10/10/2012 - LEGAL NOTICE: Declaration of Local State of Emergency


Section 1. Authority and Purpose.

This ordinance is enacted pursuant to the Municipal Powers Act, Connecticut General Statutes Section 7 148, and the civil preparedness and emergency management statutes, Connecticut General Statutes Section 28 1 et seq., in order to preserve and protect the public health, public safety, general welfare, peace and security of the Town of Southbury, its residents and their property.

Section 2. Definitions.

As used in this Ordinance, the following definitions shall apply:

"Attack" means any attack or series of attacks by a terrorist or an enemy of the United States causing, or which may cause, substantial damage or injury to civilian property or persons in any manner by sabotage or by the use of bombs, shellfire or atomic, radiological, chemical, bacteriological or biological means or other weapons or processes.

"Major disaster" means any catastrophe including, but not limited to, any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought, or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood, explosion, or manmade disaster.

"Local emergency" means any attack or major disaster or other public health or safety crisis occurring in the Town of Southbury or adversely affecting the Town of Southbury, including incidents occurring elsewhere but causing local or regional consequences such as evacuations.

"Emergency Management personnel" means any organized personnel of the Town of Southbury engaged in carrying out civil preparedness functions in the event of an attack, major disaster, or local emergency, including the Police Department, the Fire Department, the Department of Public Works, the Highway Department, the Health Department, and Community Emergency Response Teams under the direction of Town officials.

Section 3. Declaration of Local State of Emergency.

In the event of an attack, major disaster, or local emergency creating a risk of severe hazards to the life, welfare, or property of the Town of Southbury or its residents, the First Selectman may declare the existence of a local state of emergency. The declaration of a local state of emergency will be communicated to the public, the Governor of the State of Connecticut and the Connecticut Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection within 24 hours, to be followed as soon thereafter as practicable with a written statement of the declaration, to be delivered and published to the public and the aforesaid officials by the means deemed to be most practical, effective and expedient under the circumstances.

Section 4. Effect of Declaration.

In the event of a local state of emergency, the First Selectman, in consultation and coordination with the Police and Fire Departments, the Director of Emergency Management, and the Area Coordinator for the State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, may take such action as he or she deems necessary to mitigate the emergency, including (without limitation) the following:

a. Request State or Federal assistance and financial aid;
b. Invoke emergency related mutual aid agreements with other municipalities or government agencies, and extend or accept mutual aid;
c. Invoke emergency assistance agreements with private entities;
d. Invoke emergency operations, evacuation and shelter plans and agreements;
e. Mobilize Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and other civil preparedness forces;
f. Expend public funds from appropriations made for such purposes;
g. Require partial or full evacuations from specific geographical areas of Town;
h. Close roads and restrict access to certain geographical areas of Town;
i. Impose travel and parking restrictions in order to keep roads clear for emergency response vehicles;
j. Remove from publicly or privately owned land or water any debris or wreckage that threatens public health, safety, public or private property;
k. Secure and preserve any documents and evidence pertinent to and necessary for a future investigation; and
l. Take such other steps as are reasonably necessary in light of the local emergency to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of Southbury, to prevent or minimize loss or destruction of property, and to minimize the effects of hostile action.

All such measures shall terminate with the termination or expiration of the local state of emergency. This section is intended to duplicate, supplement and complement the powers and authority granted by other laws and ordinances. This section shall not be construed to limit any powers and authority granted by other laws.

Section 5. Termination or Expiration of State of Emergency.

When the hazardous conditions have stabilized and the state of emergency no longer exists, the First Selectman shall declare the termination of the state of emergency in the same manner as the declaration of its existence. A declaration of a local state of emergency shall expire after seven calendar days unless the Board of Selectmen declares a continuation for a period not to exceed an additional seven calendar days.

Section 6. Absence or Unavailability of First Selectman.

In the absence or unavailability of the First Selectman, the chairman pro tempore of the Board of Selectmen may act in place of the First Selectman for all purposes under this ordinance. At the organization meeting of a newly elected Board of Selectmen held pursuant to Section 303 of the Charter, the First Selectman shall designate a member of the Board of Selectmen as a second alternate who may act for all purposes under this ordinance in the event that both the First Selectman and the chairman pro tempore are absent or unavailable.