[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lancaster as Article 161 of the Codified Ordinances amended in its entirety 4-28-2015 by Ord. No. 5-2015. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given herein:
- A man-made, natural or war-caused disaster.
- EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
- The judicious planning, assignment and coordination of all available resources in an integrated program of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery for emergencies of any kind, whether from attack, man-made or natural sources.
- EMERGENCY SERVICES
- The preparation for and the carrying out of functions, other than functions for which military forces are primarily responsible, to prevent, minimize and provide emergency repair of injury and damage resulting from disasters, together with all other activities necessary or incidental to the preparation for and carrying out of those functions. The functions include, without limitation, fire-fighting services, police services, medical and health services, rescue, engineering, disaster warning services, communications, radiological, shelter, chemical and other special weapons defense, evacuation of persons from strickened areas, emergency welfare services, emergency transportation, emergency resources management, existing or properly assigned functions of plant protection, temporary restoration of public utility services and other functions related to civilian protection.
- LOCAL EMERGENCY
- The condition declared by the Mayor when, in his or her judgment, the threat or actual occurrence of a disaster is or threatens to be of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant coordinated local government action to prevent or alleviate the damage, loss, hardship or suffering threatened or caused thereby. A local emergency cannot be declared where the emergency arises solely out of resource shortage as such an emergency may only be declared under the Act by the Governor.
- MAN-MADE DISASTER
- Any industrial, nuclear or transportation accident, explosion, conflagration, power failure, natural resource shortage or other condition, except enemy action, resulting from man-made causes, such as oil spills and other injurious environmental contamination, which threatens or causes substantial damage to property, human suffering, hardship or loss of life.
- NATURAL DISASTER
- Any hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, drought, fire, explosion or other catastrophe which results in substantial damage to property, hardship, suffering or possible loss of life.
- RESOURCE SHORTAGE
- The absence, unavailability or reduced supply of any raw or processed natural resource or any commodities, goods or services of any kind which bear a substantial relationship to the health, safety, welfare and economic well-being of the residents of the City.
- A. Those conditions which may, by investigation, be found, actually or likely, to:
- (1) Affect seriously the safety, health or welfare of a substantial number of residents of the City or preclude the operation or use of essential public services and facilities;
- (2) Be of such magnitude or severity as to necessitate seeking state or county supplementation of local efforts or resources exerted or utilized in alleviating the danger, damage, suffering or hardship faced; and
- (3) Have been caused by forces beyond the control of man, by reason of civil disorder, riot or disturbance, or by factors not foreseen and not known to exist when appropriation bills were enacted.
- B. For purposes hereof, "state of emergency" includes disasters, local emergencies, man-made disasters, natural disasters, resource shortages, and war-caused disasters.
- WAR-CAUSED DISASTER
- Any condition following an attack upon the United States resulting in substantial damage to property or injury to persons in the United States caused by use of bombs, missiles, shellfire, nuclear, radiological, chemical or biological means, or other weapons or overt paramilitary actions, or other conditions such as sabotage.
The Office of Emergency Management is hereby created under the Office of the Mayor and shall be managed by a Director who shall be appointed in the manner set forth in § 136-4. The Office of Emergency Management shall coordinate activities pertaining to natural, man-made and war-caused disasters and shall be the instrument through which the Mayor may exercise the authority and discharge the responsibilities vested in him or her by the Third Class City Code, the Emergency Management Services Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, other applicable laws of the commonwealth and the City and this chapter.
The Mayor is authorized to declare a state of emergency. The declaration shall not be continued or renewed for a period in excess of five days except by or with the consent of City Council. Any order or proclamation declaring, continuing or terminating a state of emergency shall be given prompt and general publicity and shall be filed promptly with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the effect of a declaration of a state of emergency shall be to activate the response and recovery aspects of the City's Emergency Management Plan and to authorize the furnishing of aid and assistance thereunder.
During any declared local disaster emergency:
The Mayor shall have the full authority and power to act on behalf of the City and exercise the powers conferred upon the City under the applicable provisions of the Third Class City Code and the Emergency Management Services Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including but not limited to the following:
Enter into contracts and incur obligations necessary to disaster emergency management response and recovery.
Acquire by lease or otherwise on a temporary basis sites required for installation of temporary housing units for disaster victims and to enter into whatever arrangements are necessary to prepare or equip the sites to utilize the housing units.
Request and/or render emergency assistance from or to adjacent political subdivisions in accordance with the provisions of mutual aid agreements.
In addition to any other powers conferred upon the Mayor by law, he or she may for all or any part of the City in which there is clear and present danger to life or property through civil disorder:
Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened area within the City if this action is necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster mitigation, response or recovery.
Prescribe routes, modes of transportation and destinations in connection with evacuation.
