and they will require timely advice regarding legality of proposed measures. 3. Implementation of measures to protect public health and safety and preserve property during an emergency or recovery and mitigation activities undertaken after an emergency generally require issuance of appropriate legal documents, which should be prepared by competent legal service professionals. III. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS The Emergency Operations Plan has been designed based on the NIMS model utilizing the Incident Command System. The Command Staff includes a Legal Advisor, Public Information Officer, Liaison, and Safety Officer. The General Staff includes the Operations Section Chief, Planning Section Chief, Logistics Section Chief, and Finance and Administration Section Chief. The Command and General Staff all report to the Emergency Operations Center Director. The Emergency Operations Center Director is the Stearns County/City of St. Cloud Emergency Management Director. In the event where the primary impacts are health related, a unified command structure will be utilized in collaboration with the Stearns County Public Health. In addition to these staff positions there are Branch Directors and Unit Leaders that represent the 21 annexes of this emergency operations plan. Branch Directors and Unit Leaders report to Section Chiefs, as outlined in the flow chart located on page 11 of the Basic Plan. 1 Rev. 2009
  2. 2. Stearns County/City of St. Cloud Annex 0 Emergency Operations Plan Legal The Legal Advisor is part of the Command Staff and therefore reports directly to the EOC Director. The order of succession for the Legal Advisor is as follows: Stearns County City of St. Cloud County Attorney City Attorney Assistant County Attorney Assistant City Attorney Local Emergency Declaration 1. Minnesota Statute §12.29 directs that the presiding officer of the governing body of a political subdivision (the chairperson of the county board of commissioners or the mayor of a municipality) may declare a local state of emergency. A local emergency declaration may be issued when an emergency has occurred or appears imminent. The local emergency declaration process typically is used by the chief elected officials to respond to or recover from a significant disaster. As defined by Minnesota Statute §12.03, Subd. 2, emergency is “an unforeseen combination of circumstances that calls for immediate action to prevent a disaster from developing or occurring”. Disaster is defined under the Statute as “a situation that creates an actual or imminent serious threat to the health and safety of persons, or a situation that has resulted or is likely to result in catastrophic loss to property or the environment and for which traditional sources of relief and assistance within the affected areas are unable to repair or prevent the injury or loss”. A sample local emergency declaration is provided in attachment 3b. Copies of the local emergency declaration should be filed with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as well as the County Auditor and City Clerk (according to jurisdiction). 2. Minnesota Statute §12.29, Subd.2 provides that a declaration of a local emergency invokes necessary portions of the response and recovery aspects of applicable local or inter-jurisdictional disaster plans, and may authorize aid and assistance under those plans. The chairperson of the County Board of Commissioners and Mayor may, when a state of local emergency has been declared, exercise powers on an appropriate local scale. Minnesota Statute §12.37 sets out specific powers held by political subdivisions in order to provide emergency aid. Once a state of local emergency is declared, a city or county may enact an emergency ordinance or order describing the specific emergency regulations that are to be put into effect during the emergency. A sample emergency powers ordinance is provided in attachment 3e. 3. A local emergency declaration may not be continued in force for more than 72 hours unless renewed by the County Board of Commissioners or City Council. A sample ordinance/resolution extending a local emergency declaration is provided in attachment 3c. The County Board of Commissioners or City Council may terminate a state of local emergency at any time; this approach is typically used when the threat that gave rise to the local emergency declaration has subsided. Alternatively, the County Board of Commissioners of City Council may choose to simply let the declaration expire by taking no action to extend it. A sample ordinance/resolution terminating a disaster declaration is provided in attachment 3d. 2 Rev. 2009
