[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Meriden 11-6-1974; amended in its entirety 7-17-1989. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Curfew — See Ch. 91.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 153.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 180.
Civil preparedness generally — See C.G.S. § 28-1 et seq.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited and referred to as the "Emergency Management Ordinance of the City of Meriden."
It is the intent and purpose of this chapter to establish and this chapter does hereby establish an Office of Emergency Management which will ensure the complete and efficient utilization of all the City's facilities to combat disaster resulting from enemy actions or other disasters as defined herein.
The Meriden Office of Emergency Management will be the coordinating agency for all activity in connection with civil preparedness; it will be the instrument through which the City Manager may exercise the authority and discharge the responsibilities vested in him under Title 28, Chapter 517, of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, the City Charter, as amended, and this chapter.
This chapter will not relieve any City department of the moral responsibilities or authority given to it in the City Charter or the Connecticut General Statutes or by local ordinance, nor will it adversely affect the work of any volunteer agency organized for relief in disaster emergencies.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A direct or indirect assault against the City of Meriden, its government, its environs or the nation by the forces of a hostile nation or the agents thereof, including assault by bombing; radiological, chemical or biological warfare; or sabotage.
- CIVIL PREPAREDNESS
- In its broad meaning, to carry out the basic government functions of maintaining the public peace, health, safety and welfare during an emergency. This shall include plans and preparations for protection from and relief, recovery and rehabilitation from the effects of an attack on the City by the forces of an enemy nation or the agents thereof, and it shall also include such activity in connection with disaster as defined herein. It shall not however, include any activity that is the primary responsibility of the military forces of the United States.
- CIVIL PREPAREDNESS FORCES
- The employees, equipment and facilities of all City departments, boards, institutions and commissions, and, in addition, it shall include all volunteer personnel, equipment and facilities contributed by or obtained from volunteer persons or agencies.
- CIVIL PREPAREDNESS VOLUNTEER
- Any person duly registered, identified and appointed by the Director of the Office of Emergency Management and assigned to participate in the civil preparedness activity; such appointment shall be in accordance with Title 28, Chapter 517, of the General Statutes of the State of Connecticut, as amended.
- DIRECTOR or CO-DIRECTOR
- The administrator of the Meriden Office of Emergency Management, appointed as prescribed in this chapter.
- Includes but is not limited to actual or threatened enemy attack, sabotage, extraordinary fire, flood, storm, epidemic or other impending or actual calamity endangering or threatening to endanger health, life or property or constituted government.
- Includes plans, programs and other emergency procedures deemed essential to civil preparedness.
- Contributing a service, equipment or facilities to the civil preparedness organization without remuneration.
The City Manager is hereby authorized and directed to create an organization for civil preparedness utilizing to the fullest extent the existing agencies within this City. The City Manager, as executive head of the municipal government, shall be responsible for the organization, administration and operations of the Office of Emergency Management.
The organization shall consist of the following:
There shall be an executive head of the Office of Emergency Management who shall be known as the Director, or Co-Directors, of the Office of Emergency Management, and such assistants and other employees as are deemed necessary for the proper functioning of the organization.
The employees, equipment and facilities of all City departments, boards, institutions and commissions will participate in the civil preparedness activity. Duties assigned to a City department shall be the same or similar to the normal duties of the department. This shall also apply to public school facilities and personnel.
Volunteer persons and agencies offering service to and accepted by the City.
The City Manager shall appoint a Director or Co-Directors of the Meriden Office of Emergency Management who shall be a person well versed and trained in planning operations involving the activities of many different agencies which will operate to protect the public health, safety and welfare in the event of danger from enemy action or disaster as defined in this chapter.
The Director or Co-Director, with approval of the City Manager, shall appoint Deputy Directors to assume the emergency duties of the Director or Co-Directors in the event of their absence or inability to act.
The City Manager may exercise the emergency power and authority necessary to fulfill his general powers and duties as defined in the City Charter. The judgment of the City Manager shall be the sole criteria necessary to invoke emergency powers provided in the City Charter, the Code of the City of Meriden and other appropriate authorities. The City Council may convene to perform its legislative powers as the situation demands and shall receive reports relative to civil preparedness activities.
During any period when disaster threatens or when the City has been struck by disaster, within the definition of this chapter, the City Manager may promulgate such regulations as he deems necessary to protect life and property and preserve critical resources.
Such regulations may include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
Regulations prohibiting or restricting the movement of vehicles in order to facilitate the work of civil preparedness forces or to facilitate the mass movement of persons from critical areas within or without the City.
Regulations pertaining to the movement of persons from areas deemed to be hazardous or vulnerable to disaster.
Such other regulations necessary to preserve public peace, health and safety.
Regulations promulgated in accordance with the authority above will be given widespread circulation by proclamations published and uttered by newspapers and radio. These regulations will have the force of ordinance when duly filed with the City Clerk, and violations will be subject to the penalties provided in § 87-9.
The City Manager shall order civil preparedness forces to the aid of other communities when required in accordance with the statutes of the state, and he may request the state, or a political subdivision of the state, to send aid to the City of Meriden in case of disaster when conditions in the City are beyond the control of the local civil preparedness forces.
The City Manager may obtain vital supplies, equipment and other properties found lacking and needed for the protection of health, life and property of the people and bind the City for the fair value thereof.