Control ingress and egress to and from a disaster area, the movement of persons within the area and the occupancy of premises therein.
Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing or transportation of alcoholic beverages, explosives and combustibles.
The Mayor may require the emergency services of any City officer or employee. When a required competency or skill for a disaster function is not available within the City government, the Mayor is authorized to seek assistance from persons outside government. Persons volunteering their assistance shall be enrolled as emergency management preparedness volunteers. All duly authorized persons rendering emergency services shall be entitled to the privileges and immunities as are provided by the Emergency Management Services Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Editor's Note: See 35 Pa.C.S.A. § 7101 et seq.
The declaration or regulations promulgated thereunder shall be disseminated promptly by means calculated to bring its contents to the attention of the general public through widest possible use of newspaper, radio and television and, unless the circumstances attendant to the disaster prevent or impede, shall be promptly filed with the City Clerk.
The Emergency Management Director shall be an employee of the City who is recommended by the Mayor and appointed by the Governor of the commonwealth. The Director shall serve in this capacity without additional remuneration, shall report directly to the Mayor and shall be responsible for the planning, administration and operation of the local organization subject to the direction and control of the Mayor. These duties shall include but not necessarily be limited to the following:
Develop and coordinate plans for the immediate use of all the facilities, equipment, manpower and other resources of the City for the purpose of minimizing or preventing damage to persons and property.
Protect and restore to full use all governmental services and public utilities necessary for the public health, safety and welfare.
Maintain liaison with the state and federal authorities and the authorities of other nearby political subdivisions as to insure the most effective operation of the Emergency Management Plan.
Coordinate the recruitment of volunteer personnel and agencies to augment the personnel and facilities of the City for emergency management purposes.
Assume such authority and conduct such activity as additionally directed by the Mayor in order to execute the Emergency Management Plan.
The Emergency Management Deputy Director shall be an employee of the City who is appointed by the Mayor and shall serve without additional remuneration, assisting the Mayor and the Emergency Management Director in the overall administration of emergency management activities.
The Office of Emergency Management shall prepare an Emergency Management Plan which shall be submitted to and approved by the Council. The plan shall establish an Emergency Management Team providing for the use of services, equipment, facilities and personnel of all City government divisions and other service providers during a threatened or actual local disaster emergency. It shall be the duty of all Emergency Management Team members to perform the functions assigned to them in the plan and to maintain their portion of the plan in a state of readiness at all times. All substantive amendments to the plan shall be approved by the Council; provided, however, that in the event an amendment is pending at the time a disaster is proclaimed, the amendment shall be considered approved immediately and shall remain effective unless specifically revoked by the Council.
The Office of Emergency Management shall establish and staff an emergency operations center equipped with communication systems to support government operations in emergencies and provide other essential facilities and equipment for agencies and activities assigned emergency functions. The City Hall, located at 120 North Duke Street, shall serve as the main emergency operations center with the Lancaster Bureau of Police located at 39 West Chestnut Street serving as an auxiliary emergency operations center for the Bureaus of Police and Fire. Should an emergency prevent the use of one of these locations, the other facility shall be used by all groups. In the event that neither facility can be used, the City Emergency Management Team shall operate from the County Emergency Operations Center located in the subbasement of the Lancaster County Courthouse, 50 North Duke Street, Lancaster.
The Office of Emergency Management may, subject to ratification by the Council, develop mutual aid agreements with adjacent political subdivisions and social service agencies for reciprocal emergency assistance. The agreements shall be consistent with the Emergency Management Plan.
General. Neither the City nor, except in cases of willful misconduct, the agents, employees or representatives of the City engaged in any emergency services or activities, nor, except in cases of willful misconduct or gross negligence, any individual or those persons under contract with the City to provide equipment or work on a cost basis to be used in disaster relief, nor, except in cases of willful misconduct or gross negligence, any person, firm, corporation or an agent or employee of any of them engaged in disaster services activities, while complying with or attempting to comply with this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, shall be liable for the death of or any injury to persons or loss or damage to property as a result of that activity.
Real estate owner. Any person, organization or authority owning or controlling real estate or other premises who, voluntarily and without compensation, grants a license or privilege or otherwise permits the designation or use of the whole or any part or parts of the real estate or premises for any emergency services purpose shall, together with his successors in interest, if any, not be civilly liable for negligently causing the death of or injury to or loss or damage to the property of any person who is upon the real estate or other premises for that purpose.
Any person, partnership, association, firm or corporation, including the individual partners, members, officers and directors thereof, violating any of the provisions of this chapter, the Emergency Management Plan adopted hereunder or any local disaster emergency declaration or regulations promulgated thereunder shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, be fined not less than $50 nor more than $600 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both.