2013 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 25 - Military, Civil Defense and Veterans Affairs
SECTION 25-1-440. Additional powers and duties of Governor during declared emergency.

SC Code § 25-1-440 (2013) What's This?

(a) The Governor, when an emergency has been declared, as the elected Chief Executive of the State, is responsible for the safety, security, and welfare of the State and is empowered with the following additional authority to adequately discharge this responsibility:

(1) issue emergency proclamations and regulations and amend or rescind them. These proclamations and regulations have the force and effect of law as long as the emergency exists;

(2) declare a state of emergency for all or part of the State if he finds a disaster or a public health emergency, as defined in Section 44-4-130, has occurred, or that the threat thereof is imminent and extraordinary measures are considered necessary to cope with the existing or anticipated situation. A declared state of emergency shall not continue for a period of more than fifteen days without the consent of the General Assembly;

(3) suspend provisions of existing regulations prescribing procedures for conduct of state business if strict compliance with the provisions thereof would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency;

(4) utilize all available resources of state government as reasonably necessary to cope with the emergency;

(5) transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of state departments, agencies, and commissions, or units thereof, for purposes of facilitating or performing emergency services as necessary or desirable;

(6) compel performance by elected and appointed state, county, and municipal officials and employees of the emergency duties and functions assigned them in the State Emergency Plan or by Executive Order;

(7) direct and compel evacuation of all or part of the populace from any stricken or threatened area if this action is considered necessary for the preservation of life or other emergency mitigation, response, or recovery; to prescribe routes, modes of transportation, and destination in connection with evacuation; and to control ingress and egress at an emergency area, the movement of persons within the area, and the occupancy of premises therein;

(8) within the limits of any applicable constitutional requirements and when a major disaster or emergency has been declared by the President to exist in this State:

(i) request and accept a grant by the federal government to fund financial assistance to individuals and families adversely affected by a major disaster, subject to terms and conditions as may be imposed upon the grant but only upon his determination that the financial assistance is essential to meet disaster-related expenses or serious needs that may not be met otherwise from other means of assistance;

(ii) enter into an agreement with the federal government, through an officer or agency thereof, pledging the State to participate in the funding of the financial assistance authorized in subitem (i) of this item, under a ratio not to exceed twenty-five percent of the assistance;

(iii) make financial grants to meet disaster-related, necessary expenses or serious needs of individuals or families adversely affected by a major disaster which may not otherwise be adequately met from other means of assistance. No individual or family may receive grants aggregating more than ten thousand dollars with respect to any single major disaster subject to the limitations contained in subitem (ii) of this item. The ten thousand-dollar limit annually must be adjusted to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor; and

(iv) promulgate necessary regulations for carrying out the purposes of this item;

(9) authorize, by executive order, a party to exceed the terms of a curfew if:

(i) the party is a business that sells emergency commodities, an employee of a business that sells emergency commodities, or a local official; and

(ii) exceeding the terms of the curfew is necessary to ensure emergency commodities are available to the public. As defined in this section, an emergency commodity means a commodity needed to sustain public health and well-being as determined by a local authority. Nothing in this section may be construed to supersede the authority of the Governor under Section 25-1-440;

(10) by executive order, authorize operators of solid waste disposal facilities to extend operating hours to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the general public.

(b) The Governor is responsible for the development and coordination of a system of Comprehensive Emergency Management that includes:

(1) provisions for mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery in anticipated and actual emergency situations;

(2) an incident management system that establishes procedures for response and recovery operations at all levels of government from the municipality, special purpose district, through the county to the State, according to the incident scene location.

(c)(1) Any person who fraudulently or wilfully makes a misstatement of fact in connection with an application for financial assistance made available pursuant to item (8) of subsection (a) upon conviction of each offense, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(2) Any person who knowingly violates any regulation promulgated pursuant to item (8) of subsection (a) is subject to a civil penalty of not more than two thousand dollars for each violation.

(3) A grant recipient who misapplies financial assistance made available by item (8) of subsection (a) is subject to a civil penalty in an amount equal to one hundred fifty percent of the original grant amount.

(d)(1) The Governor must appoint the Public Health Emergency Plan Committee, consisting of representatives of all state agencies relevant to public health emergency preparedness, and, in addition, a licensed physician from the private sector specializing in infectious diseases, a hospital infection control practitioner, a medical examiner, a coroner from an urban county or the coroner's designee, a member of the judiciary, and other members as may be considered appropriate.

(2) Prior to the declaration of a public health emergency, the Governor must consult with the Public Health Planning Committee and may consult with any public health agency and other experts as necessary. Nothing herein shall be construed to limit the Governor's authority to act without such consultation when the situation calls for prompt and timely action.

(e) The state of public health emergency must be declared by an executive order that indicates the nature of the public health emergency, the areas that are or may be threatened, and the conditions that have brought about the public health emergency. In addition to the powers and duties provided in this article and in Article 7, Chapter 3 of Title 1, the declaration of a state of public health emergency authorizes implementation of the provisions of Chapter 4 of Title 44, the Emergency Health Powers Act. The declaration authorizes the deployment and use of any resources and personnel including, but not limited to, local officers and employees qualified as first responders, to which the plans apply and the use or distribution of any supplies, equipment, materials, and facilities assembled, stockpiled, or arranged to be made available pursuant to this act.

HISTORY: 1979 Act No. 199, Part II, Section 21; 1985 Act No. 110, Sections 2, 3; 1989 Act No. 189, Part II, Section 38A; 2002 Act No. 339, Section 16; 2008 Act No. 296, Section 2, eff June 11, 2008.

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