[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Union 8-27-1974 by Ord. No. 2911 (Ch. 33 of the 1986 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the intent and purpose of this chapter to establish an Office of Civil Defense and Disaster Control in order to provide for the local government and the community to coordinate their activities during emergency operations.
The Office of Civil Defense and Disaster Control will be the coordinating agency for all activity in connection with civil defense, disaster control and civil preparedness. It will be the instrument for providing planning guidance on civil defense and disaster control, and emergency operations for the departments and agencies of the local government.
This chapter will not relieve any Township department of its responsibilities or authority given to it by state statute or by local ordinance, nor is it meant to adversely affect the work of any volunteer agency organized for relief in emergencies.
Editor's Note: Former Section 1, which immediately preceded this section and which provided for a short title, was deleted 10-28-1986 by Ord. No. 3879.
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation of this chapter:
- CIVIL DEFENSE AND DISASTER CONTROL
- The emergency services of local government in helping to carry out the basic governmental functions of maintaining the public peace, health and safety during an emergency. This shall include plans and preparations for protection from and relief, recovery and rehabilitation from the effects of any emergency.
- DECLARATION OF A STATE OF LOCAL DISASTER EMERGENCY
- The determination by the Director or his authorized Deputy, upon consultation with the Mayor or acting Chief Executive, that a disaster has occurred or is imminent requiring activation of all or part of the Township civil defense and disaster control (CD-DC) organization, from which determination a proclamation of a state of local disaster emergency shall issue.
- The coordinator of the Township Civil Defense and Disaster Control Office, appointed by the Mayor.
- Any unusual set of circumstances which endangers the health, safety or resources of the residents of the Township and which is or may become too large in scope or unusual in type to be handled in its entirety by regular municipal operating services.
- Includes "disaster" and "war emergency" as defined herein, and shall exist upon proclamation by the Mayor.
- LOCAL CIVIL DEFENSE AND DISASTER CONTROL FORCES
- The employees, equipment and facilities of all Township departments, boards and commissions; and, in addition, all volunteer personnel, equipment and facilities contributed by, or obtained from, volunteer persons or agencies.
- LOCAL DISASTER EMERGENCY
- Includes any disaster, or the imminence thereof, which overtaxes the municipality's ability to cope, requiring mutual assistance from other municipal or county sources, but is not so severe as to require action by the government under the New Jersey CD-DC Act.
- Includes plans, programs and other emergency procedures for civil defense and emergencies, promulgated in accordance with this chapter.
- Any person duly appointed by the Director and assigned to participate in civil defense and disaster control activity serving without remuneration.
- WAR EMERGENCY
- Includes any disaster occurring anywhere within the Township as the result of enemy attack or the imminent danger thereof.
The Township Committee is hereby authorized to create an organization for civil defense and disaster control, utilizing to the fullest extent the existing agencies within the Township.
The organization shall consist of the following:
The Office of Civil Defense and Disaster Control under the direction of the Mayor. The Director shall be the executive head of the Office. There shall also be such deputies and assistants, appointed by the Mayor, as are deemed necessary.
The employees, equipment and facilities of all Township departments, boards and commissions who will participate in civil defense and disaster control activity.
Volunteer persons and agencies offering service to, and accepted by, the Township.
During any emergency, the Township Committee may authorize the Mayor to promulgate such regulations as he deems necessary to protect life and property and preserve critical resources. Regulations promulgated in accordance with this authority will be given widespread circulation. These regulations will have the force of ordinance when duly filed with the Township Clerk, and violations will be subject to the penalties provided in § 39-8 of this chapter. 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 defense and disaster control forces and volunteers, or to facilitate the movement of persons from critical areas within or without the Township.
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.
At the direction of the County Civil Defense and Disaster Control Coordinator, the Mayor may order civil defense and disaster control forces to the aid of other communities when required in accordance with the statutes of the state; and may request noncontiguous municipalities to send aid to the Township, in case of an emergency when conditions in the Township are beyond the resource capabilities of the local civil defense and disaster control forces.
