2016 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 29 - Military, Naval, and Veteran's Affairs
RS 29:723 - Definitions

LA Rev Stat § 29:723 (2016) What's This?

§723. Definitions

As used in this Chapter:

(1) "Designated emergency area" means the specific area, which shall be limited to the actual affected local area or parish or parishes or such areas as designated in an executive order or proclamation of the governor or parish president.

(2) "Disaster" means the result of a natural or man-made event which causes loss of life, injury, and property damage, including but not limited to natural disasters such as hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high winds, and other weather related events, forest and marsh fires, and man-made disasters, including but not limited to nuclear power plant incidents, hazardous materials incidents, oil spills, explosion, civil disturbances, public calamity, acts of terrorism, hostile military action, and other events related thereto.

(3) "Emergency" means:

(a) The actual or threatened condition which has been or may be created by a disaster; or

(b)(i) Any natural or man-made event which results in an interruption in the delivery of utility services to any consumer of such services and which affects the safety, health, or welfare of a Louisiana resident; or

(ii) Any instance in which a utility's property is damaged and such damage creates a dangerous condition to the public.

(iii) Any national or state emergency, including acts of terrorism or a congressional authorization or presidential declaration pursuant to the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.).

(4) "Emergency preparedness" means the mitigation of, preparation for, response to, and the recovery from emergencies or disasters. The term "emergency preparedness" shall be synonymous with "civil defense", "emergency management", and other related programs of similar name.

(5) "Essential workforce" or "critical workforce" means public safety officials, disaster response personnel, and other such employees of federal, state, and local governmental agencies, or contractors of such agencies and specific private sector employees, possessing important skills and training in emergency mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery as designated by the parish homeland security and emergency preparedness agency or in the absence of such designation by the parish homeland security and emergency preparedness agency, such designation by the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. Businesses who deem private sector employees essential or critical for mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery of private business assets and resources shall identify such employees and obtain the necessary designation and credentials for such employees to be classified essential or critical. In addition to identifying personnel to the parish homeland security and emergency preparedness agency, or in the absence thereof, to the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, a licensed private security company shall submit a list of their employees and their assignment to the Louisiana State Board of Private Security Examiners for any employee that the private security company wants to be designated and classified as essential or critical workforce.

(6) "Evacuation" means an operation whereby all or part of a particular population is temporarily relocated, whether individually or in an organized manner, from an area in which a disaster or emergency has been declared and is considered dangerous for health or safety of the public.

(a) "Voluntary evacuation" or "advisory evacuation" means an evacuation that may be ordered when a disaster or emergency has been declared and evacuation is recommended due to the potential for rapidly changing conditions to develop into a serious threat and all persons in designated evacuation areas are recommended to consider relocating to safer locations for their own safety.

(b)(i) "Mandatory evacuation" means an evacuation that may be ordered when a disaster or emergency has been declared and danger is imminent, conditions exist that seriously imperil or endanger the lives of those in a defined area, and government officials strongly urge and order all persons in designated evacuation areas to relocate to safer locations for their own safety. Personal discretion is not to be considered a deciding factor.

(ii) A mandatory evacuation order applies to the public in general. All nonessential persons are ordered to immediately leave the area via the described evacuation routes. Exceptions to a mandatory evacuation order are those persons designated as essential workforce or critical workforce. However, persons designated as essential workforce or critical workforce are expected to eventually seek adequate shelter prior to the onset of emergency conditions.

(c)(i) "Forced evacuation" means an evacuation that may be ordered as a last resort when a disaster or emergency has been declared and danger of loss of life is imminent, and conditions exist that critically imperil or endanger the lives of those in a defined area. During a forced evacuation, government officials may direct and compel all persons in designated evacuation areas to relocate to safer locations for their own safety.

(ii) A forced evacuation order shall apply to the public in general and may include personnel designated as essential workforce or critical workforce. Forced evacuations are designed for small geographic areas affected by a local emergency or disaster. When a parish president determines that the size of the population or geographic area to be evacuated during a forced evacuation exceeds the local government's resources and capabilities to enforce the evacuation, he may request the governor to issue a state-forced evacuation order. The governor may utilize the national guard, state police, public safety agencies, or available federal agencies to enforce the evacuation order.

(iii) No person who refuses to evacuate an evacuation area after a forced evacuation order has been issued shall have a cause of action for damages, death, or injury against the state or any political subdivision thereof, or other agencies, or the agents, employees, or representatives of any of them.

(7) "First responders" means the first arriving organized responders with the capability and mission to contain, mitigate, and resolve the emergency at hand.

(8) "Homeland" means the state of Louisiana, and where the context requires, means the parishes of the state of Louisiana, "the United States".1

(9) "Interoperability" means the ability of two or more systems or their components to exchange information and to use the information exchanged.

(10) "Interoperability for public safety" means the ability for emergency services and public safety agencies to talk to one another via communications systems and share information with one another accurately, on demand, in real time, when needed, and when authorized, regardless of the device used.

(11) "Local governmental subdivision" means a parish of the state of Louisiana.

(12) "Necessary designation and credentials" means appropriate credentials obtained from the parish homeland security and emergency preparedness agency or any regional cooperative of parish homeland security and emergency preparedness agencies. In the absence of any plan by a parish homeland security and emergency preparedness agency or regional cooperative, necessary designation and credentials means appropriate credentials obtained in accordance with the State of Louisiana Standard Operating Procedure Statewide Credentialing/Access Program.

(13) "Parish president" means the president of any parish, mayor-president, mayor of New Orleans (Orleans Parish), or police jury president.

(14) "State Unified Command Group" or "UCG" means the group which is established by executive order of the governor to bring senior officials within the governor's office and cabinet secretaries or their designees together with a common objective of effectively managing an incident and ensuring that regardless of the number of agencies or jurisdictions involved, all decisions will be based upon mutually agreed upon objectives with the governor as the unified commander.

(15) "Statewide communications interoperability plan for first responders" means a statewide shared communications system for first responders with the ability to transport and receive voice, data, image, and video information adopted by the interoperability subcommittee.

(16) "Statewide interoperability plan" means short-term and long-term statewide plans for interoperability for communications and information sharing needed during an emergency and adopted by the state Unified Command Group.

(17) "Terrorism" or "acts of terrorism" shall have the same meaning as provided in R.S. 14:128.1.

Acts 1993, No. 800, §1, eff. June 22, 1993; Acts 1998, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 57, §1, eff. April 29, 1998; Acts 2001, No. 8, 2nd Ex. Sess., §1, eff. Oct. 16, 2001; Acts 2003, No. 40, §2, eff. May 23, 2003; Acts 2008, No. 214, §1, eff. June 16, 2008; Acts 2008, No. 797, §1; Acts 2009, No. 512, §1.

1As appears in enrolled bill.

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