2021 Tennessee Code
Title 58 - Military Affairs, Emergencies and Civil Defense
Chapter 2 - Disasters, Emergencies and Civil Defense
Part 1 - General Emergency Provisions
§ 58-2-106. Emergency Management Responsibilities and Powers

Universal Citation: TN Code § 58-2-106 (2021)
  1. The agency is responsible for maintaining a comprehensive statewide program of emergency management. The agency is responsible for coordination with efforts of the federal government with other departments and agencies of state government, county governments, municipal governments and school boards, and private agencies that have a role in emergency management. The director of the agency shall be the state coordinating officer (SCO) and the governor's authorized representative (GAR).

  2. The agency is responsible for carrying out this chapter. In performing its duties under this chapter, the agency shall:

    1. Prepare a TEMP and maintain an accountable ESC program, which shall be integrated into and coordinated with the emergency management plans and programs of the federal government. The plan shall be implemented by a continuous, integrated comprehensive emergency management program. The plan must contain provisions to ensure that the state is prepared for emergencies and minor, major, and catastrophic disasters, and the agency shall work closely with local governments and agencies and organizations with emergency management responsibilities in preparing and maintaining the plan. The TEMP shall be planning, response, recovery and mitigation oriented and shall include the following:

      1. An evacuation component that includes specific regional and interregional planning provisions and promotes intergovernmental coordination of evacuation activities;

      2. A shelter component that includes specific regional and interregional planning provisions and promotes coordination of shelter activities between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors;

      3. A postdisaster response and recovery component that includes specific regional and interregional planning provisions and promotes intergovernmental coordination of postdisaster response and recovery activities. This component must provide for postdisaster response and recovery strategies according to whether a disaster is minor, major, or catastrophic. The postdisaster response and recovery component must, at a minimum:
        1. Establish the structure of the state's postdisaster response and recovery organization;

        2. Establish procedures for activating the state's plan;

        3. Set forth policies used to guide postdisaster response and recovery activities;

        4. Describe the chain of command during the postdisaster response and recovery period;

        5. Describe initial and continuous postdisaster response and recovery actions;

        6. Identify the roles and responsibilities of each involved agency and organization;

        7. Provide for a comprehensive communications plan, including, but not limited to, a computerized telephone emergency warning system;

        8. Establish procedures for monitoring mutual aid agreements;

        9. Provide for assessment teams;

        10. Ensure the availability of an effective statewide urban search and rescue program coordinated with the fire services;

        11. Ensure the existence of a comprehensive statewide medical care plan; and

        12. Establish systems for coordinating volunteers and accepting and distributing donated funds and goods;

      4. Additional provisions addressing aspects of preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation as determined necessary by the agency;

      5. Address the need for coordinated and expeditious deployment of state resources, including the Tennessee national guard and requesting of federal assets;

      6. Establish a system of communications and warning to ensure that the state's population and emergency management agencies are warned of developing emergency situations and can communicate emergency response decisions;

      7. Establish guidelines and schedules for exercises that evaluate the ability of the state and its political subdivisions to respond to minor, major, and catastrophic disasters and support local emergency management agencies. Such exercises shall be coordinated with local governments and, to the extent possible, the federal government; and

      8. Assign lead and support responsibilities to state agencies and personnel for emergency support functions and other support activities;

    2. Adopt standards and requirements for county emergency management plans. The standards and requirements must ensure that county plans are coordinated and consistent with the TEMP. If a municipality elects to establish an emergency management program, it must adopt a city emergency management plan that complies with all standards and requirements applicable to county emergency management plans;

    3. Assist political subdivisions in preparing and maintaining emergency management plans;

    4. Periodically review political subdivision emergency management plans for consistency with the TEMP and standards and requirements adopted under this section;

    5. Cooperate with the president of the United States, the heads of the armed forces, the various federal emergency management agencies, and the officers and agencies of other states in matters pertaining to emergency management in the state and the nation and incidents thereof and, in connection therewith, take any measures that it deems proper to carry into effect any request of the president and the appropriate federal officers and agencies for any emergency management action, including the direction or control of:

      1. Emergency management drills, tests, or exercises of whatever nature; and

      2. Warnings and signals for tests and drills, attacks, or other imminent emergencies or threats thereof and the mechanical devices to be used in connection with such warnings and signals;

    6. Make recommendations to the general assembly for preparedness, prevention, and mitigation measures designed to eliminate emergencies or reduce their impact;

    7. In accordance with the TEMP and program for emergency management, ascertain the requirements of the state and its political subdivisions for equipment and supplies of all kinds in the event of an emergency; plan for and either procure supplies, medicines, materials, and equipment or enter into memoranda of agreement or open purchase orders that will ensure their availability; and use and employ from time to time any of the property, services, and resources within the state in accordance with this chapter;

    8. Anticipate trends and promote innovations that will enhance the emergency management system;

    9. Institute statewide public awareness programs. This includes an intensive public educational campaign on emergency preparedness issues;

    10. Prepare and distribute to appropriate state and local officials catalogs of federal, state, and private assistance programs;

    11. Coordinate federal, state, and local emergency management activities and take all other steps, including the partial or full mobilization of emergency management forces and organizations in advance of an actual emergency, to ensure the availability of adequately trained and equipped forces of emergency management personnel before, during, and after emergencies and disasters;

    12. Implement training programs to improve the ability of state and local emergency management personnel to prepare and implement emergency management plans and programs. This includes a continuous training program for agencies and individuals that will be called on to perform key roles in state and local postdisaster response and recovery efforts and for local government personnel on federal and state postdisaster response and recovery strategies and procedures;

    13. Periodically review emergency operating procedures of state agencies and recommend revisions as needed to ensure consistency with the TEMP and program;

    14. Make such surveys of industries, resources, and facilities within the state, both public and private, as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter;

    15. Prepare, in advance whenever possible, such executive orders, proclamations, and rules for issuance by the governor as are necessary or appropriate for coping with emergencies and disasters;

    16. Cooperate with the federal government and any public or private agency or entity in achieving any purpose of this chapter and in implementing programs for mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery;

    17. Delegate, as necessary and appropriate, authority vested in it under this chapter and provide for the subdelegation of such authority;

    18. Create, implement, administer, promulgate, amend, and rescind rules, programs, and plans needed to carry out this chapter with due consideration for, and in cooperation with, the plans and programs of the federal government; and

    19. Do other things necessary, incidental, or appropriate for the implementation of this chapter.
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