The City Manager may require emergency services of any City officers or employees. If regular City forces are determined inadequate, the City Manager may require the services of such other personnel as he can obtain that are available, including citizen volunteers. All duly authorized persons rendering emergency services shall be entitled to the privileges and immunities as are provided by state law, the City Charter and ordinances for regular City employees and other registered and identified civil preparedness and disaster workers and, upon demand, may receive appropriate compensation for their emergency employment.
The City Manager will cause to be prepared the operations plan herein referred to and exercise his ordinary powers as City Manager, all of the special powers conferred upon him by the City Charter and the Code of the City of Meriden and all powers conferred upon him by any statute or any other lawful authority.
Director/Co-Directors of the Office of Emergency Management.
The Director/Co-Directors of the Office of Emergency Management shall be responsible to the City Manager in regard to all phases of the civil preparedness and emergency management activities. Under the supervision of the City Manager, he/they shall be responsible for the planning, coordination and operation of the civil preparedness and emergency management activity in the City. Under the supervision of the City Manager, he/they shall maintain liaison with the state and federal authorities and the authorities of other nearby political subdivisions so as to ensure the most effective operation of the civil preparedness plan.
His/their duties shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
Coordinating the recruitment of volunteer personnel and agencies to augment the personnel and facilities of the City for civil preparedness purposes.
Development, testing and coordination of plans for the immediate use of all of the facilities, equipment, manpower and other resources of the City for the purpose of minimizing or preventing damage to persons and property and protecting and restoring to usefulness governmental services and public utilities necessary for the public health, safety and welfare.
Negotiating and concluding agreements with owners or persons in control of buildings or other property for the use of such buildings or other property for civil preparedness purposes and designating suitable buildings as public shelters.
Through public information programs, educating the civilian population as to actions necessary and required for the protection of their persons and property in case of enemy attack or disaster, as defined herein, either impending or present.
Conducting public practice alerts to ensure the efficient operation of the civil preparedness forces and to familiarize residents with civil preparedness regulations, procedures and operations.
Coordinating the activity of all other public and private agencies engaged in any civil preparedness activity.
Assuming such authority and conducting such activity as the City Council may direct to promote and execute the civil preparedness plan.
A comprehensive civil preparedness and disaster operations plan shall be adopted and maintained by resolution of the City Council upon the recommendations of the City Manager. In the preparation of this plan as it pertains to City organization, it is the intent that the services, equipment, facilities and personnel of all existing departments and agencies shall be utilized to the fullest extent. When approved, it shall be the duty of all municipal departments and agencies to perform the functions assigned by the plan and to maintain their portion of the plan in a current state of readiness at all times. The operations plan shall be considered supplementary to this chapter and have the effect of law whenever a disaster, as defined in this chapter, has been proclaimed.
The City Manager shall prescribe in the operations plan those positions within the disaster organization, in addition to his own, for which lines of succession are necessary. In each instance, the responsible person will designate and keep on file with the City Manager and the Director/Co-Directors a current list of three persons as successors to his position. The list will be in order of succession and will as nearly as possible designate persons best capable of carrying out all assigned duties and functions.
Each service chief and department head assigned responsibility in the operations plan shall be responsible for carrying out all duties and functions assigned therein. Duties will include the organization and training of assigned City employees and volunteers. Each chief shall formulate the operational plan for his service which, when approved, shall be an annex to and a part of the operations plans. All other City employees not specifically assigned a disaster task shall make themselves available upon request of the City Manager for emergency assignments and duties.
Amendments to the operations plan shall be submitted to the City Manager by the Director/Co-Directors. If approved, the City Manager will submit the amendments to the City Council with his recommendations for its approval. Such amendments shall take effect immediately unless action is taken by the City Council disapproving the City Manager's submission. In the event that an amendment is pending at the time that a disaster is proclaimed under provisions of this chapter, the amendment will be considered approved immediately and will remain effective unless specifically revoked by the City Council.
When a required competency or skill for a disaster function is not available within the City government, the City Manager is authorized to seek assistance from persons outside of government. The assignment of duties, when of a supervisory nature, shall also grant authority for the persons so assigned to carry out such duties prior to, during and after the occurrence of a disaster. Such services from persons outside of government may be accepted by the City on a volunteer basis. Such citizens shall be enrolled as civil preparedness volunteers in cooperation with the heads of City departments affected.
This chapter is an exercise by the City of its governmental functions for the protection of the public peace, health, safety and welfare, and neither the City nor agents and representatives of said City, or any individual, receiver, firm, partnership, corporation, association or trustee, or any of the agents thereof, in good faith carrying out, complying with or attempting to comply with any order, rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, shall be liable for any damage sustained to persons or property as a result of said activity.
Any person owning or controlling real estate or other premises who voluntarily and without compensation grants the City the right to inspect, designate and use the whole or any part or parts of such real estate or premises for the purpose of sheltering persons during an actual, impending or practice enemy attack, or any type of emergency situation, shall not be civilly liable for the death of or injury to any persons on or about such real estate or premises under such license, privilege or other permission or for loss of or damage to the property of such person.
It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any of the provisions of this chapter or of the regulations or plans issued pursuant to the authority contained herein or to willfully obstruct, hinder or delay any member of the civil preparedness organization, as herein defined, in the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter or any regulation or plan issued thereunder.
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder shall be subjected to the penalties of § 1-4 and/or § 28-22, Title 28, Chapter 517, of the General Statutes of the State of Connecticut.