  3. 3. Stearns County/City of St. Cloud Annex 0 Emergency Operations Plan Legal Peacetime Emergency Declarations 1. Pursuant to Minnesota Statute §12.31, Subd. 2, the Governor may declare a peacetime emergency for a jurisdiction or a portion thereof. The Governor may proclaim a peacetime emergency only when an act of nature, a technological failure or malfunction, a terrorist incident, an industrial accident, a hazardous materials accident, or a civil disturbance endangers life and property and local government resources are inadequate to handle the situation. Under such circumstances, the chief elected official or the governing body of a city or county may request the Governor declare a peacetime emergency and issue directives to control or terminate the peacetime emergency and protect life and property. Directives issued by the Governor for a peacetime emergency expire 120 hours after issuance, unless extended by resolution of the Executive Council up to 30 days. A sample request for a peacetime emergency declaration is provided in attachment 3a. 2. If the actions taken by the Governor after the initial peacetime emergency declaration do not resolve the emergency situation, the chief elected official or governing body may request that the peacetime emergency declaration be continued. If the local emergency situation that was the basis for the peacetime emergency declaration is resolved before the Governor’s directives expire, it is desirable to advise the Governor that the peacetime emergency declaration is no longer required. IV. RESPONSIBILITIES It is the responsibility of the Stearns County Attorney or the City of St. Cloud Attorney to provide legal guidance to other Emergency Operations Center Staff during times of a major emergency or disaster. Especially important are the legal requirements for a declaration of local emergency and for applying for financial aid. Following the lawful declaration of local emergency by the Stearns County Board of Commissioners or the Mayor, the County/City Legal Officer will report to the Emergency Operations Center. The County/City Legal Officer shall act as legal counsel to other members of the Emergency Staff as necessary. The County/City Legal Officer shall possess upon arrival or arrange for any and all necessary documents required to execute the County/City Attorney’s responsibilities. Stearns County Emergency Management Director The Stearns County Emergency Management Director (or designee) is responsible for carrying out the emergency management program for Stearns County/City of St. Cloud. The Emergency Management Director (or designee) will activate the Emergency Operations Center as required or requested to coordinate/support the activities of all departments/organizations assisting with response and recovery efforts. The Emergency Management Director (or designee) will establish response and recovery priorities through the Emergency Operations Center and will coordinate the resources needed to support emergency operations. County Board of Commissioners or Mayor (according to jurisdiction) 1. Will take such actions that are legal and necessary to manage the declared local emergency. 3 Rev. 2009
  4. 4. Stearns County/City of St. Cloud Annex 0 Emergency Operations Plan Legal 2. If the situation warrants, may declare a local state of emergency. Issuance of a local emergency declaration is advisable if an emergency situation has resulted in substantial damage to privately- owned or government property or state or federal assistance will be needed to recover from the incident. If a local emergency declaration is issued, it shall be given prompt and general publicity. 3. If the situation warrants, the County Board of Commissioners/Mayor may request the Governor to declare a state of peacetime emergency. 4. If requesting State assistance to cope with a local emergency, copies of the local emergency declaration should be included with the request sent to the State. It may also be important to include a damage assessment report – see Annex H: Damage Assessment. County or City Attorney 1. Advise county/city elected officials and department heads regarding the emergency powers of local government and necessary procedures for invoking measures to: (The following are examples and are not meant to limit or provide for every situation) a) suspend procedural laws and rules; b) establish curfews; c) restrict or deny access to a disaster area; d) control the movement of persons and occupancy of premises in a disaster area; e) implement wage, price and rent controls; f) establish rationing for critical supplies; g) limit or restrict use of water and other utilities; h) use any publicly owned resource to respond to the disaster; i) commandeer private property, subject to compensation requirements, to respond to the disaster; j) remove debris from publicly or privately owned property; k) restrict outdoor burning and the use of fireworks; and l) quarantine 2. Review and advise county/city officials on possible liabilities arising from emergency operations, including the exercising of any or all of the above powers. 3. Prepare and recommend legislation to implement the emergency powers that may be required during an emergency. 4. Advise county/city officials and department heads on record keeping requirements and other documentation necessary for the exercising of emergency powers. 5. Advise Emergency Operations Center staff to document instances of overcharging for emergency supplies, equipment and repair materials so that a report/complaint may be submitted to the Consumer Affairs section of the Office of the Attorney General. County Administrator or City Clerk (according to jurisdiction) 1. Publish required agenda of meetings. 4 Rev. 2009
