TITLE 20

Military and Civil Defense

Civil Defense

CHAPTER 31. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

Subchapter I. General Provisions


Because of the existing possibility of the occurrence of emergencies or disasters, the purpose of this chapter is to:

(1) Ensure that this State will be adequately prepared to respond and recover from such emergencies or disasters;

(2) Provide for the common defense and to protect the public peace, health and safety;

(3) Protect the lives and property of the people of this State and reduce their vulnerability to harm in emergency and disaster situations;

(4) Authorize and provide for coordination of activities relating to emergency management;

(5) Confer upon the Governor, state agencies and authorized representatives of this State the broad emergency powers provided in this chapter;

(6) Provide for the rendering of mutual aid among the political subdivisions of this State and with other states and with the federal government with respect to emergency management.

48 Del. Laws, c. 189, § 2; 20 Del. C. 1953, § 3101; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 25A; 58 Del. Laws, c. 558, § 3; 69 Del. Laws, c. 78, § 3; 71 Del. Laws, c. 207, § 1.;

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Disaster" means a catastrophic condition caused by a man-made event (including, but not limited to, industrial, nuclear or transportation accident, explosion, conflagration, power failure, act of domestic terrorism, natural resource shortage or other condition resulting from man-made causes, such as hazardous materials spills and other injurious environmental contamination), natural event (including, but not limited to, any hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake, landslide, mud slide, snowstorm, drought, fire or explosion) or war-caused event (following an attack upon the United States caused by use of bombs, missiles, shellfire or nuclear, radiological, chemical or biological means, or other weapons, or overt paramilitary actions, or other conditions such as sabotage) which results in substantial damage to property or the environment, and/or hardship, suffering, injury or possible loss of life.

(2) "Emergency" means any situation which requires efforts and capabilities to save lives or to protect property, public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster in Delaware.

(3) "Emergency management" means the mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery functions necessary to save lives and to protect property, public health and safety or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster in any part of the State, other than functions for which military forces or other federal agencies are primarily responsible. These functions include, without limitation, firefighting services, police services, medical and health services, rescue, engineering, warning services, communications, radiological response, chemical response or other technological response, evacuation of persons from hazardous areas, emergency welfare services, emergency transportation, protection, temporary restoration of public utility services, national security, and other functions related to infrastructure, together with all other activities necessary or incidental to the preparation for and carrying out of the foregoing functions. In so defining emergency management, full recognition shall be given to Public Law 93-288, as amended, "The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act" [42 U.S.C. § 5121 et seq.]; Public Law 100-408, as amended, "The Price-Anderson Act" [42 U.S.C. § 2210]; 81 P.L. 875, § 4, as amended.

(4) "Mitigation" means any action before or after a response event taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and/or property from natural hazards or any cost-effective measure which is intended to reduce the potential for damage to a facility from a disaster event.

(5) "Political subdivision" means any town, city or county within the State.

(6) "Qualified medical personnel" means medical personnel who voluntarily provide their services without compensation through participation in a state-recognized group of providers organized for the sole purpose of assisting in emergency or disaster relief operations and activities in connection with any emergency or disaster pursuant to this chapter, such as, but not limited to, a Medical Reserve Corps.

(7) "Response" means any action taken to reduce or eliminate the immediate or short-term risk to human life and/or property from any hazard.

(8) "State of emergency" means an emergency proclaimed pursuant to an emergency order by the Governor. All emergency orders issued under this chapter shall indicate the nature of the emergency or disaster, the area or areas threatened, and the conditions which have brought it about and may limit the order to a geographic area or specific resources. Such an emergency order may be issued in writing subsequent to its effect so long as a written log recording the dates and times of such order is maintained by DEMA. Emergency orders shall be filed with the Secretary of State.

Notwithstanding the substitution of the phrase "emergency management" for the phrase "civil defense" by 58 Del. Laws, c. 558, § 4, the powers of DEMA shall not in any way be restricted by reason of its new designation, and the term "civil defense" may be used interchangeably with the term "emergency management" wherever it may appear in the Delaware Code.

48 Del. Laws, c. 189, §§ 3, 8; 20 Del. C. 1953, § 3102; 50 Del. Laws, c. 138, § 1; 56 Del. Laws, c. 118, § 1; 58 Del. Laws, c. 558, § 4; 64 Del. Laws, c. 123, § 3; 69 Del. Laws, c. 78, § 3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 207, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 1.;