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The Florida Senate

2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)

Emergency management powers; Division of Emergency Management.
F.S. 252.35
252.35 Emergency management powers; Division of Emergency Management.
(1) The division is responsible for maintaining a comprehensive statewide program of emergency management. The division is responsible for coordination with efforts of the Federal Government with other departments and agencies of state government, with county and municipal governments and school boards, and with private agencies that have a role in emergency management.
1(2) The division is responsible for carrying out the provisions of ss. 252.31-252.90. In performing its duties, the division shall:
(a) Prepare a state comprehensive emergency management plan, which shall be integrated into and coordinated with the emergency management plans and programs of the Federal Government. The division shall adopt the plan as a rule in accordance with chapter 120. The plan must 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 division shall work closely with local governments and agencies and organizations with emergency management responsibilities in preparing and maintaining the plan. The state comprehensive emergency management plan must be operations oriented and:
1. Include an evacuation component that includes specific regional and interregional planning provisions and promotes intergovernmental coordination of evacuation activities. This component must, at a minimum: contain guidelines for lifting tolls on state highways; ensure coordination pertaining to evacuees crossing county lines; set forth procedures for directing people caught on evacuation routes to safe shelter; establish strategies for ensuring sufficient, reasonably priced fueling locations along evacuation routes; and establish policies and strategies for emergency medical evacuations.
2. Include a shelter component that includes specific regional and interregional planning provisions and promotes coordination of shelter activities between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. This component must, at a minimum: contain strategies to ensure the availability of adequate public shelter space in each region of the state; establish strategies for refuge-of-last-resort programs; provide strategies to assist local emergency management efforts to ensure that adequate staffing plans exist for all shelters, including medical and security personnel; provide for a postdisaster communications system for public shelters; establish model shelter guidelines for operations, registration, inventory, power generation capability, information management, and staffing; and set forth policy guidance for sheltering people with special needs.
3. Include 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: establish the structure of the state’s postdisaster response and recovery organization; establish procedures for activating the state’s plan; set forth policies used to guide postdisaster response and recovery activities; describe the chain of command during the postdisaster response and recovery period; describe initial and continuous postdisaster response and recovery actions; identify the roles and responsibilities of each involved agency and organization; provide for a comprehensive communications plan; establish procedures for monitoring mutual aid agreements; provide for rapid impact assessment teams; ensure the availability of an effective statewide urban search and rescue program coordinated with the fire services; ensure the existence of a comprehensive statewide medical care and relief plan administered by the Department of Health; and establish systems for coordinating volunteers and accepting and distributing donated funds and goods.
4. Include additional provisions addressing aspects of preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation as determined necessary by the division.
5. Address the need for coordinated and expeditious deployment of state resources, including the Florida National Guard. In the case of an imminent major disaster, procedures should address predeployment of the Florida National Guard, and, in the case of an imminent catastrophic disaster, procedures should address predeployment of the Florida National Guard and the United States Armed Forces.
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, including public health emergencies, and can communicate emergency response decisions.
7. Establish guidelines and schedules for annual 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.
8. Assign lead and support responsibilities to state agencies and personnel for emergency support functions and other support activities.
9. Include the public health emergency plan developed by the Department of Health pursuant to s. 381.00315.

The complete state comprehensive emergency management plan must be submitted to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Governor on February 1 of every even-numbered year.