  5. 5. Stearns County/City of St. Cloud Annex 0 Emergency Operations Plan Legal 2. Prepare a record of public meetings. 3. Receive a copy of emergency and disaster declarations and documents extending or terminating a state of emergency or disaster. 4. Ensure proper protection of all records. Additional Responsibilities and Support 1. Resources Local resources are described in the Resource Manual. 2. Maintenance and Records/Contracts The Stearns County/City of St. Cloud Emergency Operations Plan, including the Basic Plan and Annexes, is updated on an annual basis. Each annex representative is responsible for participating in the full review process every other year and for independently reviewing the annex on an annual basis. The overall responsibility for maintaining the Emergency Operations Plan is that of the Stearns County Emergency Management department. Each agency, department, or service of government will provide for the maintenance of records during an emergency. These records should include work hours, equipment hours, supplies and materials consumed injuries to personnel, and damage to public facilities and equipment. Records will be maintained on the use of all equipment, whether owned, leased, rented or borrowed. These records/contracts will be used as a basis for possible recovery of emergency operations expenses from a responsible party or reimbursement of certain expenses by State or Federal government. All records/contracts generated by the Legal Officer (and staff) should be retained, until the Finance and Administration Section Chief makes a final decision regarding claims for cost recovery or reimbursement. 3. Preservation of Records All vital records produced or obtained by the County/City Attorney’s should be protected from the effects of disasters to the maximum extent feasible. Should records be damaged during an emergency situation, professional assistance in preserving and restoring those records should be obtained as soon as possible. 4. Training & Exercises a. Attorney’s who will staff the EOC shall receive appropriate training on the operation of the facility, which should be arranged by the Legal Officer. b. Emergency exercises should periodically include a scenario that provides for the demonstration of legal services. 5. External Support a. Summaries of inter-local agreements and agreements with other governmental entities, volunteer groups and businesses for resource support, as well as 5 Rev. 2009
  6. 6. Stearns County/City of St. Cloud Annex 0 Emergency Operations Plan Legal contingency contracts with commercial transportation providers are listed in the Resource Manual. Activation of such agreements and contracts will normally be coordinated through the EOC. V. REFERENCES Stearns County Stearns County Resolution No. 379, Sept. 2, 1969 Stearns County Civil Defense Resolution Stearns County Resolution 05-32, dated February 22, 2005 adopting the National Incident Command System City of St. Cloud City of St. Cloud Ordinance No. 379, dated December 31, 1954 as amended by revised Ordinance No. 210, dated 1977 City of St. Cloud Resolution 2004-12-315 dated December 20, 2004 adopting the National Incident Command System State References Minnesota Statutes Chapter 12 Chapter 16C Chapter 299J, as amended (The Minnesota Pipeline Safety Act) Chapter 299K.01 (MN Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act) Chapter 375.08 Board to Fill Vacancies in County Offices Chapter 382.01 Officers Elected: Terms Chapter 390 Coroner; Medical Examiner Chapter 144.419 Public Health MN Division of Emergency Management BULLETIN No. 90-1 and 89-1 League of Minnesota Cities Handbook Division of Emergency Management Local Emergency Management Planning Guide (DEM-10) Federal References Public Law 99-499 of 1986 (SARA) HSPD-5, February 9, 2005 (National Incident Command System) Robert T Stafford Act Public Law 93-288 as amended by Public Law 100-707 Federal Emergency Management Executive Order 12148 Title 49 – Transportation National Response Framework FEMA Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG-101) Mutual Aid Agreements Mutual Aid Agreement of Stearns County Fire Chiefs Association Automatic Mutual Aid Agreement for the Provisions of Aircraft Fire Suppression Services Joint Powers Agreement for Hazardous Materials Response 6 Rev. 2009
  7. 7. Stearns County/City of St. Cloud Annex 0 Emergency Operations Plan Legal 7 Rev. 2009