2016 Colorado Revised Statutes
Title 24 - Government - State
Principal Departments
Article 33.5 - Public Safety
Part 7 - Emergency Management
§ 24-33.5-704. The governor and disaster emergencies - expert emergency epidemic response committee - creation

CO Rev Stat ยง 24-33.5-704 (2016) What's This?

(1) The governor is responsible for meeting the dangers to the state and people presented by disasters.

(2) Under this part 7, the governor may issue executive orders, proclamations, and regulations and amend or rescind them. Executive orders, proclamations, and regulations have the force and effect of law.

(3) Repealed.

(4) A disaster emergency shall be declared by executive order or proclamation of the governor if the governor finds a disaster has occurred or that this occurrence or the threat thereof is imminent. The state of disaster emergency shall continue until the governor finds that the threat of danger has passed or that the disaster has been dealt with to the extent that emergency conditions no longer exist and the governor terminates the state of disaster emergency by executive order or proclamation, but no state of disaster emergency may continue for longer than thirty days unless renewed by the governor. The general assembly, by joint resolution, may terminate a state of disaster emergency at any time. Thereupon, the governor shall issue an executive order or proclamation ending the state of disaster emergency. All executive orders or proclamations issued under this subsection (4) shall indicate the nature of the disaster, the area threatened, and the conditions which have brought it about or which make possible termination of the state of disaster emergency. An executive order or proclamation shall be disseminated promptly by means calculated to bring its contents to the attention of the general public and, unless the circumstances attendant upon the disaster prevent or impede, shall be promptly filed with the office of emergency management, the secretary of state, and the county clerk and recorder and disaster agencies in the area to which it applies.

(5) An executive order or proclamation of a state of disaster emergency shall activate the disaster response and recovery aspects of the state, local, and interjurisdictional disaster emergency plans applicable to the political subdivision or area in question and shall be authority for the deployment and use of any forces to which the plans apply and for use or distribution of any supplies, equipment, and materials and facilities assembled, stockpiled, or arranged to be made available pursuant to this part 7 or any other provision of law relating to disaster emergencies.

(6) During the continuance of any state of disaster emergency, the governor is commander-in-chief of the organized and unorganized militia and of all other forces available for emergency duty. To the greatest extent practicable, the governor shall delegate or assign command authority by prior arrangement embodied in appropriate executive orders or regulations, but nothing in this section restricts the governor's authority to do so by orders issued at the time of the disaster emergency.

(7) In addition to any other powers conferred upon the governor by law, the governor may:

(a) Suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or the orders, rules, or regulations of any state agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any statute, order, rule, or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency;

(b) Utilize all available resources of the state government and of each political subdivision of the state as reasonably necessary to cope with the disaster emergency;

(c) Transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of state departments and agencies or units thereof for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency services;

(d) Subject to any applicable requirements for compensation under section 24-33.5-711, commandeer or utilize any private property if the governor finds this necessary to cope with the disaster emergency;

(e) Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened area within the state if the governor deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster mitigation, response, or recovery;

(f) Prescribe routes, modes of transportation, and destinations in connection with evacuation;

(g) Control ingress to and egress from a disaster area, the movement of persons within the area, and the occupancy of premises therein;

(h) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, or combustibles;

(i) Make provision for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing; and

(j) Determine the percentage at which the state and a local government will contribute moneys to cover the nonfederal cost share required by the federal "Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act", as amended, 42 U.S.C. sec. 5121 et seq., required by the federal highway administration pursuant to 23 U.S.C. sec. 125, or required by any other federal law in order to receive federal disaster relief funds. After making such a determination, the governor may amend the percentage at which the state and local government will contribute moneys to the nonfederal cost share based on the needs of the individual local governments. As soon as practicable after making or amending such a determination, the governor shall notify the joint budget committee of the source and amount of state moneys that will be contributed to cover a nonfederal cost share pursuant to this paragraph (j).

