2016 Arkansas Code
Title 12 - Law Enforcement, Emergency Management, and Military Affairs
Subtitle 5 - Emergency Management
Chapter 75 - Arkansas Emergency Services Act of 1973
Subchapter 1 - -- General Provisions
§ 12-75-102. Policy and purposes

AR Code ยง 12-75-102 (2016) What's This?

(a) Because of the existing and increasing possibility of the occurrence of a major emergency or a disaster of unprecedented size and destructiveness resulting from enemy attack, natural or human-caused catastrophes, or riots and civil disturbances and in order to ensure that this state will be prepared to deal with such contingencies in a timely, coordinated, and efficient manner and generally to provide for the common defense and protect the public peace, health, safety and preserve the lives and property of the state, it is found and declared to be necessary to:

(1) Create from the present Office of Emergency Services and current adjunct offices the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and authorize and direct the creation of comparable local organizations within the political subdivisions of the state;

(2) Confer upon the Governor and upon the executive heads of the political subdivisions of the state the emergency powers provided herein;

(3) Provide for the rendering of mutual aid among the political subdivisions of the state and with other states and to cooperate with the federal government with respect to carrying out emergency management functions;

(4) Direct the establishment of emergency management liaison offices within each state department and agency with an emergency management role or responsibility; and

(5) Provide for workers' compensation benefits for emergency management workers performing emergency management operations.

(b) It is further declared to be the purpose of this chapter and the policy of the state to authorize and provide for a disaster management system embodying all aspects of predisaster preparedness and post-disaster response by requiring all:

(1) State and local government offices to coordinate emergency management activities through the department in order to coordinate personnel, equipment, and resources for the most effective and economical use; and

(2) Emergency management-related functions of this state be coordinated to the maximum extent with comparable functions of the federal government, including its various departments and agencies, with other states and localities, and with private agencies of every type, to the end that the most effective preparation and use may be made of the state and national personnel, resources, and facilities for dealing with any disaster that may occur.

(c) (1) The protection of lives and property is the responsibility of all levels of government.

(2) Except as noted in this chapter, county and municipal governments bear primary responsibility for initial actions and activities related to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery for the county and the municipalities in the county through their local offices of emergency management, with support from the department.

(d) (1) (A) When events have exceeded, or will exceed, local government's ability to respond or recover without state assistance, the chief executive officer shall declare a local state of disaster or emergency as prescribed in this chapter to signify his or her intent to request resources of the state or federal government, or both.

(B) Where time constraints are critical to the saving of lives and property, the local chief executive officer may verbally declare a local state of disaster or emergency to the Director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, to be followed by a written declaration as soon as practicable.

(2) (A) Only upon such declaration may the resources of the state be provided, and then may the state request that the assistance and resources of the federal government be provided, unless and except where the magnitude of the disaster is of such severity that the functions of local government have ceased or the chief executive officer of the municipal or county government, or both, and his or her designated successor have become incapacitated.

(B) Under such conditions the Governor may declare a state of disaster or emergency on behalf of the specified local jurisdiction and direct emergency functions until such time as local government is restored.

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