During any emergency, the Mayor 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 Township for the fair value thereof.
The Mayor may, during any emergency, require emergency services of any Township officer or employee. All duly authorized persons rendering emergency services shall be entitled to such privileges and immunities as may be provided by state law for regular Township employees and other registered and identified civil defense and disaster workers.
The Mayor will cause to be prepared the Plan hereinafter referred to and will exercise his ordinary powers and any special powers conferred upon him by the ordinances of the Township of Union and by any statute of the state.
The Director shall be appointed by the Mayor with the concurrence of the Township Committee and shall serve for a term of three years, except that the term of the first person appointed as Director pursuant to the terms of this chapter shall expire on December 31, 1976.
The Director 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 an emergency. The Director shall be responsible to the Mayor and the Township Committee in regard to all phases of the civil defense and disaster control activity. Under the supervision of the Mayor and Township Committee, he shall be responsible for the planning, coordination and operation of the civil defense and disaster control activity in the Township. Under the supervision of the Mayor and Township Committee, he shall maintain liaison with state and federal authorities and the authorities of other nearby political subdivisions so as to ensure the most effective operation of the Plan. His duties, subject to the supervision of the Township Committee, shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
Coordinating the recruitment and training of volunteer personnel and agencies to augment the personnel and facilities of the Township for civil defense and disaster control purposes.
Development of an emergency operating center facility and coordination of plans for the immediate use of all of the facilities, equipment, manpower and other resources of the Township 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 agreements with owners or persons in control of buildings or other property for the use of such buildings or other property for civil defense and disaster control purposes and designating suitable buildings as public shelters.
Through public informational programs, educating the civilian population as to actions necessary and required for the protection of their persons and property in an emergency.
Conducting public practice alerts to ensure the efficient operation of the civil defense and disaster control forces and to familiarize residents with civil defense and disaster control regulations, procedures and operations.
Coordinating any activity of all other public and private agencies engaged in any civil defense and disaster control activity.
Assuming such authority and conducting such other activity as the Mayor and Township Committee may direct to promote and execute the Plan.
The Civil Defense Council, as heretofore established by law, is continued. The members shall be appointed by the Mayor with the Chairman of the Council serving as the Township Disaster Control Director. The Council shall have the powers, functions and duties prescribed by general law, executive order, ordinance or resolution.
A comprehensive emergency operations plan (the "Plan") shall be adopted and maintained by resolution of Township Committee. The Plan shall be prepared by the Director and submitted for approval by the Township Committee and will outline duties and responsibilities under this chapter and all other applicable regulatory requirements. In preparation of the Plan, the Director will consult with all municipal department heads whose departments will be assigned duties and responsibilities under the Plan, and said department heads will assist the Director in preparation of the Plan. In the preparation of the Plan, as it pertains to Township 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 the Plan is 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 Plan shall be considered supplementary to this chapter and have the effect of law whenever an emergency exists.
The Director shall prescribe, in the Plan, those positions within the organization referred to in § 39-3 for which lines of succession are necessary. In each instance, the responsible person will designate and keep on file with the Director 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.
When a required competency or skill for a disaster function is not available within the Township government, the Township Committee may authorize the Director 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 Township on a volunteer basis.
This chapter is an exercise by the Township of its governmental functions for the protection of the public peace, welfare, health and safety. During an emergency, neither the Township nor agents and representatives of said Township, nor any individual, receiver, firm, partnership, corporation, association or trustee, nor 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 the result of said activity.
Any person owning or controlling real estate or other premises who voluntarily and without compensation grants the Township 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 emergency, 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 persons.
[Amended 10-28-1986 by Ord. No. 3879]
Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter, or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than 90 days, or both, in the discretion of the Judge of the Municipal Court.
At all times when the orders, rules and regulations made and promulgated pursuant to this chapter shall be in effect, they shall supersede all existing ordinances, orders, rules and regulations insofar as the latter may be inconsistent therewith.