(b) Adopt standards and requirements for county emergency management plans. The standards and requirements must ensure that county plans are coordinated and consistent with the state comprehensive emergency management plan. 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.
(c) Assist political subdivisions in preparing and maintaining emergency management plans.
(d) Review periodically political subdivision emergency management plans for consistency with the state comprehensive emergency management plan and standards and requirements adopted under this section.
(e) Cooperate with the President, the heads of the Armed Forces, the various federal emergency management agencies, federal or state health 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.
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.
(f) Make recommendations to the Legislature, building code organizations, and political subdivisions for zoning, building, and other land use controls; safety measures for securing mobile homes or other nonpermanent or semipermanent structures; and other preparedness, prevention, and mitigation measures designed to eliminate emergencies or reduce their impact.
(g) In accordance with the state comprehensive emergency management plan 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 ss. 252.31-252.90.
(h) Anticipate trends and promote innovations that will enhance the emergency management system.
(i) Institute statewide public awareness programs, including an intensive public educational campaign on emergency preparedness issues. Such programs must include, but need not be limited to, the personal responsibility of individual residents to be self-sufficient for up to 72 hours following a natural or manmade disaster or a public health emergency. The public educational campaign must include relevant information on public health emergency mitigation, statewide disaster plans, evacuation routes, fuel suppliers, and shelters. All educational materials must be available in alternative formats and mediums to ensure that they are available to persons with disabilities.
(j) In cooperation with the Department of Education, coordinate with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities to provide an educational outreach program on disaster preparedness and readiness to individuals who have limited English skills and identify persons who are in need of assistance but are not defined under special-needs criteria.
(k) Prepare and distribute to appropriate state and local officials catalogs of federal, state, and private assistance programs.
(l) 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.
(m) Establish a schedule of fees that may be charged by local emergency management agencies for review of emergency management plans on behalf of external agencies and institutions. In establishing such schedule, the division shall consider facility size, review complexity, and other factors.
(n) Implement training programs to improve the ability of state and local emergency management personnel to prepare and implement emergency management plans and programs. This shall include 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.
(o) Review periodically emergency operating procedures of state agencies and recommend revisions as needed to ensure consistency with the state comprehensive emergency management plan and program.
(p) Make such surveys of industries, resources, and facilities within the state, both public and private, as are necessary to carry out the purposes of ss. 252.31-252.90.
(q) 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.
(r) Cooperate with the Federal Government and any public or private agency or entity in achieving any purpose of ss. 252.31-252.90 and in implementing programs for mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery.
(s) Complete an inventory of portable generators owned by the state and local governments which are capable of operating during a major disaster. The inventory must identify, at a minimum, the location of each generator, the number of generators stored at each specific location, the agency to which each generator belongs, the primary use of the generator by the owner agency, and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of persons having the authority to loan the stored generators as authorized by the division during a declared emergency.
(t) Maintain an inventory list of generators owned by the state and local governments. In addition, the division may keep a list of private entities, along with appropriate contact information, which offer generators for sale or lease. The list of private entities shall be available to the public for inspection in written and electronic formats.
(u) Acquire and maintain a supply of personal protective equipment owned by the state for use by state agencies and to assist local governments and the private sector, when determined to be necessary by the State Coordinating Officer, in meeting safety needs during a declared emergency. The division shall conduct regular inventories of the supply, which must include projections of the need for additional personal protective equipment, as assessed by each governmental agency, to maintain the supply and replace expired items. The division shall maintain and replace the equipment on a standardized schedule that recognizes equipment expiration and obsolescence. This paragraph is subject to appropriation. The initial inventory must be reported by December 31, 2021, to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and, thereafter, the inventory must be reported by each December 31 to those officers.
(v) Assist political subdivisions with the creation and training of urban search and rescue teams and promote the development and maintenance of a state urban search and rescue program.
(w) Delegate, as necessary and appropriate, authority vested in it under ss. 252.31-252.90 and provide for the subdelegation of such authority. The duration of each such delegation or subdelegation during an emergency may not exceed 60 days; however, a delegation or subdelegation may be renewed during the emergency, as necessary.
(x) Report biennially to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the Governor, no later than February 1 of every odd-numbered year, the status of the emergency management capabilities of the state and its political subdivisions. This report must include the emergency management capabilities related to public health emergencies, as determined in collaboration with the Department of Health.
(y) In accordance with chapter 120, create, implement, administer, adopt, amend, and rescind rules, programs, and plans needed to carry out ss. 252.31-252.90 with due consideration for, and in cooperating with, the plans and programs of the Federal Government. In addition, the division may adopt rules in accordance with chapter 120 to administer and distribute federal financial predisaster and postdisaster assistance for prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
(z) Do other things necessary, incidental, or appropriate for the implementation of ss. 252.31-252.90.
History.s. 1, ch. 74-285; s. 20, ch. 81-169; s. 17, ch. 83-334; s. 8, ch. 84-241; s. 12, ch. 93-211; s. 45, ch. 99-8; s. 4, ch. 2000-140; s. 32, ch. 2001-61; s. 13, ch. 2006-71; s. 29, ch. 2007-5; s. 99, ch. 2011-142; s. 4, ch. 2021-8; s. 1, ch. 2021-93.
1Note.Section 1, ch. 2021-93, added paragraph (2)(z), redesignated as paragraph (2)(aa) by the editors to conform to the amendment to subsection (2) by s. 4, ch. 2021-8, effective July 1, 2022, to read:

(aa) Identify and maintain an inventory of available digitally displayed automatic changeable facing signs capable of providing the immediate distribution of critical information to the public in times of declared emergency and regarding missing endangered persons.