(8) (a) There is hereby created a governor's expert emergency epidemic response committee. The committee shall:

(I) Meet at least annually to review and amend, as necessary, the supplement to the state disaster plan that is concerned with the public health response to acts of bioterrorism, pandemic influenza, and epidemics caused by novel and highly fatal infectious agents; and

(II) Provide expert public health advice to the governor in the event of an emergency epidemic.

(III) Repealed.

(b) (I) State members of the committee include:

(A) The executive director of the department of public health and environment;

(B) The chief medical officer of the department of public health and environment;

(C) The chief public information officer of the department of public health and environment;

(D) The emergency response coordinator for the department of public health and environment;

(E) The state epidemiologist for the department of public health and environment;

(F) The attorney general or the designee of the attorney general;

(G) The president of the board of health or the president's designee;

(H) The president of the state medical society or the president's designee;

(I) The president of the Colorado health and hospital association or the president's designee;

(J) The state veterinarian of the department of agriculture; and

(K) The director of the division of homeland security and emergency management.

(II) In addition to the state members of the committee, the governor shall appoint to the committee an individual from each of the following categories:

(A) A licensed physician who specializes in infectious diseases;

(B) A licensed physician who specializes in emergency medicine;

(C) A medical examiner;

(D) A specialist in posttraumatic stress management;

(E) A director of a county, district, or municipal public health agency;

(F) A hospital infection control practitioner;

(G) A wildlife disease specialist with the division of wildlife; and

(H) A pharmacist member of the state board of pharmacy.

(III) The executive director of the department of public health and environment shall serve as the chair of the committee. A majority of the membership of the committee, not including vacant positions, shall constitute a quorum.

(IV) The executive director of the department of public safety or the executive director's designee shall serve as an ex officio member of the committee and is not able to vote on decisions of the committee. He or she shall serve as a liaison between the committee and the Colorado emergency planning commission in the event of an emergency epidemic.

(c) The committee shall include in the supplement to the state disaster plan a proposal for the prioritization, allocation, storage, protection, and distribution of antibiotic medicines, antiviral medicines, antidotes, and vaccines that may be needed and in short supply in the event of an emergency epidemic.

(d) The committee shall convene at the call of the governor or the executive director of the department of public health and environment to consider evidence presented by the department's chief medical officer or state epidemiologist that there is an occurrence or imminent threat of an emergency epidemic. If the committee finds that there is an occurrence or imminent threat of an emergency epidemic, the executive director of the department of public health and environment shall advise the governor to declare a disaster emergency.

(e) In the event of an emergency epidemic that has been declared a disaster emergency, the committee shall convene as rapidly and as often as necessary to advise the governor, who shall act by executive order, regarding reasonable and appropriate measures to reduce or prevent spread of the disease, agent, or toxin and to protect the public health. Such measures may include:

(I) Procuring or taking supplies of medicines and vaccines;

(II) Ordering physicians and hospitals to transfer or cease admission of patients or perform medical examinations of persons;

(III) Isolating or quarantining persons or property;

(IV) Determining whether to seize, destroy, or decontaminate property or objects that may threaten the public health;

(V) Determining how to safely dispose of corpses and infectious waste;

(VI) Assessing the adequacy and potential contamination of food and water supplies;

(VII) Providing mental health support to affected persons; and

(VIII) Informing the citizens of the state how to protect themselves, what actions are being taken to control the epidemic, and when the epidemic is over.

(9) Each department that administers a publicly funded safety net program shall develop a continuity of operations plan no later than July 1, 2008. The plan shall establish procedures for the response by, and continuation of operations of, the department and the program in the event of an epidemic emergency. Each department shall file its plan with the executive director of the department of public health and environment and shall update the plan at least annually. In addition, notwithstanding section 24-1-136 (11), each department shall submit a report by March 1 of each year to the health and human services committees of the senate and house of representatives, or any successor committees, regarding the status of the department's plan, as well as the status of any other plans or procedures of the department regarding emergency disaster preparedness.

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